It has been a very special and unforgettable year for Queen Elizabeth: the sovereign marked her Diamond Jubilee, hosted the 2012 Olympic Games and on the 20 of November she celebrates 65 years of marriage. Here we take a look back at her nuptials to Prince Phillip - then known as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten – which took place in 1947 and was broadcast to 200 million radio listeners around the world.
In order to make her wedding dress, the young Princess famously saved up ration cards to purchase the material needed. The beautiful gown, designed by Normal Hartnell, was made of ivory duchess satin and decorated with around 10,000 white pearls imported from America, silver thread and tulle embroidery.
Her bridal ensemble also included a 15-foot patterned full court train attached at the shoulders, and a silk tulle veil held in place by a tiara lent to the princess by her mother. Normal Hartnell’s inspiration for the gown was Botticelli’s Primavera, which symbolizes the coming of Spring.
On her feet, the Queen wore ivory duchess satin high heels, embellished with silver and pearls.
Elizabeth’s bridal bouquet was made up of white orchids and a sprig of myrtle – from the bush grown from the myrtle in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet. The following day it was laid on the grave of the unknown soldier in Westminster Abbey.
The Wedding Cake
After the wedding ceremony, a celebratory lunch was held at Buckingham Palace where guests were presented with posies of white heather and myrtle as favours. The wedding cake was a grand affair, standing at nine-foot high, weighing 500 pounds and featuring four tiers. Made from ingredients received from the Australian Girl Guides, the cake was cut using Philip’s sword. One layer was kept until the christening of Prince Charles and another was sent back to Australia by way of thanks.
The Fringe Tiara
This tiara, which can also be worn as a necklace was made for Queen Mary in 1919. It’s not, as has sometimes been claimed, made with diamonds that had belonged to George III but re-uses diamonds taken from a necklace/tiara purchased by Queen Victoria from Collingwood & Co as a wedding present for Queen Mary in 1893. In August 1936 Queen Mary gave the tiara to Queen Elizabeth, from whom it was borrowed by Princess Elizabeth for her wedding in 1947.
The Duchess of Teck’s earrings
These earrings, which originally belonged to Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, were bequeathed to her niece Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck and by her to her daughter, the future Queen Mary, in 1897. They were given by the Queen to her granddaughter Princess Elizabeth on 31 January 1947, and she wore them at her wedding later that year.
The shorter of her two pearl necklaces was the ‘Queen Anne’ necklace, said to have belonged to Anne, the last Stuart Queen. The longer ‘Queen Caroline’ necklace was said to have belonged to the wife of King George II. Both were left to the Crown by Queen Victoria and were given to Elizabeth as a wedding present by her father, King George VI.