Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Princess Irene leaves home for her wedding

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

May 23, 1888

Princess Irene of Hesse and By Rhine, accompanied by her father, Grand Duke Ludwig IV, her brother, Prince Ernst Ludwig, and her suite, left Darmstadt today, reports the New York Times.

The Princess is to marry her first cousin, Prince Henry of Prussia tomorrow in Berlin.  

When they arrived in Marburg, they were greeted by city officials, and "a reception was held."  From Marburg, the royal party proceeded to Cassel, where "12 maids of honor presented the Princess with bouquets."

Empress Victoria, accompanied by her daughters, Crown Prince Wilhelm and Prince Henry, met Princess Irene at the Charlottenberg station and "received her with affectionate greetings." 

The road to the palace was "decorated with flags" and lines with "veterans and members of gymnastic and trade societies," and members of the general public, who "cheered enthusiastically.

Emperor Friedrich III was asleep when Princess Irene and her family arrived. He had "expressed a great desire" to see her when she arrived, but his physician, Dr. Mackenzie, "fearing the excitement would spoil his night's rest," suggested that the emperor waits until the morning.

All of the houses en route to the palace were "illuminated with candles."  Busts of Princess Irene were displayed in many of the windows.  The bride-to-be was dressed in white, and other royal ladies were in "light dresses."

This evening, Prince Henry and Princess Irene hosted a reception at the palace, which was described as a "festal appearance."

The Prince of Wales, uncle to the bride and the groom, Prince Albrecht of Prussia, Grand Duke Serge and Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Russia, and the Crown Prince of Greece are among the guests who have already arrived to attend Prince Henry's wedding. 

Emperor Friedrich III has "ordered the Crown Prince to preside" at the wedding gala banquet in honor of Prince Henry and Princess Irene.

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