29 May 2009

A less than ideal royal wedding

'[Princess] Alice [the daughter of Queen Victoria, married Prince Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and] gave birth to seven children in fairly quick succession. Her first, born in 1863, married thirty-year-old Prince Louis of Battenburg, then serving in the British Navy and described by the Kaiser as the 'most handsome man in Europe'. [Battenburg was] later given the more English-sounding title of Milford Haven. Their children included Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Princess Alice of Greece, who was Prince Phillip's mother. But the marriage in 1884 very nearly did not take place, because the night before the wedding the 21-year-old Princess had eaten shellfish. An hour and a half before the wedding, which was due to start at 4.30pm, the execrable lobster had its revenge and she became violently ill. As if that were not enough, the unfortunate bride had to hobble up the aisle because she had hurt her ankle falling over a coal scuttle'

- Ann Morrow, Cousins Divided, 2006

[Princess Alice was the mother of Alexandra, the last Tsarina of Russia, who was brought up at Queen Victoria's court after the untimely death of her mother in 1878 when Alexandra was only six years old]

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