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FIFE AND LOUISE MADE ONE.

THE ROYAL WEDDING.

FULL DESCRIPTION.

[From Our Special Correspondent.J

London, August 0,

The royal wedding morn broke most disagreeably, with lowering clouds and a slight drizzle which manifested a decided intention to turn into a regular " cats and dogs" deluge. Decidedly not "Queen's weather," but, as someone sardonically remarked, " a typical English summer's day." As might have been expected, however, the state of the roads beneath or the heavens above made no difference to the feminine population of the metropolis, who seemed to have turned out tn masse for the occasion. From every point of the compass they came ic huge aud hurried streams, and poured into the Mall, till that avenue was a seething mass of what we ironically term the "weaker sex." There were a few men dotted here and there amengst the vast crowd, but their presence only made the general absence of male humanity the more conspicuous. The slight rain ceased soon after ton, but the clouds seemed to get lower and lower, the closeness being intense. At Buckingham Palace, where the crush was severest, the heat in the crowd, where the damp garments of the women positively steamed, was quite unendurable, and several ladies fainted—with a good deal of sense. The first half-dozen were carried inside the railings of the Palace, where, of course, they had a magnificent view; but this kindliness on the part of the officials caused so many ladies to go mysteriously " dead off " that the commanding officer ordered his men to carry the unfortunate fairs off on stretchers to the Park, out of sight of everything, and lay them on the grass. Fainting then retreated in the betting to 1,000 to 3 against. As the morning wore on the light improved, and when the carriages began setting down the invited guests at Buckingham Palace things began to look quite lively and cheerful. The proceßßion from Marlborough House started rather late, and the Red Guardsmen, followed by the State carriages, went by far too smart a pace for anyone to recognise the inmates, with the exception of the last, which contained the ever-popu-lar and beautiful Princess of Wales. She was received with the utmost enthusiasm, accompanied by a frantic waving of handkerchiefs. Then came a short but impressive pause, and then, at a slower pace, came a soldierly escort of the "Blues," closely followed by the great State carriage which Her Majesty was wont to use years ago on occasions of display. As it rolled ponderously by, swaying solemnly on its great gilt springs, the crowd got a good view of the Royal bride, looking very sweet, but rather pale and agitated, aB is the custom of girls—royal or commoners —on their wedding days. She bowed very timidly to the crowd, as one unused to receiving such tremendous ovations, but seemed proud and pleased all the same. The Princo looked much as usual in his scarlet uniform and glittering orders a trifle thoughtful, perhaps, as was natural under the circumstances, but otherwise " bland and placid," as is his custom. In two minutes the "show" was over, and the crowd rushed off to augment that in Piccadilly and on Constitution Hill waiting to see the return procession. The wait was long, but the almost exclusively feminine crowd stood like Spartans, and felt themselves amply rewarded when the aim came out and shone on them. Meanwhile the scene inside the tiny private chapel was an extraordinarily bright one. A select body of reporters wero located under the gallery, a vantage point from whence they saw everything without being seen. The ' Daily News's ' representative gives a very good description of the decorations, which, I think, I could hardly improve on, so will give it in his own words. "The chapel," he says, "had been very beautifully and tastefully decorated with flowers, the dark red pillars being garlanded with palest pink, white, and creamy-yellow roses, with just sufficient foliage to give effect to their soft tints. Long festoons of similar roses extended from pillar to pillar, and the line of the gallery just under the clock was also defined by a continuous garland of roses. The angles of the wall by the altar were filled in with groups of flowers some twelve feet in height. At the base were ranged foliage plants, all in the palest tones of greyishgreen, yellow, and lemon-color. Above these were white hydrangeas, then lilies of many kinds, with tall sprays of fine tigerlilies among them; and above these rose great shafts of white and purple blooms, overtopped with palms and feathery ferns. The alabaster pulpit was filled with tall palms. Above the altar was a large cross composed of white hothouse flowers, and on either side was the Greek monogram of Christ in similar blossoms. The vivid contrast of the white cross with the red background was artistically subdued by the introduction of dark-green palm leaves, which were fastened flat upon the wall behind it. Under the arms of the cross were vases filled with exquisite pale-pink roses of the largest and rarest sort, grouped with maidenhair ferns. In and among the flowers were the pieces of gold plate composing the magnificent Communion set ordered by George IV. for his private chapel at Brighton. The splendid piece of tapestry above the altar, representing the baptism of the Saviour by St. John, seemed to gain added beauty from the soft brilliancy of the flowers beneath it. To the tryptiches on either side the altar had been added several smaller pointings of biblical subjects. The crimson carpet and the gold-fringed crimson of the altar cloth had an invaluable effect in warming up the pale and the rather chilly tones of mauve, French grey, and light-blue of the decorations. To the right of the altar were placed the gilt chairs for the Queen, the Princess of Wales, and a few of the Royal guests." At a few minutes past eleven the invited guests began to arrive. They were all very great people indeed : duchesses and ladies, statesmen and princes poured up the aisle in one continual stream, till one really got quite nervouß as to what would be dono with them all.

There was a slight murmur of approbation when Mrs Gladstone and the G.O.M. entered radiantly, and a movement of some surprise when Sir Fred Leighton, picturesquely arrayed in black velvet, walked in wearing the academy president's beautiful badge of office. A few minutes before one the Bun managed to peep through the cloads and sent shafts of colored light across the aisle. 'Twaß almost like a cheerful herald announcing the arrival of Royalty, for almost immediately the Buckingham Palace party began tp enter th,e chapel. The organ played the processional march while the various Highnesses and Princes were taking their peajts. Count Gleichen accompanied the first lady in the Royal procession, Princeffi Victor of Hobenloh.e, who waß followed by her husband and eon, the hereditary prince, The Duchess of Teck, with her husband and Prince Francis, was folr lowed by her brother, the Duke of Camr bridge, in scarlet and gold and many medals, Princess Frederica of Hanover, with Baron von Pawel Rammingen, immediately preceded Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg, who were followed by Prin. opbs Louise and the Marquis of Lome, Prince and Princess Christian and their sona, and Princes Albert Victor and

George of Wales. The Princess of Wales, looking her brightest anil loveliest, walked between her brothers, the King of the Hellenes and the Crown Prince of Denmark, and was followed, the Vice-Chamberlain and Lord Steward intervening, by Her Majesty the Queen, who leaned on the right arm of the Grand Duke of Hesse. The whole of the congregation rose as the procession filed in, and those in' the immediate vicinity greeted the members of the Royal Family with low bows as they passed. The Queen, who walked very slowly and looked by no means robust, was conducted to the chair placed for her, behind which stood her Indian attendant. Her Majesty wore black as usual, but the sombreness was relieved by the white silk ruchings and nume ous glittering orders with which the sable habiliment was adorned. A miniature crown of diamonds and a large necklace of the same precious stones were her chief ornaments. Scarcely had the Queen taken her chair when the organist changed from Handel to Wagner, and Lord Fife, in the dark green uniform of the Banff Artillery, entered to the inspiring strains of the march from ' Tannhauser.' He was accompanied by the Lord Chamberlain and his " best man," Mr Horace Farquhar, who wore the uniform of a deputy-lieutenant. Having bashfully saluted the Queen, he took up hia position by the communion rails, and tried unsuccessfully to look unconcerned. A few minutes' pause followed, and then ' Lohengrin' resounded from the organ, and the bride, on her father's arm, entered, amidst the low bows of the brilliant company.

The bride wore a dress of white satin, with a train measuring some three yards in length, and untrimmed, save for a bordering of satin folds. The front was completely covered with the finest Brussels lace, and a chatelaine of orange blossoms fell over the folds at one side. In her hair she wore a wreath of orange blossoms under a veil of finest Brussels, the design of which matched that on her dress. In the front of her bodice she wore one spray of orange blossom and a sprig of heather which the Earl of Fife had taken to her that morning at Marlborough House. Her ornaments were pearls and diamonds. A high collar finished the bodice at the back, but waß open V-shape in front, showing a necklace consisting of one row of beautiful pearls under the folds of the bridal veil. Her sleeves were of lace, unlined, through which the beauty of her arms could be discerned. Her bouquet consisted of white moss roses and maidenhair fern. Her eight bridesmaids were in pink of the precise shade of a moss rose, a reposeful and quiet tint. The materials of their dresses were silk and crepe-de-chine. The bodices were V-shaped, both in front and at the back. Sashes of pink moire* ribbon were brought from under the right arm and tied at the back, where they fell to the very edge of the dresses. These were made with short trains. A small cluster of pink moss roses was fastened in each bridesmaid's hair, at the left side. They carried bouquets of pink moss roses, and wore pink stockings, and shoes with paste buckles. The bridesmaids were the Princesses Victoria and Maud of Wales, the Princesses Victoria and Louise of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, and the Countesses Viotoria, Feodore, and Helena Gleichen. The Queen sat during the ceremony, but when it was concluded, and the married conple had risen from their knees after the Archbishop had pronounced the nuptial benediction, Her Majesty rose from her chair and advanced one pace, the bride immediately coming towards her, followed by her husband. The Queen took her granddaughter by both hands, and drawing her down towards her kissed her warmly, first on the right cheek and then on the left. Her Majesty looked much moved as she did so. She shook hands heartily with the bridegroom, and while she did so, the Princesß of Wales kissed the bride, and said a few words in her ear. Then she too shook hands with the Earl and smiled upon him. At this moment there was a question of precedence, the bride and bridegroom, and more especially the latter, showing some disinclination to precede the Queen. The Prince of Wales, teeing the difficulty referred the matter to his mother, who, with a wave of her hand in the direction of the door, commanded the newly-married pair to go on in front. The bride, with some show of alacrity, as though glad the long ceremony was over, put her hand on her husband's arm and led the way, followed by the bridesmaids. The Queen, conducted by the Grand Duke of Hesse, the Princess by the King of the Hellenes, and the rest followed in due order. A wedding luncheon was served in the Palace, but there was nothing remarkable about it, except the State wedding cakes supplied by Gunter. The chief on* measured 6ft in diameter, and stood over 6ft high from its base. The others were somewhat smaller. After lunch the party were muchly photographed in the garden, and after a serious delay, caused by the enthusiasm of the "gay photographer," the return was made to Marlborough House. The route taken was up Constitution Hill and down Piccadilly road. As I have said, the roads were crowded, and the Duke and Ducbess warmly received. While tho bride was changing her frock, etc., the Princess held a reception in the gardens. At about four the newly-married pair left and were driven in the Duke's own carriage to Sheen House, where they will spend the first part of their honeymoon. They arrived at about half-past five, looking almost fagged out after their long day. The grey and leaden afternoon yielded to a mild sunshine, which lit up and glorified every leaf and flower, every flag, escutcheon, and device with which the inhabitants of Richmond had striven to give them a welcome. All up the hill to where the lane divides—one branch leading to Richmond Park, and the other to Sheen Common—was a sea of waving color. Festoonß of roses—which seemed to be the predominating flower swung gently between the overarching boughs ; myriads of Chineselanternsmovedlightly to andfro with every breath of air, and numberless flags of all colorE mixed everywhere with the canopy of green which Nature had spread overhead. Beyond the point where the lane divides, and on the way to the Earl's house, a noble triumphal arch spanned the road, with the motto " Virtue el Opera" on <he one side and " Ich dim " on the other, b( th flanked with the royal standard and the Fife coat of arms. The gate of East Sheen Lodge was profusely decorated with ivy, evergreens, trailing plants, pampas grass. and flowers; and over the centre areh wore the words "Welcome Home." The Duke of Teck, at the entrance to the Lodge, presented to Her Royal Highness a basket of beautiful flowers; and the thirteen-year-old grand-daughter of the veteran physiologist Sir Richard Owen was led forward to present a prayer-book (in vellum and silver) from the women of Mortlake to the Princes?. The carriage then drove on towards the Lodge, and was lost to view. About half an hour after the happy pair were installed the deluge, which had been threatening all day, came down. One does not often see such a storm over here ; it was quite tropical. I forgot to mention that at the luncheon Her Majesty the Queen proposed the health of the newlywed pair in suitable and even motherly terms. Lord, '"or rather the Duke of Fife was much affected. He grew quite pink with emotion. It is worth noting, by the way, that the bride bore no less than three titles on her wedding day. Early in the morning she was Louise of Wales, next Countess of Fife, and within an hour Duchess of Fife and Marchioness of Duff. After the ceremonials at Buckingham Palace, the Queen returned to Osborne brighter and better tempered than she had been for some weeks past. The attendants wish there was a wedding every day, I am informed.

A WEDDING HYMN. f. want to draw your attention to the special anthem which was sung at the wedding of the Princess Louise of Wales. The words are most beautiful and appropriate, and seem to me new. The ' Court Journal,' indeed, said the hymn was composed for the IJuke of Portland's nuptials, but I couldn't be sure whether this referred to thp words or to Mr Barnby's music ,only: i. Oh, perfect Lore, all human thought transcending, Lowly we kneel in prayer before Thy throne That theirs may be the love that knewe no ending. Whom Tbou for evermore doßt Join as one.

Oh, perfect Life, ho Thou their full aesuranM Of tender charity and steadfast faith ; Of patient hope and quiet brave enduranoe, With ohlld-like trust that fears no pain nor death

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow ; Grunt tliem tho peace that dims all worldly strife; And to life's day the glorious unknown morrow That dawns upon eternal love and life. Most of the minor pcets have burst into epithalamiums over the Fife wedding, but the versicles, as a rule, do not seem up to much. "Dagonet," I regret to say, is distinctly ribald. He talks, for instance, of Two souls with but a single thought; Two Fifes thai toot as one.

THE FIFE'S WEDDING PRESENTS.

L 300.000 WORTH OF GIFTS,

The " dear Fife's " wedding presents were on view to a few privileged pressmen and intimate friends of the Royal Family at Marlborough House on Friday morning and afternoon last. A lordlier array of jewellery, plate, bric-a-brac, and art curios has, I should imagine, never before been bestowed on a newly-married couple. Even the Princess of Waleß's own, which were numerous and magnificent enough, sink into comparative insignificance beside her lucky daughter's. The jewellery alone is said to be worth over L150.0Q0, and, indeed, some of the precious stones, such as the gigantic chrysoberyl set in diamonds presented by Lord and Lady Rothschild, are so rare as to be practically unique and priceless. A special article in the ' Herald' says:— "The grand dining room presented a sight such as Marlborough House never saw before, and such as has rarely been seen anywhere. It was a spacious curiosity-shop, a storehouse of bric-a-brac and gems, which at first quite dazzled the unprepared observer, and left him for quite a time so nonplussed that a concrete study of the valuable offerings had to wait for recovery from a general effect that was rather stunning. " The large gifts were massed at random about the room. They consisted of a Steinway grand piano from Lady Leicester, inlaid writing desks, all kinds of screens in metal embroidery, mirrors and gold ornamentation, large gold and silver trays, shieldß, bowls, cups, gold tea sets, gold vases, busts, etc., oil paintings, fancy furniture, rugs, bronzes, flower stands, and porcelain. They were passed over in a second, however, in favor of the long table running the length of the apartment covered with the smaller and more precious gifts so thickly that the white cloth was scarcely to be seen. " The left-hand side of the table for half its length blazed with diamonds and all the most precious stones. It was a confused mass of tiaras, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, brooches, and earrings representing the most valuable stones that the world's market could furnish. There were diamonds enough to start with to comfortably equip a Royal line. A jeweller who was present, after a careful estimate of the entire display, estimated the gifts in preoious stones alone at between L 190,000 and L 200.000. The first L 50.000 of this was made by the presents of Lord Fife, the Rothschilds, and the Prince and Princess of Wales; while tho large number of fancy Btones representing fancy values made the total estimate seem small rather than large. "Lord Fife's present to the bride consisted of a tiara and two necklaces. The tiara waß a mass of diamonds, a line of very large pear-shaped stones running around its entire front hanging and shimmering in pear-shaped openings. Above these on the top was a line of diamond points, also consisting of pear-shaped diamonds inverted. The pendants were surrounded by beautiful and fragile openwork fronted with diamonds, the whole being one of the most artistic and valuable pieces of the kind in all England. The necklaces were together in the same casket. The larger was a string of the purest diamonds, the smallest being the size of a pea, and the largest along the front as large as a sixpence. The inner necklace was of smaller blue stones, ' gem' diamonds, so rare and so perfect that the necklace very probably vied with the larger one in value. " The tiara from the Prince and Princeis of Wales was in narrow lance-shaped shafts of diamonds, striking from its simplicity and its brilliancy. It can be turned over, and then becomes a pendant necklace. It is two inches deep in the centre, and is graduated off to tho depth of half an inch on either side. The ornaments are pear-shaped alternately, with little spikes containing smaller brilliants, and the central one contains nine stones, while the end ones contain only three, and the whole is mounted on a row of big single stones. " The necklace from Mr and Mrs Lea and Lord Alfred Rothschild was in small flower patterns of diamonds and wonderful oabochon rubies, and in artistic beauty aurSiassed all the other seven. The other neckaces were one of plain diamonds from 112 young lady friends; one of rubies, diamonds, and sapphires in three straight rows; one of magnificent diamonds and sapphires; one of sapphires and pearls ; and a smaller one of diamonds. There was a case of seven large diamond stars from the Prince of Wales's suite, which might be used jointly as a tiara or separately to ornament the coiffure. Baron Ferdinand Rothschild sent a spray of loaves and large flowers in diamonds. Lady Paget sent a large spray of rose leaves and roses. The Duke and Duchesß of Manchester sent a large crescent, five inches long, of solid diamonds.

" The two most rare and most valuable single stones in the collection were the large carbochon raby from th« Duke and Duchess of Westminster and the Burmese cat's-eye from Lord and Lady Rothsohild. How many thousands of guineas each cost must have depended on the desire of the purchaser and the conscience of the seller, as either would be difficult, if not impossible, to match. The ruby was set simply as a pendant surrounded by pure diamonds ; and the big cat's-eye, which was a luminous ball of yellowish-green fire, shining out most prominently among all the gems, was set aB the cover to a watch in a watch-bracelet of solid diamonds. There were many bracelets of great value intrinsically and as specimens of the goldsmith's art. From the Count and Countess of Paris came a flat one of woven gold set with diamonds, sapphires, and rubles, with a large monogram of the Princess Louise in the centre. From the wives of Cabinet Ministers was a bracelet in two rows of large brilliants. The Marchioness of Lome sent a diamond bracelet with a horseshoe of diamonds. A massive gold bracelet faced with a row of massive diamonds came from Lord Fife's tradespeople, and looked as if it did. The Irish ladies sent a magnificent diamond bracelet of large closely-set stones, the setting not being visible. Tho ladies of Norfolk sent a diamond bracelet.

" Lord Fife's presents were of a more substantial character, and oocupicd tho other side of the table. From the Prince of Wales was a royal mantel ornament of solid silver on a black marble base, representing a stag with two hounds leaping at his throat—Landßeer's last group. The Princess of Wales gave a large miniature portrait of herself set in pearls. His Lordship's tradesmen sent a silver salver. The citizens of Banff, a tall massive silver cup. Henry Irving's gift was a massive and most artistic drinking cup in the shape of a kneeling Egyptian figure. There were a number of gold cigarette cases and cigar cases set with diamonds, bowls, cups, riding whips, coaching whips, rugs, travelling cases, etc, as elegant and expensive as such artioles can be. Lord Rosebery's gift was a handsome liqueur set in crystal and gold—two bottles, twelve glasses, and tray. Gold table ornaments, spoons, knives, salts, and the like were scattered all over the table on both sides. The finest cigar case probably that money could buy was from Lord Alfred Rothschild, in light grey leather, with two ' F's,' one in diamonds and the other in rubies crossing, and a long ruby claßp on the handle. With violet like modesty there nestled among the pretentious gifts a little silver breakfast castor marked 'The Gardener at Sheen,' and it had quite as prominent a place as anything else. Lord Fife's present to the Quedn was a diamond brooch composed of the letters 'L' and ' F,' with the Royal crown and the Earl's coronet above."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890921.2.32.13

Bibliographic details

FIFE AND LOUISE MADE ONE., Issue 8018, 21 September 1889, Supplement

Word Count
4,098

FIFE AND LOUISE MADE ONE. Issue 8018, 21 September 1889, Supplement

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