Die Vermählung von Alexandra, der Herzogin von Fife mit dem Prinzen Arthur von Connaught und ihre Brautgeschenke.
On 15 October 1913, the marriage of HH Princess Alexandra of Fife to her cousin HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught occurred. Princess Arthur of Connaught, 2nd Duchess of Fife, GCStJ was a granddaughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She was the daughter of the Princess Royal (Princess Louise) and the 1st Duke of Fife.
The bride's wedding dress was entrusted to the firm of Barolet, 51 Knightsbridge, who also supplied the gowns for Queen Alexandra, the Princess Royal and Princess Victoria. "The royal wedding gown was a very simple one of soft white satin charmeuse, the skirt draped and opening in front to show an underdress of pearl embroidery, adorned with a spray of leaves worked in diamanté.
The corsage is composed entirely of pearl embroidery, drawn in under a folded belt of white satin, finished with small diamanté ornaments. The decolletage is outlined with diamanté trimming and is filled in with soft folds of net, left slightly open at the throat. The long Court train is of white charmeuse, trimmed down the left side and round the hem with Bruesels appliqué lace specially made for the bride and held in place by a broad band of pearl and diamante embroidery terminating at the hem in a large true lovers knot. The bride will wear a long embroidered tulle veil, edged with Brussels appliqué, which will be arranged somewhat in mob-cap form on the head and encircled with a wreath of orange blossoms and white heather." The Duchess of Fife wore pearl ornaments, including a pearl necklace, and carried a bouquet of orange blossoms and white heather.
A magnificent diamond Greek pattern tiara, with "3 marquise brilliant clusters between honeysuckle sprays & wreath border." Another description of the tiara was that it "consisted a row of fan-shaped ornaments, all in finest brilliants. The fans were divided by large set exquisitely cut stones, with a large stone in the centre. A sort of scroll pattern enclosed the main-stones and fan-shaped ornament composed of hundreds of stones of varying size.." - King George V and Queen Mary
This tiara, given as a wedding gift by George V and Queen Mary to Princess Alexandra of Fife, matches perfectly the description of the expensive tiara, made by Garrards in 1913 for Queen Mary and King George V. The jeweller billed the King and Queen £887 10s each for the jewel. The King and Queen also gave their niece a pearl necklace.
a tiara of somewhat similar shape[to the King and Queen's] also set in diamonds and a Indian pattern fringe necklace of cabochon emeralds, rubies, amethysts, and pearls - Queen Alexandra
an aigrette set with diamonds and sapphires in the form of a bow>> was the bridegroom’s present to the bride - probably one of the jewels which was later sold by Lady Ramsay
a bow brooch set with two large aquamarines surrounded with diamonds -the Empress Marie of Russia
a turquoise and diamond brooch - King and Queen of Norway
a diamond and sapphire bracelet, a cross pattern collar of diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, and an antique diamond brooch - the Princess Royal. Another gift to her daughter included a regal gold service, including a large chased monteith bowl and stand and four night-light ormolu candelabra, making some hundred or more pieces in all.
a collar of diamonds in leaf pattern>> and a diamond and ruby bracelet, old diamond, ruby and sapphire collar and diamond brooch - The Duke and Duchess of Connaught
a star sapphire and pearl sautoir and a pair of sleeve links with round green stones surrounded by diamonds- Princess Victoria
a curiously-carved agate pendant on a pearl and gold chain - Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden and Princess Patricia
an enamel box bordered with pearls - Princess Henry of Prussia
a tortoiseshell hair comb set with diamonds and a very neat little amethyst and diamond pansy pendant, which was suspended from a platinum and pearl chain - Princess Maud of Fife
a tie-pin and stud (convertible) with a large pearl surrounded by rubies and diamonds - Princess Maud
Other Royal presents to the bride and groom included:
From the King and Queen of Spain a hand-painted fan with a carved ivory stick;
Queen of Spain a pair of moonstone and diamond links;
King Manoel and Queen Amélie, a gilt writing set in case;
Duchess D’Aosta, a silver-gilt basket in case;
Princess Henry of Battenberg, two frames in a case;
Princess Frederica of Hanover, an enamel top smelling bottle;
Grand Duke Michael and Countess Torby an enamel and pearl umbrella handle;
Princess Royal, an inlaid work box;
Princess Max of Baden a two-handled silver-gilt cup with cover;
the Aga Khan a cigar cabinet with silver fittings and gold and amber cigar and cigarette holders;
Duke and Duchess of Aosta - a pair of blue enamel and diamond sleeve links
Other gifts to the Bride and Groom
a diamond bird aigrette - Lord Rosebery
a jewelled Order of the Garter, which formerly belonged to the Duke of Cambridge - Lord and Lady Anglesey, Lord and Lady Pembroke, and Lord and Lady Ingestre
a diamond and green enamel watch pendant on enamel and platinum chain - Sir George and Lady Alexander
diamond and sapphire brooch - Mrs Brinton
jewelled bird ornament - Lady Catherine Coke
three diamond scarf pins, of sporting birds, in blue velvet case - Lord Farquhar
diamond collar - Lord and Lady Farquhar - probably later sold by Lady Ramsay
amethyst and diamond bow brooch and silver watch and aneroid letter weight - Mr. Walter Harris
enamel salmon brooch - Captain and Mrs. Claude Hay
emerald and diamond ring - Lord and Lady Linlithgow
diamond and sapphire brooch - Sir Hedworth and Lady Meux
seven-row gem ring - Sir Richard and Lady Musgrave
diamond collar and brooch, hand-made gold brocade dress-piece, five strips brocade trimming, gold brocade scarf, jewelled khookri - the Prime Minister of Nepal
star sapphire and diamond watch and hook - Lord and Lady Rothschild
diamond circular pendant with three amethyst flowers>> - Mr. and Mrs. Leopold de Rothschild
pearl brooch - Mr. Arthur Sassoon
diamond brooch - Lord and Lady Strathcona
enamel and jewelled bird - the Sub-Dean of the Chapels Royal and Mrs. Sheppard
bracelet composed of elephant’s-tail hair, mounted in gold - Captain E. J. F. Vaughan
Sources: Illustrated London News; The Times; Scotsman; Aberdeen Post; Roberts, The Queen's Jewels, page 164, footnote 3 Garrard RL3, fol. 195, 21 April 1914;
Special thanks to Laura!
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