Monday, April 22, 2013

A ball for Alexandra and Angus

April 22, 1963

Queen Elizabeth II "lighted up Windsor Castle" tonight for a pre-wedding ball in honor of her first cousin, Princess Alexandra of Kent, who will marry Scots nobleman, the Hon. Angus Ogilvy tomorrow, reports the Chicago Tribune press service.

The festivities began with a dinner for 70 guests including the British royal family,  the Ogilvy family and "nearly three dozen foreign royal cousins."

After the dinner, the guests moved to the Waterloo room at the castle to join more than 2000 more guests, including "several dozen more royal foreigners."

Princess Alexandra and her fiancé "led off the dancing to a Strauss waltz."  Alexandra, the only daughter of the late Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, wore a diamond tiara "with her long chalk-white silk down.

Queen Elizabeth was dressed in "white lace with luminous all-over bead embroidery, an emerald and diamond tiara, matching necklace and bracelet, and the blue riband of the garter order."

Prince Philip and the other princes wore "Windsor coasts, blue with red collars and cuffs."  Philip and the other garter knights also wore "knee breeches with jeweled garters."

Queen Elizabeth picked up the $50,000 tab for the cost of the party, which featured smoked salmon and caviar.  Among the last to arrive were King Olav of Norway and the Countess of Paris, "with whom Alexandra spend part of her schooling in France."

Queen Frederika of Greece had to sneak out the side door of  Claridge's hotel to avoid demonstrators calling for the release of a Greek political prisoner."

Earlier today, Princess Alexandra and Mr. Ogilvy were at Westminster Abbey for a final wedding rehearsal.

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