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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

The wedding of Prince Arthur and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia

On 13th March 1879, Prince Arthur, seventh child of Queen Victoria, married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.

The wedding of Prince Arthur and Princess Louise Margaret, by Sydney Prior Hall, dated 1881 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

While on a visit to Germany to see his eldest sister, Princess Victoria, in 1878, 28-year-old Prince Arthur was introduced to Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia; fourth daughter of Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and his wife Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau. Soon after the meeting, Arthur wrote to his mother saying how he found the Princess “rather pretty”, but Queen Victoria didn’t agree.

After Arthur returned in England, he and Victoria sat down to properly discuss the matter. In her journal, Victoria wrote that Arthur stopped for tea and “afterward remained talking with me a little while, and told me that he had taken a great liking to young Louise of Prussia. I could not help saying that I dislike the Prussians and told him he should see others first”.

Engraving showing the couple after the wedding ceremony

However, although Arthur wasn’t quite ready for the prospect of marriage, he convinced his mother that he didn’t want anyone else. “What could I then say, but that, of course, his happiness was the first thing? He assured me he liked her better than anyone he had seen, but that he would not do anything without my consent, and looked so sad and earnest, yet so dear and gentle, that, having heard nothing but good of the girl, I could not object.”

Despite being difficult at first, Victoria’s feelings soon changed when when she met the princess: “I should not have grieved him by hesitating for a moment in giving my consent. She is a dear, sweet girl of the most amiable and charming character … I am sure dear Arthur could not have chosen more wisely.” Soon after, their engagement was announced and wedding plans were being put in place and held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, on 13th March 1879

Princess Louise Margaret and Prince Arthur by Reichard & Lindner, dated 20th March 1883 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

As with most royal weddings, the guest list was extensive, filling the Chapel with royalty, aristocrats, government ministers, and foreign diplomats, as well as members of the queens household. Louise Margaret was attended by eight bridesmaids: Lady Georgiana Spencer-Churchill, Lady Blanche Conyngham, Lady Louisa Bruce, Lady Mabel Bridgeman, Lady Ela Russell, Lady Adelaide Taylour, Lady Cecilia Hay and Lady Victoria Edgumbe.

After the ceremony, the royal party returned to Windsor Castle, where the marriage registry was signed by the couple and attested by the Queen. Guests were served a buffet luncheon in St. George’s Hall, while a choir and orchestra played in the background. Afterwards, the happy couple left Windsor for Claremont House in Surrey, where they spent part of their honeymoon, before departing for a cruise in the Mediterranean.

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught leaving Windsor Castle for their honeymoon, dated 1879

After they returned to England, the couple settled at their home at Bagshot Park, Surrey. Princess Louise Margaret gave birth to the couples first child, Princess Margaret, on 15th January 1882 and went on to have a total of three children in the space of four years.

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught on board a yacht in Canada, dated 1912 © Royal Collection Trust / HM King Charles III 2024

Both Arthur and Margaret Louise were devoted to one another, spending much of their time travelling the world with their family so that Arthur could continue his military career. Sadly their marriage was cut short when Princess Louise Margaret died aged 56, on 14th March 1917, at Clarence House.

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