Royal wedding celebrations, 1863

The marriage of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and Princess Alexandra of Denmark was a time for national celebration to bolster support for the monarchy after the death of Prince Albert in 1861.

Buckingham Advertiser, 14 March

About six o’clock on Tuesday, the 10th inst., the grey morn was ushered in with a merry peal of bells from our ancient church tower, and the loud report of firearms, and the discharge of powder from some five or six anvils, which latter noisy demonstrators had been driven about the town on a truck, disturbing the peaceful inhabitants from their slumber long ere the night had fairly departed, and much to the discomposure of many, no doubt.  Two brass bands, (the Hartwell and Whitchurch), in addition to the Rifle Corps drum and fife band, were in attendance and paraded the town at intervals during the day, which, by their varied performances, kept up the happy excitement of the people, who, once bent upon a merry making, set to work in good earnest to thoroughly accomplish their object. 

The town presented a very animated and cheerful appearance, numerous flags, with a variety of devises and wreath-evergreens, hung from nearly every house.  A public dinner took place at the Bell Hotel, at which about seventy gentlemen sat down.  The chair was taken by D. T. Willis Esq., who immediately upon the cloth being removed, proposed the health of the Queen.  He next gave the toast of the day — the healths of the Prince and Princess of Wales, which was received with enthusiastic applause.  He likewise proposed the healths of the united families of the Royal Houses of England and Denmark which was duly honoured.  Other toasts followed in rapid succession, which were suitably responded to. 

A tea for the ladies was also provided in a large booth erected upon the Market Square, in which, in the evening, a ball took place, and dancing was kept up with vigour until between three and four o’clock the following morning.  Rustic sports, for the amusement of the lower classes, were likewise provided, such as donkey racing, hurdle racing, jumping in sacks, climbing the soapy pole, ducking for oranges, &c., &c., and as the day was fine these sports proved very attractive, and appeared (if one night judge from the frequent burst of laughter which greeted the ear, from the assembled multitude, especially the juvenile portion of it) to give unbounded satisfaction and delight. 

A large balloon was started at dusk, which sailed majestically away until entirely lost from view, and a pyrotechnic display of wheels, rockets, roman candles, &c., was made in the Market Square, under the superintendence of Mr. Simons.  There was a very pretty device in gas, consisting of a Brunswick star, with an initial on either side of the Royal pair, in front of the George Inn.  The Rifle Corps mustered in full parade dress, and fired a “feu de joie” in honour of the nuptials. 

During all these preparations, the poor in our workhouse were not forgotten, the Guardians having ordered them a plentiful repast of plum pudding and beef, tobacco, snuff and beer so that they might enjoy themselves without stint.  Much of this is due to the worthy chairman of the Board (P. Dauncey, Esq.), who is ever mindful that the pauper should, on all festive occasions, partake of its enjoyment.

See also:

Copyright 19 May, 2020