Royal Wedding Recollections – Lady Louise Mountbatten & the future King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden

lady louise gustaf adolf wedding
(public domain)

On 3 November 1923, Lady Louise Mountbatten married the future King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.

Louise’s engagement to the Crown Prince of Sweden had surprised many. Louise had resigned herself to staying single after the traumatic ending of her engagement to an artist. In a panic, she wrote, “You know that Gustaf of Sweden is over here. I met him to talk to him for the 1st time three weeks ago. Before that, I had only met him just to shake hands with him the various times he has been over. I thought him awfully nice & we got on rather well together. He came to see us a few times, tea time, as he had nothing much to do. Then last Sunday, he took Mama & me for a drive to Hampton Court, it suddenly dawned on me that, naturally, everyone hoped he would marry again & that I was a suitable person. I saw he liked me & was taking a lot of trouble to get to know me. You can imagine my agitation & worry, not knowing what to do or think.”1

gustaf adolf louise sweden
(public domain)

She also worried about leaving her country, marrying a future King and one who was a widower with a large family. When she finally made up her mind, she wrote, “Well, Dickie, I have accepted Gustaf. I am sure you will be delighted. I must say it is rather marvellous.”2

Then came the question of whether Louise was considered to be a member of the British royal family. She had been born Princess Louise of Battenberg as the daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg (later known as The Marquess of Milford Haven) and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The subsequent response from the British government led the Swedish government to decide she was indeed suitable to marry the Crown Prince of Sweden.

Louise and Gustaf Adolf were married in the Chapel Royal in London in “the presence of two Kings and four Queens.” The New York Times reported, “King Gustaf of Sweden, father of the bridegroom, and the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, mother of the bride, sat on the right of the altar, with King George, Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra, Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles, and in the group on the side were the Prince of Wales and his brothers, the Duchess of York, Queen Maud of Norway and the Dowager Queen Olga of Greece.

“The Crown Prince of Sweden, in a Swedish General’s uniform, was attended as he waited for his bride by his brother, Prince Wilhelm, in the blue and gold of the Swedish navy.

“The bride was driven through cheering crowds to the chapel in one of King George’s cars with her brother, the Marquis of Milford Haven. She wore a wonderful dress of Indian silver gauze given to her by the Duke of Hesse, and over her shoulder, she had thrown a short ermine cape.

“On her head was a heavy diadem and a heavy lace veil, with orange blossom sprigs used first as a wedding veil by Princess Alice, a daughter of Queen Victoria and the bride’s grandmother. Her silver train was four yards long with a border of woven gold and a waist of a plain, straight dress. Long sleeves half covered her hands, which were ungloved, and she carried a feathered posy of lilies of the valley instead of the usual bridal bouquet. On her breast shone a diamond brooch presented to her by the King and Queen.”3

Her bridesmaids were the four sisters of the future Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London.

lady louise wedding tiara
Credit: Nyhus, Olav, Livrustkammaren/SHM (CC BY 4.0)

The new Crown Princess of Sweden fell pregnant in 1925, but she gave birth to a stillborn daughter on 30 May, likely caused by the shrivelling of the placenta. They had no further children. She later wrote, “If possible, I appreciate all the more now what it is to have Gustaf & now how lucky I am to have him. He has my love now more than ever, all that I had for my baby, I feel I have now also given him.”4

  1. Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickers p.189
  2. Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickers p.190-191
  3. New York Times
  4. Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickers p.192

About Moniek Bloks 2660 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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