Tuesday, January 9, 2018

80 Years ago today - the wedding of Princess Friederike of Hanover & Crown Prince Paul of the Hellenes

All images  Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

January 9, 1938 - HRH Princess Friederike Luise Thyra Victoria Margarita Sophia Olga Cecilia Isabella Christa of Hanover, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland married Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince of Denmark, heir presumptive to the Greek throne.

Although the weather was "bitter" the crowds began gathering at 7 a.m., "when the whole nation appeared to be represented to witness" the wedding of the popular Diadoch (Paul) and Princess Friederike, the only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg.   According to The Times, the wedding "afforded an opportunity for a display of pageantry and pomp rarely witnessed in Athens."

The process from the palace to the Cathedral included 20 carriages and the cavalry.  The Diadoch and his sister, Princess Irene, were in one carriage.  Prince Paul, the Prince Regent of Yugoslavia, and his wife, Olga, sat in another carriage, and the Duke and Duchess of Kent were in a third carriage.   The mother of the bride, the Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who was born Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II,  was in the final carriage, which was followed by "an escort of the cavalry."  King George II's carriage was followed by the State coach, "drawn by six richly caparisoned white horses," which contained the bride and her father, the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

Princess Friederike's gown was of "white embroidered with silver; her veil was held in place by a diamond-studded diadem and flowers."

The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Athens.  The golden crowns were used at weddings of members of the Greek royal family.  The best men and the crown bearers were the groom's uncle, Prince George of Greece and Denmark, his nephew, Crown Prince Michael of Romania,  Grand Duke Dimitri of Russia and the bride's brothers. 

The wedding rings were "fashioned from gold coins from the reign of Alexander the Great."

Princess Friederike, 20, was attended by three bridesmaids, Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, the groom's youngest sister, and Princesses Cecilie and Herzeleide of Prussia, first cousins of the bride.

The newlyweds left the cathedral "amid enthusiastic cheering and loudly voiced wishes from the crowd for their long life and happiness."  They returned to the palace in the State coach, where the Lutheran wedding ceremony took place.

The bride carried a "spray of orange blossoms" from her maternal grandfather's Doorn orangery and a sprig of myrtle given to her by the Duchess of Kent, who was born Princess Marina of Greece, from Queen Victoria's myrtle bush at Osborne on the Isle of Wight.

Both the bride and groom are descendants of Queen Victoria.   Princess Frederike received the assent from Britain's King George VI in accordance with the Royal Marriage Act.

The 35-year-old Crown Prince Paul and Princess Friederike, who is 20 years old, became engaged late last year.


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