Monday, October 8, 2018

Silver Wedding Anniversary for Lord and Lady Snowdon

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It has been 25 years since I stood in the small park across the street from St. Margaret's, Westminster, in London for the marriage of Viscount Linley to the Lady Serena Stanhope.

At the time of the wedding, Serena was styled as Honourable Serena Stanhope as her grandfather, the Earl of Harrington, was still alive.

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David Linley, a talent furniture designer, is the elder child of HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930-2002) and The Earl of Snowdon (1930-2017).   Serena, the daughter of the then Viscount Petersham and his first wife, Virginia Freeman-Jackson.

At the time of the wedding, Serena, then 23 years old, was styled as the Hon. Serena Stanhope.  Her grandfather, the 10th Earl of Harrington, was still alive.  He died in 2009 and was succeeded by Serena's father, William, as the 11th Earl.  Although already married at the time of her grandfather's death,  Serena pre-marital courtesy title changed to that of an earl's daughter.

The bride wore the Lotus Flower tiara, loaned by Princess Margaret.

The news of their romance broke in early 1993 shortly before the couple jetted off to Monaco, where Serena's mother lived, for a sunshine-filled holiday.

The engagement was announced on May 3, 1993.

More than 650 guests were invited to the wedding, described as the "society wedding of the year.   The Queen and the Queen Mother led the list of royal guests, which included King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes,  the Princess Royal and her children, Prince Edward, the Princess of Wales, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra and her son and daughter-in-law, James and Julia Ogilvy,  Tim and Lady Helen Taylor.

Bruce Robbins, then only 28 years old, designed Serena's dress.  The outfits worn by her attendants were designed by Robinson Valentine.

The youngest page was Serena's cousin, 4-year-old Master Octavius MacEwen.  the other pages and bridesmaids were 5-year-old Cosima Vesey, daughter of Viscount de Vesey,  the groom's paternal first cousin, Lord Glamis, the son of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's nephew, the Earl of Strathmore,  Master Hal Messel, Lord Snowdon's second cousin, Chloe Delevigne, 9, granddaughter of Princess Margaret's lady-in-waiting, Mrs. Jane Stevens and Lord Linley's 13-year-old half-sister, Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones.

The newlyweds emerged from the church and got into a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost for the drive to St. James's Palace for their reception.  The Princess of Wales did not attend the reception.

There were several notable absences including two of the groom's maternal cousins, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York.   The Prince of Wales was in Turkey on an official trip.  His younger brother, Andrew, was on "naval duty in Gibraltar."  The Duke's estranged wife, Sarah, did not attend.

The Duke of Edinburgh was in Gladstone, New Jersey, for a carriage driving event.

This link includes photos I took of David and Serena at their wedding (no zoom lens and other photos of them from the 1990s.


Detlef said...

May I ask how exactly Serena was styled between 2009 and 2017 ?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Viscountess Linley as the wife of Viscount Linley