On 19 May, St George’s Chapel, Windsor, will see another royal wedding in the long line of marriage ceremonies conducted there featuring royal brides or bridegrooms.
There was some surprise expressed initially at the choice, but in fact St George’s – along with other private royal chapels and even palace drawing rooms, locations more usually associated with American than British marriages – have been more usual venues for royal marriages than Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral.
For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, royal marriages – even of monarchs and their immediate heirs – were not considered to be state occasions. Queen Victoria married her beloved Albert in the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, where George III married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
When the later George V married Princess Mary of Teck in 1893, public interest in the occasion was acknowledged for the first time in modern history.
The crowds and the newspapers were permitted to have a glimpse of the royal couple on their short trips from Buckingham Palace to the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace and back.