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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, 10th February 1840

On this day in 1840, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married in The Chaple Royal of St James's Palace In London. The Queen wrote in her journal a detailed account of the ceremony, procession and her garments -

"The last time I slept alone. Got up at a ¼ to 9,- well, and having slept well; and breakfasted at ½ p.9. Mama came before and brought me a Nosegay of orange flowers. My dearest kindest Lehzen gave me a dear little ring. Wrote my journal, and to Lord M. Had my hair dressed and the wreath of orange flowers put on. Saw my precious Albert for the last time alone, as my Bridegroom. Dressed. My wreath and veil were thus worn: [mss drawing] Saw Uncle, and Ernestwho dearest Albert brought up. At ½ p.12 I set off; dearest Albert having gone before. I wore a white satin gown, with a very deep flounce of Honiton lace, imitation of old. I wore my Turkish diamond necklace and earrings, and my Angel's beautiful saphire broach. Mama and the Duchess of Sutherland went in the carriage with me; I subjoin an account of the whole, which is pretty correct, only that they put in that I cried, and I did not shed one tear the whole time, and some other foolish things about Albert which they have said.

To return to my going to St.James's, I never saw such crowds of people as there were in the Park, and they cheered most enthusiastically. When I arrived at St.James's I went into the dressing-room where my 12 young Train-bearers were, dressed all in white with white roses, which had a beautiful effect. Here I waited a little till dearest Albert's Procession had moved into the Chapel. I then went with my Train-bearers and ladies into the Throne room, where the Procession formed; Lord Melbourne in his fine new dress coat, bearing the Sword of State, and Lord Uxbridge and Lord Belfast on either side of him walked immediately before me. Queen Anne's room was full of people, ranged on seats one higher than the other, as also in the Guard room, and by the Staircase,- all very friendly; the Procession looked beautiful going downstairs. Part of the Colour Court was also covered in, and full of people, who were very civil. The Flourish of Trumpets ceased I entered the Chapel, and the organ began to play, which had a beautiful effect. At the Altar, to my right, stood my precious Angel; Mama was on my left as also the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge and Aunt Augusta; and on Albert's right was the Queen Dowager, then Uncle Ernest, Ernest, the Duchess of Cambridge and little Mary, George, Augusta, and Princess Sophia Matilda. Lord Melbourne stood close to me with the Sword of State. The Ceremony was very imposing, and fine and simple, and I think ought to make an everlasting impression on every one who promises at the Altar to keep what he or she promises. Dearest Albert repeated everything very distinctly. I felt so happy when the ring was put on, and by (my precious) Albert. As soon as the Service was over, the Procession returned as it came, with the exception that my beloved Albert led me out. The applause was very great, in the Colour Court, as we came through; Lord Melbourne, good man, was very much affected during the Ceremony and at the applause. We all returned to the Throne room, where the Signing of the Register took place: it was first signed by the Archbishop, then by Albert and me, and all the Royal Family; and by:- the Lord Chancellor, the Lord President, the Lord Privy Seal, the Duke of Norfolk (as Earl Marshall), the Archbishop of York, and Lord Melbourne. We then went into the Closet, and the Royal Family waited with me there till the ladies had got into their carriages.

© Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

I gave all the Trainbearers a small eagle as a broach of turquoise. I then returned to Buckingham Palace alone with (my precious) Albert; they cheered us really most warmly and heartily; the crowd was immense; and the Hall at Buckingham Palace was full of people, they cheered us again and again. The great Drawing-room and Throne room were full of people, of rank even, and numbers of children were there. Lord Melbourne and Lord Clarendon who had arrived stood at the door of the Throne room when we came in. I went and sat on they sofa in my dressing-room with my precious Albert; and we talked together there from 10 m. to 2 till 20 m. p.2. Then we went downstairs where all the Company was assembled and went into the dining-room,- dearest Albert leading me in,- and my Train being borne by 3 Pages, Cowell, little Wemyss, and dear little Byng. I sat between dearest Albert and the Duke of Sussex. My health and dearest Albert's were drunk. The Duke was very kind and civil. Albert and I drunk a glass of wine with Lord Melbourne,- who seemed much affected by the whole. I talked to all after the breakfast,- and to Lord Melbourne whose fine coat I praised. Little Mary behaved so well, both at the Marriage and the breakfast. I went upstairs, undressed and put on a white silk gown trimmed with swansdown, and a bonnet with orange flowers. Albert went downstairs and undressed.

At 20 m. to 4 Lord Melbourne came to me and stayed with me till 10 m. to 4. I shook hands with him and he kissed (and pressed) my hand. Talked of how well everything went off. “Nothing could have gone off better,” he said, and of the people being in such good humour and having also received him well; of my receiving the Addresses from the House of Lords and Commons; of his coming down to Windsor in time for dinner. I begged him not to go to the party; he was a little tired; I would let him know when we arrived; I pressed his hand once more, and he said: “God bless you, Ma'm” most kindly, and with such a kind look. Dearest Albert came up and fetched me downstairs, where we took leave of Mama and drove off at near 4; I and Albert alone, which was so delightful. There was an immense crowd of people outside the Palace, and which I must say never ceased till we reached Windsor Castle. Our reception was most enthusiastic and hearty and gratifying in every way; the people quite deafening us; and horsemen and gigs &c. driving along with us. We came through Eton where all the Boys received us most kindly,- and cheered and shouted. Really I was quite touched. Lady Sandwich, the Lord, Equerry and Groom, Daisy, the Maids of Honour, and Mr.Seymour, followed us. We only arrived at 7. As soon as we arrived we went to our rooms; my large dressing room is our sitting room; the 3 little blue rooms are his; then the next ittle one his dressing room; then our Bedroom, then my Dressing room; and then Lehzen's rooms. After looking about our rooms for a little while, I went and changed my gown, and then came back to his small sitting room where dearest Albert was sitting and playing; he had put on his Windsor coat; he took me on his knee, and kissed me and was so dear and kind. We had our dinner in our sitting room; but I had such a sick headache that I could eat nothing, and was obliged to lie down in the middle blue room for the remainder of the evening, on the sofa; but, ill or not, I never, never spent such an evening!! My dearest dearest dear Albert sat on a footstool by my side, and his excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness, I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, and we kissed each other again and again! His beauty, his sweetness and gentleness,- really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! - At ½ p.10 I went and undressed and was very sick, and at 20 m. p.10 we both went to bed; (of course in one bed), to lie by his side, and in his arms, and on his dear bosom, and be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before - was bliss beyond belief! Oh! this was the happiest day of my life! - May God help me to do my duty as I ought and be worthy of such blessings!"

©Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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