• top frame 
  • Etching of the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert being married in St. James's Palace.
  • Magnifying Glass

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's marriage in St. James's Palace, London, 1840
HIP/Art Resource, NY

The White Wedding

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria was married to her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha on February 10, 1840. Queen Victoria chose to wear white for her wedding, but, unlike previous monarchs, her dress was devoid of excessive silver or gold adornment.

As Queen of England, Victoria’s choice of bridal costume was a politically astute exercise in modesty and simplicity. The unembellished white of her costume was also celebrated as a symbol of her virginity and purity.

Already a popular queen, her wedding was closely watched and every detail of the ceremony was reported to the eager public through the popular press. However, contrary to Queen Victoria’s own gesture of restraint, the ensuing fashion for white weddings quickly became an expression of excess for more pedestrian brides.