Princess Beatrice, the youngest of Queen Victoria’s children, met her future husband, Henry of Battenberg, in Darmstadt in 1884 while attending the wedding of her niece, Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine to Henry’s brother, Louis.
When Beatrice returned home to Buckingham Palace and announced her intention to marry Henry, Queen Victoria was not pleased as she hadn’t wanted her daughter to marry at all in the hopes she would stay with her mother. After seven months of non-communication, Queen Victoria finally relented when her eldest daughter, Victoria, and her daughter-in-law, Alexandra, reminded the queen how much joy Beatrice had brought to her and Albert. The queen finally relented, giving her daughter permission to marry on condition the couple made their home in London.
The wedding took place on 23 July 1885 at Saint Mildred’s Church at Whippingham, near Osborne, where 200 guests from London, including ambassadors and politicians, were brought by special train. Beatrice wore a white satin gown, trimmed with orange blossom and lace, and a lace overskirt with bouquets of blossom entwined with white heather. Queen Victoria allowed her daughter to wear the Honiton lace she herself had worn on her wedding day which was a real honour as none of the other daughters had been given this privilege. The veil was held in place with a circlet of diamond stars which had been a marriage gift from her mother.
A replica of Beatrice’s dress is on display at St. Mildred’s in Whippingham, along with photographs from the wedding.