Princess Marie of Great Britain and Ireland was born the 29th of October
1875, at Eastwell Park in England, the eldest daughter and second child
of Prince Alfred of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince
of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and of the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia.
Thus, Princess Marie was a grand-daughter of both Queen Victoria of Great
Britain and Czar Alexander II.
The marriage of Princess Marie of Edinburgh and Prince Ferdinand Victor
Albert Meinrad of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Crown Prince Ferdinand of
Romania* took place on January 10, 1893 at Schloss Sigmaringen, the residence
of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, father of the bridegroom.
The wedding proceedings were three-fold, consisting, first of the civil
marriage in the Red Room of the castle of Sigmaringen; secondly, of the
Roman Catholic marriage in the town church of St. John; and thirdly of
the Anglican marriage held in an extemporized chapel adjoining the Ancestors
Room in the castle.
"Princess Marie was dressed in a charming robe of white corded silk,
embroidered with pearls. The skirt was trimmed with bouquets of myrtle
and orange blossoms, the body being bordered with white velvet and adorned
also with myrtle and orange blossoms. The bridal veil was of the most
beautiful tulle and a gift of her mother. Her only ornaments were the
diamond necklace presented by the King of Roumania and Prince Ferdinand,
and a diadem and cross of diamonds, the gift of the Duchess of Edinburgh."
[Supplement to The Graphic, January 21, 1893, 4 - 5]
Princess Marie is pictured wearing her wedding dress and jewellery in
the full-length photograph at the top right of the page.
On top, the picture on the left and the inset picture of the parure,
Crown Princess Marie is wearing her father's gift of turquoises and diamonds.
The many wedding gifts were displayed in a reception room at Schloss Sigmaringen.
The following items were listed in The Graphic, Supplement to The Graphic,
January 14, 1893
a diamond and turquoise parure of tiara, necklace and earrings (from the
Duke of Edinburgh) - see above -
an emerald and diamond brooch/pendant and earrings (from Queen Victoria)
a diamond diadem with a cross, a brooch and earrings, a large brooch of
sapphires and diamonds, two large brooches and bracelets set with diamonds
and pearls (from the Duchess of Edinburgh) - some
of this at the exhibiton in Coburg-
a bracelet of turquoises with two diamond hearts (from the Prince and
Princess of Wales)
a diamond and turquoise brooch (from the Duke of York and Princesses Victoria
a horseshoe brooch in diamonds and sapphires (from Princess Louise and
the Duke of Fife)
"a clasp of diamonds and pearls with an enamelled knot of brilliants
representing the Saxon House Order" (from the Duke and Duchess of
The following items were listed in The Times, Court Circular,
7 January 1893, page 9.
an emerald and diamond pendant and earrings (Queen Victoria)
a turquoise bracelet with double hearts in diamonds (Prince and Princess
a superb diamond and turquoise tiara, necklace and earrings (Duke of Edinburgh)
a diamond diadem, brooch and earrings, a diamond and sapphire brooch,
two pearl and diamond brooches, two pearl and diamond bracelets (Duchess
a turquoise and diamond brooch (Duke of York, Princesses Victoria and
Maud of Wales)
a diamond and sapphire horseshoe brooch (Duchess of Fife)
a clasp of diamonds and pearls with an enamelled knot in brilliants, representing
the Saxon House order (Duke and Duchess of Saxe Coburg Gotha)
a gold chatelaine with pearl and diamond clasp (Countess Alexandrine de
The following items were listed in The Times, Marriage of Prince
Ferdinand and Princess Marie, 11 January 1893, page 5.
a diamond rivière (King of Roumania and the Prince of Hohenzollern)
a diamond and sapphire bracelet (King of Roumania)
a large sapphire and diamond brooch (Prince Ferdinand)
a large sapphire and diamond bracelet (the Prince of Hohenzollern)
a large sapphire and diamond brooch (the Tsar and Tsarina)
a diamond bonnet pin (the Empress of Russias children)
a diamond and ruby shamrock brooch (Dowager Princess of Hohenzollern)
a gold chain bracelet with sapphires and diamonds (Duchess of Teck)
a gold safety pin brooch with the Maltese cross
a gold bracelet from the officers of the 6th Thuringian regiment
The following items were listed in The Illustrated London News:
To HRH Princess of Edinburgh on the occassion of her marriage:
- a superb pendent of jeypore enamel encrusted with rubies, sapphires
and diamonds and edged with a large drop of pearls, rubies, emerald, sapphire
and moonstone. It has been obtained from Messrs Philips of Cockspur Street.
From her Majesty the Queen.
- a necklace enjewelled with clusters of fine turquoise surrounded by
diamonds and an open-work tiara mounted with turquoise and diamonds and
earrings to match. The Duke of Edinburghs gift. This beautiful suite
was designed and executed by Carrington Regent Street London.
The Duchess of Edinburgh presented her daughter with
-a diamond coronet, brooch and earrings, a diamond and sapphire brooch,
-two pearl and diamond bracelets,
-two pearls and diamond brooches and
-a dressing-set with silver fittings, each engraved with the initial "M"
with a coronet.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh gave
-a lovely china set of unique design and a beautiful china dessert services.
Silver filigreed casket,
candlestick,flacons, bottles, goblet, given as a wedding gift to Crown
Prince Ferdinand and the future Queen Marie of Roumania Collection of
Silverdishes now in the possession of the Maryhill Museum of Art
In her notes Queen Marie wrote about her trousseau and the jewels:
Mama gave me a wonderful trousseau, a real princess' trousseau
in keeping with that time of prosperity and abundance. There were also
innumerable wedding presents, some magnificent, some beautiful, some humble
and touching; this was all very exciting and pleasurable. I was a real
daughter of Eve and loved clothes, furs and precious gems, but I was astonished
at the masses of dresses, cloaks, hats, handkerchiefs, stockings, shoes
and fine linen that I was supposed to need. All these manifold treasures
were put out in a large room and I, with my sisters and many friends,
used to walk about amongst them, awed by their magnitude. Getting married
was certainly a stirring event.
I took a quite childish pleasure in my new dresses and beautiful jewels.
Mama had been extraordinarily prodigal, giving many of her own magnificent
Russian gems. These have all now been annexed by the Bolsheviks. It
was difficult to realize that they were all mine. It was rather the same
feeling that we had had in those far-off days when playing with old Hutchins,
when I liked to imagine I was the Queen of Spain.
And then the morning came when I awoke to the sound of bellsfestive
bellsbells for my own wedding.
We had to submit to a threefold marriage, civil, Catholic and Protestant.
The ceremonies took place in the morning and ended with a huge wedding
breakfast. I remember it all as though it were a dreama very far-off
dream in which I played a dream part.
My wedding dress was of lusterless, heavy white silk, with puffed
sleeves, of course, and bell skirt spreading out into a train. I had a
dislike of lace veils, so in spite of all the old family lace I wore tulle,
kept in place by a diamond tiara inside which a small wreath of orange
blossoms lay curled as in a nest. I was a thin, flat little maiden with
very fair hair, frizzled Queen Alexandra-wise on the forehead; my features
were immature, my eyes blue; there was not much dignity about me. I looked
as absurdly young as I was, and I felt as if I were playing at being grown
up. I cannot say that I was very much enchanted with my own appearance.
I had more romantic ideas about how a bride ought to look, but mama absolutely
disagreed with these; so I was decked out according to her taste and wore
my rather overpowering finery as best I could.
*Prince Ferdinand became Prince of Romania and Royal Highness by royal
decree signed on the 18th of March 1889.
Special thanks to Laura for her generous help!
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