Updated: Aug 18
We are lucky there is a detailed written account of everything she was wearing making this colourisation truly historically accurate!
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, (Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore; later Princess Henry of Battenberg; 14 April 1857 – 26 October 1944) was the fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Beatrice's childhood coincided with Queen Victoria's grief following the death of her husband on 14 December 1861. As her older sisters married and left their mother, the Queen came to rely on the company of her youngest daughter, whom she called "Baby" for most of her childhood. Beatrice was brought up to stay with her mother always and she soon resigned herself to her fate. The Queen was so set against her youngest daughter marrying that she refused to discuss the possibility.
Nevertheless, many suitors were put forward, including Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial, the son of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III of France, and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, the widower of Beatrice's older sister Alice. She was attracted to the Prince Imperial and there was talk of a possible marriage, but unfortunately he was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.
Beatrice fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg, the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julia von Hauke and brother-in-law of her niece Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine.
After a year of persuasion, the Queen, whose consent was required pursuant to the Royal Marriages Act, finally agreed to the marriage, which took place at Whippingham on the Isle of Wight on 23 July 1885.
Queen Victoria consented on condition that Beatrice and Henry make their home with her and that Beatrice continue her duties as the Queen's unofficial secretary. The Prince and Princess had four children, but 10 years into their marriage, on 20 January 1896, Prince Henry died of malaria while fighting in the Anglo-Asante War.
Beatrice remained at her mother's side until Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. Beatrice devoted the next 30 years to editing Queen Victoria's journals as her designated literary executor and continued to make public appearances. She died at 87, outliving all her siblings, two of her children, and several nieces and nephews including George V and Wilhelm II.
This portrait was taken on her wedding day. We are lucky there is a detailed written account of everything she was wearing making this colourisation truly historically accurate!
Beatrice wore a beautiful dress of white satin trimmed with the Honiton lace of her mother, which none of her other siblings had been permitted to wear, decorated with orange blossom, myrtle and heather.
Her veil was her mother's wedding veil of Honiton lace, emblazoned with a diamond circlet with diamond stars, a marriage gift from her mother. According to Queen Victoria's journal, she also wore - diamond collet drop earrings, a diamond collet necklace with a very large diamond cross suspended from it, a diamond bee brooch, a diamond rose brooch, and a large diamond butterfly brooch on her right shoulder.
- on her right wrist, a wide diamond and sapphire bracelet (the gift of the groom), and on her left wrist an assortment of bangles - five in total, some with diamonds and others plain gold.
- The orders worn were those of Victoria and Albert, Crown of India, Gold Lion of Hesse, Royal Red Cross and the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family order.
- Beatrice held a white fan and wore elbow-length white gloves in her pictures.
Since colourising this photo I have come across a full body version of it. So watch this space as I will soon update the photo