Where you are: Local History - Snippets - Royal Weddings
  The impact of royal weddings on Tickhill



Whatever your plans are for 29 April this year, you might like to know about the varying impact of some royal weddings on life in Tickhill.

When the future George V age 28 married Princess Victoria Mary of Teck age 26 on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal, St James' Palace, there was a general half day holiday and Tickhill's population took part in several activities: a cricket match and other sports, a parade and tea served to children and adults on tables set up around the Buttercross. No future royal weddings caused such a stir locally.

On Thursday, 26 April 1923, Prince Albert, Duke of York, aged 27, married Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, aged 22, at Westminster Abbey. On the previous day, school children in Tickhill were told that they were to have the wedding day off school at the request of George V, news met with cheering. There was no holiday for adults and so celebrations were very limited. According to the Doncaster Chronicle of 4 May 'The Castle flag waved proudly from an early hour of the morning on the flagstaff on the summit of the donjon hill. The band played in the streets during the evening.' Albert, Bertie to his family, did not expect to succeed to the throne, a possible reason for the contrast with the 1893 celebrations. Probably other reasons why 26 April 1923 was low key in Tickhill were the unseasonal cold, wet, weather and the number of cases of colds and flu (which caused the postponement of the crowning of the May Queen until June). In one respect Albert and Elizabeth's wedding day broke new ground because it was the first royal wedding to be filmed; people were able to see the black and white newsreel in cinemas.   

Albert did of course succeed to the throne on the abdication of Edward VIII, taking the title George VI. His daughter, the Princess Elizabeth aged 21, and first in line to the throne, married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten aged 26 (created Duke of Edinburgh shortly before the wedding) also in Westminster Abbey, on 20 November 1947. Unlike Elizabeth's coronation six years later, the wedding was filmed for cinema audiences rather than television viewing. However the service was broadcast on the radio and heard by an estimated 200 million people world-wide. (This was the 10th wedding of a member of the royal family to be held in Westminster Abbey. The first royal wedding was on 11 November 1100 when Henry I married Princess Matilda of Scotland.)

The 1947 wedding took place at a time of post-war austerity when rationing was still in place. An idea of the straitened times is given in the November 1947 Tickhill Parish Magazine which recommended the use of former army blankets (price 7/11 each) for stair carpets and even dressing gowns. Coupons were not needed to buy the blankets. No special celebrations were arranged in Tickhill

Well within living memory, is the wedding of the Prince of Wales, aged 32, and Lady Diana Spencer, aged 20, at St Paul's Cathedral on 29 July 1981, a national holiday. Unlike the previous royal weddings described above, this was televised in colour to an estimated global audience of 750 million people, making it the most popular programme ever broadcast, according to the BBC. Local people recall watching the event on television and arranging their own celebrations with family and friends, but there were no special community-wide events.  

The forthcoming royal wedding will once again see those interested watching proceedings on television, but no public celebrations. However, keep your eyes and ears open for news of a special opening in Tickhill to mark the day.


Sharing Our Heritage