The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh married at Westminster Abbey in 1947 and there were two last minute disasters that threatened to derail the entire celebration
Anyone’s wedding day is incredibly stressful. While sorting guest lists and tables is enough of a headache in itself, it gets a lot more complicated if several of the attendees are well-known celebrities or officials who have hectic schedules of their own.
Adding that to the fact that your wedding will be broadcast to millions of people all over the world, it is vital the day goes off without a hitch.
When Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947, the ceremony itself ran very smoothly but there were two disasters that happened hours before that could have derailed the entire day.
Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten 73 years ago in 1947 in a service at Westminster Abbey. The famous wedding was recorded by BBC Radio and was broadcast to 200 million people around the world.
The couple were given the titles of The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, The Earl and Countess of Merioneth and The Baron and Lady Greenwich.
While the day looked as if it had been entirely uncomplicated to onlookers, little did they know that just hours before the ceremony Princess Elizabeth experienced two nightmarish problems with what she was going to wear.
The Princess had decided to wear Queen Mary’s Russian Fringe tiara for her nuptials but as she was dressing at Buckingham Palace, the tiara snapped.
The Court Jeweler had to be rushed by a police escort to his workroom and made it back just in time.
The second disaster came when the Princess realized that she had left the pearl earrings that had been gifted to her by her father to wear on the day at St James’s Palace.
Her Private Secretary managed to get them to her just in time for her official photographs.
While many royal weddings come with an enormous price tag nowadays, The Queen and Prince Philip’s nuptials are remembered for being almost opposite.
As their wedding took place so soon after the end of World War Two, the country was still financially recovering and many were concerned that the Princess would be unable to afford her wedding dress.
Hundreds of people up and down the country sent their clothing ration coupons to the Palace to help the Princess but they had to be returned as it would have been illegal for her to use them.
Despite this, the government allowed the princess the use of 200 extra ration coupons to have her dress made by designer Norman Hartnell.
The princess also encountered another issue after the ceremony as she managed to lose her wedding bouquet before the large group photographs were taken, meaning that the bride’s hands were noticeably empty.
The solution? During their honeymoon, the couple put their wedding clothes back on and posed for their individual pictures again.
Royal wedding florist David Longman revealed the story and said: “If we go back to the Queen’s wedding in 1947, when you look at the state photographs of all the bridesmaids and the royal guests, and there is the Queen without a bouquet. It got lost.
“So in the middle of their honeymoon they had to get dressed up again in their wedding clothes and my father had to provide another bouquet for those photos.”
This mishap ended up paving the way for future royal weddings, as David revealed: “To ensure this mistake never happens again every royal bride now has two bouquets, just in case someone accidentally puts it down and forgets about it.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.