A ROYAL WEDDING
Henry, Duke of Gloucester, married Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, 6 November 1935.
A ROYAL ENGAGEMENT
The prince had scandalised his family by becoming involved with a married woman, Beryl Markham, in 1929, and the king had sent his son on a series of state visits designed to keep him out of trouble. After increasing pressure from his parents, Henry decided it was time to settle down and he chose Alice, the sister of one of his best friends.
At thirty-four years, Alice had more life experience than the usual royal bride as she was well-travelled and had lived abroad. When her parents refused to continue funding her travels, she returned to England and worked in a gallery.
The wedding was initially planned to take place at Westminster Abbey on 6 November 1935, however Alice’s father died from cancer a month before and with the king also in failing health, it was scaled down to a private ceremony in the chapel at Buckingham Palace.
Lady Alice left her family’s home in Grosvenor Place in the Glass Coach with her brother, the 8th Duke of Buccleuch. They made the short journey to Buckingham Palace by way of Constitution Hill through Wellington Arch. Despite the inclement weather, millions lined the streets to greet the bride who was wrapped in a cosy ermine blanket.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds waved from the balcony before attending a morning breakfast.
As she was older, Alice wanted a dress more suitable for a mature bride so she commissioned Norman Hartnell to design her a simple dress without elaborate details and not in white.
Hartnell made a satin gown in blush pink (Hartnell described the colour as shimmer of pearl) with long sleeves and a high draped neckline with an orange blossom nosegay. The dress also had a cathedral train which was originally designed with the Abbey in mind.
Alice had also requested a tulle veil which was held in place with a crystal headdress specially made for the day instead of a regular tiara.
Alice’s adult bridesmaids dresses were also made by Norman Hartnell and were made with the same simplicity as the bride’s dress. The sleeves were wide and the necklines featured artificial flowers. Although, the younger bridesmaids had short dresses of pale pink satin, trimmed with graduated tiers of ruffled tulle.
After the wedding breakfast, the couple travelled by train to Boughton House, near Kettering.
The estate belonged to Alice’s family and the house was built in the French style in the 17th century. It currently belongs to Richard Scott, 10th Duke of Buccleuch, and is often used for weddings and other events.