He accepted, and the couple was married in the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace on February 10, 1840 at 1 p.m.
Traditionally, royal weddings took place at night, but this wedding was held during the day so the Queen’s subjects could see the couple as they travelled down The Mall from Buckingham Palace.
Albert wore the uniform of a British field marshal, over which hung the collar of the Order of the Garter, an honour which had recently been bestowed on him by Victoria.
Her wedding dress (which is now in the London Museum) was of rich white satin, trimmed with orange flower blossoms. On her head she wore a wreath of the same flowers, over which was a veil of Honiton lace.
She wore her Turkish diamond necklace and earrings and Albert’s wedding present of a sapphire brooch.
The twelve bridesmaids, all daughters of peers of the realm, were simply dressed in tulle and white roses. Each bridesmaid received a gold brooch in the shape of an eagle covered in turquoise, rubies, and pearls with a diamond beak, designed by Victoria herself.
The simple ceremony took place at the altar and was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, and the Bishop of London. There had been no rehearsal and the chapel was really too small for the large wedding party. The bridesmaids stepped on each other’s dresses and kicked each other’s heels. At times it appeared Albert was not quite sure what he should be doing, and he seemed rather awkward and embarrassed.
Following the ceremony, the couple returned to Buckingham Palace for a wedding breakfast. Hundreds of wedding cakes were distributed, mainly to members of the royal family. The main wedding cake was more than nine feet in diameter, but only sixteen inches high. This remarkable piece of Victoriana (albeit a perishable one) consisted of Britannia gazing at the royal couple while they pledged their vows at the top of the cake. At their feet were two turtledoves and a dog. The letters “V & A” were visible as well as Cupid writing the date of the wedding on his tablet.
After the breakfast the couple changed into their travelling outfits. Prince Albert wore a dark suit, while Victoria was dressed in a white satin cloak trimmed with swans down and a textured white velvet bonnet with plumes of feathers and a deep fall of Brussels point lace.
They set off for Windsor Castle, where they spent their two day honeymoon.
- Victoria & Albert: A Family Life at Osborne House by The Duchess of York
- Prince Albert: A Biography by Robert Rhodes James
- Queen Victoria by Cecil Woodham-Smith