Friday, January 25, 2013

Royal Marriage: Prussia-Hesse

January 25, 1893

The entire city of Berlin is decorated with flags in honor of the wedding today of Princess Margarete of Prussia, youngest sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse.

According to the New York Times' correspondent, "it rained most of the morning," but by 11:00 a.m., the sun had come out, and by 4 p.m., when the civil marriage was to take place, the "streets were dry and crowded with sightseers."

The civil ceremony, conducted by Count von Wedel, took place in the hall of Empress Friedrich's palace.

Princess Margarete and Prince Friedrich Karl were "taken to the schloss through cheering crowds which had lined the route " since 10 a.m.

At the schloss, all of the royal guests were waiting in the Chinese Cabinet room, where  Empress Augusta Viktoria "placed the bridal crown" upon Princess Margarete's head.

The bride and bridegroom "led the procession" to the schloss' chapel, where they were married according to the rites of the Lutheran church.

They were followed by the bride's mother, Empress Friedrich, who was escorted by the Landgrave of Hesse, and  her elder son, Kaiser Wilhelm, who was dressed in the "gala uniform of the Garde du Corps.  He wore the Orders of the Black Eagle and the Garter. 

Empress Auguste Viktoria was escorted by the King of Saxony and by the Russian Czarevitch,  Grand Duke Nicholas.

The Landgravine of Hesse was escorted by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Grand Duke of Baden.

Princess Margarete wore a "gown of white silk and crepe de chine, ornamented with sprays of white daisies and caught at the waist with a gold girdle."

Her only piece of jewelery was a diamond necklace.

Empress Friedrich's gown was made of gray damask with a velvet train."

The marriage was performed by the Court Chaplain Dryander.  Princess Margarete's vows were made so low "a tone" that only those sitting in the front row could hear her.

A wedding banquet and the Fackeltanz (Torch dance) followed the wedding.

Princess Margarete is the youngest of Empress Friedrich's children, and the last to marry.  She is rumored to have declared that "she would live and die an old maid before she would marry a man who would take her from her mother."

Prince Friedrich Karl is a Lieutenant in the Prussian Dragoon Guards.  His annual salary is about $450 a year, but the Landgrave is "enormously wealthy", and he will make sure that Friederich Karl is "well provided for financially."

The princess has received a "very substantial dowry" from her mother, and she has also received a "very substantial wedding gift" from her brother, Wilhelm II. 

The Times reports that the the newlyweds left Berlin at 9 p.m., tonight for Potsdam.

Wilhelm II ordered that "no representative of the Press," with the exception of an "official reporter" were allowed to attend the wedding.

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