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The wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon took place on April 26, 1923 at Westminster Abbey.

Prince Albert, Duke of York—”Bertie” to the family—was the second son of King George V and Princess Mary of Teck. He was second in line to succeed his father, behind his elder brother the Prince of Wales (future Edward VIII).

The Duke and Duchess of York

Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the youngest daughter and the ninth of ten children of Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis (later the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the Peerage of Scotland), and his wife, Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck. Her mother was descended from British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, and Governor-General of India Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, who was the elder brother of another Prime Minister, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

HRH Prince Albert, The Duke of York

Prince Albert initially proposed to Elizabeth in 1921, but she turned him down, being “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to”. When he declared he would marry no one else, his mother, Queen Mary, visited Glamis to see for herself the girl her son wanted to marry. She became convinced that Elizabeth was “the one girl who could make Bertie happy”, but nevertheless refused to interfere. At the same time, Elizabeth was being courted by, James Stuart, 1st Viscount Stuart of Findhorn, Albert’s equerry, until he left the prince’s service for a better-paid job in the American oil business.

In February 1922, Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Albert’s sister, Princess Mary, to Viscount Lascelles. The following month, Albert proposed again, but she refused him once more. Eventually, in January 1923, Elizabeth agreed to marry Albert, despite her misgivings about royal life.

Combined coat of arms of Albert and Elizabeth, the Duke and Duchess of York.

Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon were married on April 26, 1923 in Westminster Abbey. The couple’s wedding rings were crafted from 22 carat Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine in Bontddu. In the following years, the use of Clogau Gold within the wedding rings of the royal family became a tradition. In an unexpected and unprecedented gesture, Elizabeth laid her bouquet at the Tomb of The Unknown Warrior on her way into the Abbey, in memory of her brother Fergus. Ever since, the bouquets of subsequent royal brides have traditionally been laid at the tomb, though after the wedding ceremony rather than before.

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

Lady Elizabeth was attended by eight bridesmaids:

* The Lady Mary Cambridge, daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge, niece of Queen Mary and thus a cousin of the groom
* The Lady May Cambridge, daughter of Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone, niece of Queen Mary and thus first cousin of the groom
* The Lady Mary Thynn, daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Bath
* The Lady Katharine Hamilton, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn
* The Hon Diamond Hardinge, daughter of Lord and Lady Hoarding
* The Hon Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, daughter of Lord and Lady Glamis, niece of the bride
* The Hon Mary Elizabeth Elphinstone, daughter of Lord and Lady Elphinstone, niece of the bride
* Miss Betty Cator (later sister-in-law to the bride, as Hon Mrs Michael Bowes-Lyon)

Upon their marriage, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was styled Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York. Following a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace prepared by chef Gabriel Tschumi, they honeymooned at Polesden Lacey, a manor house in Surrey, and then went to Scotland, where she caught “unromantic” whooping cough.

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of York.

After the wedding Buckingham Palaced released this statement on the styling and status of the new Duchess of York. This should also put to rest whether or not women marrying into the British Royal Family are a princess…they are!

In accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York with the status of a Princess.