On this day 160 years ago in 1858, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s eldest daughter Princess Vicky married the Crown Prince of Prussia, Frederick. Their wedding took place in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Place in London, with the extended families on both sides in attendance. This marriage had been skillfully arranged by Albert who had a vision for the future of Europe. His ideas of a liberal and united continent were to be implemented through carefully arranged marriages of his own children to the various royal houses of Europe.
As the oldest, Vicky was the first to put this idea to the test. Prussia was the largest state of the German Empire and a powerful influence in Europe. For Albert and Victoria, their roots were German and so it was a natural ally to choose. The Crown Prince Frederick had similar liberal ideas to the Prince Consort, and an added bonus was Vicky and Frederick’s mutual attraction. Their marriage was a caring one, and lasted for 30 years, until Frederick’s untimely death at the age of 56.
A key part aspect of their wedding was that it made famous Felix Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’, which has become a traditional piece to be played at English weddings.