Looking back at the royal weddings of the past

Princess Elizabeth, 'Heiress-Presumptive to the Crown' ''married the Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947.
Princess Elizabeth, 'Heiress-Presumptive to the Crown' ''married the Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947.

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With little but the royal wedding on anybody’s mind this week, Remember When is looking back at how The News and covered them in the past.

It was on April 26, 1923, that Prince Albert, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen’s parents, married in Westminster Abbey.

The wedding, on April 26, 1923, of the Queen's parents Prince Albert, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

The wedding, on April 26, 1923, of the Queen's parents Prince Albert, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

He would later and unexpectedly become George VI following the abdication of his elder brother Edward VIII.

The Evening News published an Extra Special edition that Thursday afternoon devoting column after column to the ceremony – on page seven. There were no pictures apart from a line drawing on the front page of the happy couple, sponsored by United Breweries.

In those days nothing but advertisements appeared on the front page, but at least they carried a flavour of the day.

The Picture House in Commercial Road along with the Majestic at Kingston Cross and the Palladium, Lake Road, all boasted that evening they would be showing the official film of the royal wedding rushed from London.

The Majestic, which was also showing the adventure film Dick Turpin’s Ride to York, said proudly in its ad: ‘Note – there is ONLY ONE OFFICIAL film. No other film can possibly give the same DETAILS or such a full picturisation of this great event.’

And with perfect timing and perhaps a crystal ball, bearing in mind what would happen 13 years later, the Kings Theatre was showing A Royal Divorce.

Inside, the report of the ceremony from the abbey was headlined: ‘The wedding. Wonderful scenes in London.

‘All night vigil. Brilliant but homely ceremonial. Rich and poor at the abbey.’

It was also a Thursday when George VI and the Queen Mother’s daughter married on November 20, 1947.

The wedding of the present Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh also took place in Westminster Abbey and it lifted the nation’s spirits after the Second World War.

In the Late Extra edition that day the Evening News reporter, perched high in the gallery above the West Door, started his report of purple prose like this: ‘Midst the cheering populace of London, Princess Elizabeth, Heiress-Presumptive to the Crown of England, rode to Westminster Abbey today, to be wedded to her consort, the Duke of Edinburgh.’

Elsewhere on that front page we reported that ‘men in The Mall sold empty fruit boxes for people to stand on at 5s (25p) a time’.