Royal Wedding 1947

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It’s 70 years since The Queen and Prince Philip tied the knot in Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947.

Here’s a nice little clip from British Pathe of some unused footage from the big day. You’ll have to try and work out what they’re saying to each other for yourselves!

What a year 1947 was!

As well as the on-going post-war trauma there was the worst winter weather of the twentieth century; there was rationing of petrol, potatoes, bread and just about everything else; there were power cuts and make-do-and-mend; there was the nationalisation of the coal mining industry; the “Cold War” started and there was the inauguration of the CIA; the violent birth of independent India and Pakistan took place along with the partition of Palestine; the deaths of Al Capone and Henry Ford were  announced; the Marshall Plan was created by the USA to try and improve the situation in post-war Europe; the “New Look” would be created by Christian Dior in Paris while “Utility” furniture would be the best that most people could hope to buy; and there was a  Royal Engagement quickly followed by a Royal Wedding.

This eight minute film “The Princess Weds” has a commentary typical of the era which ends with the words:

The Nation and the Commonwealth will pray that the young couple may enjoy a long, happy and fruitful life.

Which they certainly appear to have done.

And what do you buy for a Platinum Anniversary for the couple who have everything?

How about a Royal 50p coin released to mark the Royal Wedding Anniversary; normally £6.25 but now just £3.99p.

Or, maybe a 70th Wedding Anniversary Engraved Presentation Cut Glass Gift only £24.95.

How about a platinum dipped natural rose, £129?

Or a very nice pavé diamond eternity ring showcases a full circle of round brilliant-cut diamond set in enduring platinum from £2628.

Oh no! The Queen’s got one of those already. Her platinum and diamond engagement ring was made by the jewellers, Philip Antrobus, using diamonds from a tiara belonging to Philip’s mother.

The Royal couple received over 2,500 wedding presents from well-wishers around the world.

Most were put on display for a few days in a charity exhibition at St James’s Palace. From India, there was a piece of crocheted, cotton lace made from yarn personally spun by Mahatma Gandhi. The central motif reads “Jai Hind” (Victory for India).

The couple received a pair of Meissen chocolate pots from Pope Pius XII
The couple received a pair of Meissen chocolate pots from Pope Pius XII
Other gifts from abroad included a gold and jade necklace given by King Farouk of Egypt, a writing desk from the Government of New Zealand and pieces from a Chinese porcelain dinner service printed with characters denoting “double joy” given by President Chiang Kai Shek of the Chinese Republic.

As well as jewellery from their close relatives, including the King and Queen, the couple received many useful items for the kitchen and home, including salt cellars from the Queen, a bookcase from Queen Mary, and a picnic case from Princess Margaret.

Other gifts, kindly made and given by members of the public, included a hand-knitted cardigan, two pairs of bed socks, and a hand-knitted tea cosy.

Over 200,000 people visited the special exhibition of wedding presents at St James’s Palace.

Read more facts about the Royal Wedding of 1947 here.

And how will the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their 70th-wedding anniversary?

The Tatler predicts six things they could do!

Thanks for reading my blog today.


  1. During the eldest son’s stint in the air cadets, he met the Duke on two occasions at the local airfield. Both times he was impressed by the old chap’s courtesy in taking time to talk to youngsters, just after he’d disembarked from a plane.

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