Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The marriage of Princess Thyra


December 21, 1878

Princess Thyra Amalia Caroline Charlotte Anne of Denmark was married today Prince Ernst August Wilhelm Adolph Georg Friedrick, King of Hanover and Duke of Cumberland, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The ceremony "was a very quiet one," owing to two recent family deaths,  the bride's uncle (younger brother of King Christian IX of Denmark), and the Grand Duchess of Hesse and By Rhine, sister of the the bride's brother-in-law, the Prince of Wales.

The groom was also in mourning as his father, the former King Georg V of Hanover, who died in Paris in July.

The wedding ceremony took place at 8 p.m., in the chapel at Christianborg castle, located on a small island, and accessible by several bridges from Copenhagen.  The ceremony was according to the rites of the Lutheran church, and was officiated by Dr. H.L. Martensen, Bishop of Zealand.

The marriage was originally scheduled to take place at the Chapel at Fredensborg to allow Copenhagen's residents a chance to view the pageant.  The venue was after the recent deaths.

Princess Thyra wore a plain white silk gown with diamond jewelery.  The Duke of Cumberland was dressed in the uniform of an English general, with the Order of the Garter and the star of the Order of the Elephant.

The Prince of Wales, "as head of the Guelph family," attended the wedding, and served as his cousin's best man.  [Note: the news report is incorrect.   The Prince of Wales did not attend his cousin's wedding due to the death of his sister, Alice.]

After the ceremony, a "grand wedding banquet" was held at Amalienborg, where the royal family lives.  late in the evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland traveled to Fredensborg.

After the death of his father, the Duke of Cumberland declared that he would "entirely and fully maintain all of his rights, prerogatives and titles," although, at present, he would use the titles Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale and Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg.

According to the Treaty of 1867,  Prussia is "bound to return" to the Duke "all the movable property of the Royal Family, and the castles of Calenberg and Herrenhausen."  Prussia is also required to pay the Duke "the interest on $10,600,000,  the requested property's value, and on the further sum of $3,000,000 invested in England."

Prussia has yet to carry out this agreement, but it is understood that Prussia "will do so, and acknowledge the Duke's right of succession to Duchy of Brunswick on condition  that he will abdicate his rights to the Hanoverian crown."

The Duke of Cumberland is heir to the elderly Duke of Brunswick, 73, who is one of the richest men in the world.   In the not-to-distant future, Princess Thyra could become the consort of a sovereign duke.  Her eldest brother, Frederik, is the heir apparent to the Danish throne.  Her brother, Wilhelm. is now King George of the Hellenes, and her two sisters, Alexandra, and Dagmar, are married to the heirs to the British and Russian thrones, respectively.

Thyra has a "beautifully shaped face, large and gentle dark eyes, and every sweet expression.  She is well educated, and she "rivals her sister Alexandra in musical and linguistic talents."  She paints with "much taste, and is piquant and witty."

There have been numerous "suitors for her hand," including that "old scapegrace, the King of Holland," who is to marry "an even younger princess next month," the Prince Imperial of France, the Duke of Connaught, the Duke of Bavaria, and the late King of Sweden, Carl XV.  

Last summer, gossips said that Princess Thyra "was deeply in love with son of the Empress Eugenie, with whom also the Princess Beatrice of England was smitten."  It was said that the Prince of Wales favored Thyra's marriage with the young Napoleon in order "avoid having the French prince for a brother-in-law."

But the rumors of an engagement were "promptly disapproved" by the announcement of the betrothal between Thyra and the Duke of Cumberland.  The first hints of an engagement appeared in the press in October, but the official announcement did not come until November 19.   It seems "in reality to be a love match that was made in Rome three years ago."

 The negotiations were delayed due to King Georg V's death last July.  Princess Thyra has a very modest dowry of about $55,000. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland will be settling into their home at Gmunden, Austria.  

The Duke is a great-grandson of George III.  His late father was Queen Victoria's first cousin.

The Times' coverage  provides further details.  The bridal procession began at 7 p.m., in the State apartments to the church. The King led his daughter, whose "train was borne by six bridesmaids, dressed in white, with roses."   Queen Louise of Denmark was dressed in a "gold embroidered silver brocade" gown," which was complemented by a tiara and a necklace of splendid Crown Jewels."  Crown Princess Louise wore a white robe and a silver embroidered train of blue velvet, with a diadem of pearls and diamonds."  She was escorted by Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Waldemar of Denmark, and King Christian IX's three brothers.

Sir Charles Wyke represented Queen Victoria.  The Prince of Wales was represented by Lord Colville, and Colonel Teesdale represented the Prince of Wales.  The Duke of Cambridge, the King of Hellenes, the King of Sweden and the Russian Tsarevitch also all sent representatives.

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