Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Question: Royal wedding tradition?

"I am researching the preferred day of the week for Royal Weddings. I understand that Thursdays were the preferred day."

Royal weddings have been held on every day of the week, except for Sundays. It's entirely possible that ..a wedding has been held on a Sunday but by the following examples it doesn't look like it. These marriages include Queen Victoria and her children. Her grandson King George V and his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The Queen & Prince Philip and their children, as well as their grandson Peter Phillips.


Queen Victoria & Prince Albert - February 10, 1840

Princess Victoria, Princess Royal & Prince Frederick William of Prussia - January 25, 1858


King Edward VII & Queen Alexandra - March 10, 1863

Princess Louise & Marquess of Lorne - March 21, 1871

Princess Mary, Princess Royal & Viscount Lascelles - February 28, 1922

Princess Alice & Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine - July 1, 1862


Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer - July 29, 1981

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson - July 23, 1986

Princess Anne and Mark Philips - November 14, 1973

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester & Lady Alice Montagu- Douglas-Scott - November 6, 1935

Princess Alexandra of Kent & Angus Ogilvy - April 24, 1963


Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip - November 20, 1947

King George V & Queen Mary - July 6, 1893

Duke of Windsor & Wallis Simpson - June 3, 1937

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother & King George VI - April 26, 1923

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester & Birgitte van Deurs - June 8, 1972

Prince George, Duke of Kent & Princess Marina of Greece - November 29, 1934

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent & Katharine Worsley - June 8, 1961

Princess Helena & Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein- July 5, 1866

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught & Princess Margurite of Prussia - March 13, 1879

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany & Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont - April 27, 1882

Princess Beatrice & Prince Henry of Battenburg - July 23, 1885

Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones & Daniel Chatto July 14, 1994

Lord Nicholas Windsor & Paola Doimi de Lupis Frankopan October 19, 2006 (Civil Ceremony)


Princess Margaret & Lord Snowdon - May 6, 1960

David Linley & Serena Stanhope - October 8, 1993

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh - Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia - January 23, 1874

Prince Michael of Kent & Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, - June 30, 1978


Princess Anne & Timothy Laurence (her second marriage) - Saturday December 12, 1992

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys Jones - June 19, 1999

Lady Helen Windsor & Timothy Taylor July 18, 1992

George, Earl of St Andrews & Sylvana Tomaselli January 9, 1988

Lord Nicholas Windsor & Paola Doimi de Lupis Frankopan November 4, 2006 (Religious Ceremony)

Alexander, Earl of Ulster & Claire Booth June 22, 2002

Lady Davina Windsor & Gary Lewis July 31, 2004

Lady Rose Windsor & George Gilman July 19, 2008

Peter Phillips & Autumn Kelly May 17, 2008

Prince Charles & Camilla Parker Bowles (his second marriage) - Saturday April 9, 2005. The original date was Friday April 8th. But this was postponed due to the funeral of Pope John Paul II

More recent weddings of minor members of the royal family have been held on Saturdays, however Thursday does indeed seem to be the preferred day of the week, although I cannot find any tradition to explain why this is so. Nor whether Thursday is considered a special day in the United Kingdom. I'm venturing a guess that it's coincidence, otherwise why would the wedding of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert have been held on a Monday? Or Charles and Diana's on a Wednesday?

If anyone knows why this day of the week is preferred, please feel free to have your say.

© Marilyn Braun 2007

Related article: Royal Weddings

Updated: Revised to include recent weddings in the royal family


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised by the middle-of-the-week trend -- but that's only because most weddings I've been to are weekend events (because the guests of these weddings are working-class people who can't afford to take time off). If you're a royal (or very affluent generally) I'm sure the day of the week isn't much of a concern. Still, that doesn't explain the preference for Thursdays, which is pretty interesting...

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes I don't think I've ever attended a wedding that was during the week, they've always been on the weekend. I actually wasn't even aware of the pattern of holding royal weddings on Thursdays until I was asked this particular question. I still wonder why Thursday is so popular -maybe I'll never know!

Heidi said...

Sophie and Edward were actually married on a Saturday, at 5pm. Not a Friday as you state here.

Marilyn Braun said...

Thanks for letting me know this Heidi! I have changed it.