Scarcely got any sleep. Towards morning heard all the preparations for today’s ceremony going on. It tired me terribly. Alice got up & came & kissed me & I gave her my blessing & a Prayer Book, like one dear Mama gave me on our happy wedding morning. [..] Took a short drive with Lenchen & then saw dear Louis, who was nervous & overcome. Alice was dressed before 1, looking lovely in her bridal attire. She had no train, but a half high dress with a deep flounce of Honiton Lace, a veil of the same & a wreath of orange blossoms & myrtle. She had her order on & wore the beautiful opal cross & brooch. There were 4 Bridesmaids, our 3 girls & Anna of Hesse, dressed in sprigged net over white, with pale mauve trimmings. — The time had come & I, in my “sad cap” as Baby calls it, — most sad, on such a day, went down with our 4 Boys, Bertie & Affie leading me. It was a terrible moment for me.
I sat all the time in an armchair, Bertie & Affie close to me. The Hessian Family stood opposite, Clementine, Augustus & Nemours, next to them. After a short pause Louis came in, conducted by Ld Sydney, & followed by his 2 brothers William & Henry. After another pause came the dear dear Bride on her Uncle’s arm, followed by the Brides Maids, a touching sight. The service then commenced, the Arch Bishop performing it beautifully. Alice answered so distinctly & was full of dignity & self possession. Louis also answered very distinctly. I restrained my tears, & had a great struggle all through, but remained calm. The service over, dear Alice, who was wonderfully composed, embraced me, as I did also Louis, after which they left the room, followed by us all.
Charles, very overcome & most kind, & dear good Fritz came into the Horn Room, & the Dean brought in the Register, which we all signed, the rest of the Family coming in, in succession. When that was over, I took leave of all the guests & went upstairs, where Alice & Louis joined me, & we lunched together, all the others lunching below. Mr Thomas made a slight sketch of Alice & then she went into her dear Father’s room to change her dress, putting on a white “mousseline de soie” with a little bonnet trimmed with orange blossoms. Her calmness & composure continued. They both went to wish Pce & Pss Charles goodbye, who then came with their sons & daughter to take leave of me. Ernst C. went to Town with them, but returns in 2 days. — Dear Alice & Louis sat with me for a short while & at 5 o’clock I parted with them, blessing them both & saw them drive off.
Dear Fritz dined alone with me & was extremely kind. We talked of many things. The others joined us afterwards. — Read over the account of Vicky’s wedding, so different to this, then, all such a joyous celebration !
Queen Victoria, Tuesday 1st July 1862