L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The wedding of Princess Alice and Prince Louis of Hesse

The wedding of Princess Alice and Prince Louis, by George Housman Thomas, 1862-63.

On July 1, 1862, at Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, Princess Alice married Prince Louis, the future Grand Duke of Hesse.  They had been engaged for over a year, but in the interim, Princess Alice's father, Prince Albert, had died.  After six months the court was still in deepest mourning but, though Queen Victoria was still nearly mad with grief, she ordered that the wedding should go on as planned.  In consideration of the circumstances, the wedding was a quiet, private affair; the dining room at Osborne House was converted into a temporary chapel.

The day was dreary, with winds blowing in off the Channel.  Alice wore a dress and veil of Honiton lace trimmed in orange blossom but, both before and after the ceremony, she was compelled to wear her black mourning clothes.  The Queen, surrounded by her sons, struggled to keep back her tears; her second son, Alfred, sobbed throughout the service.  Even the self-absorbed Queen, writing later to her eldest daughter, had to admit that it all was "more of a funeral than a wedding".

Princess Alice in her wedding dress, by George Koberwein (1820-76), 1862;
the face is copied from a painting by Winterhalter.
Preparatory sketch of Prince Louis, by Thomas, 1862.

George Housman Thomas (December 17, 1824, London – July, 21 1868, Boulogne-sur-Mer), English engraver, illustrator, and painter.  He painted several works under the patronage of Queen Victoria.

George Koberwein (1820-76), Viennese painter.  He did several portraits for Queen Victoria and her family, some of them copies or adaptations from Winterhalter.


Preparatory sketch of the dining room at Osborne House, by Thomas, 1862.
The Duchess of Kent (mother of Queen Victoria), by Winterhalter, 1849, which hung in the dining room at
Osborne House, and which is pictured in Thomas' painting.
The celebrated family group of 1846, by Winterhalter, which also hung in Osborne House's dining room, and can be seen in the wedding picture.


  1. Ah. Another sad bride. Princess Alice. That sounds like a terrific title for a book!