Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Louise Sophie's wedding

July 13, 1889

The Chicago Daily Tribune has weighed in on the recent marriage between Princess Luise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein to Prince Friedrich Leopold, son of the "Red Prince, Friedrich Karl of Prussia."   The bride is said to be "one of the most perfect types of Teutonic beauty known in the north of Europe."
Friedrich Leopold's father was the "commanding conqueror of Schleswig-Holstein" in 1867.

The wedding including the Fackeltanz -- the torch dance -- an "indispensable conclusion to weddings at the Prussian court."   The dance is an "odd performance," where government Ministers enter the room, two by two, "holding torches made of long wax tapers, about the thickness of a man's wrist."  They march in and about the room, "bowing before the throne," and are followed by the newlyweds.  This is repeated by the Emperor and Empress, followed by the bride and two partners, and the groom "giving his hands to two ladies.  The "ceremony is repeated until the wedded pair have made the circuit of the room with all the princely guests."  When the dance is completed, the bride and groom are escorted to their apartments by the Emperor and Empress, "the highest guests and the torches."

The torches are extinguished at the door, but the ceremony is not yet finished.   The bride's Mistress of the Robes comes into the room to "unfasten and divide her father."   The garter is cut "as a symbol of her submission to her husband."  The pieces of the garter are distributed to the wedding guests."

The newlyweds are then allowed to begin their married life together.

The new Princess Friedrich Leopold is a younger sister of German Empress Auguste Viktoria.

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