Friday, April 29, 2011

trouvée: an english wedding

An old Wide World press photo, dated 25 February 1938, and labeled "An Asquith Takes A Bride." The caption reads: "Binfield, England -- Michael Asquith and his bride, the former Diana (Didi) Battye, London society girl who disappeared for nine days last June and was found on the steps of her fiance's home, leaving All Saint's Church after their wedding on Feb. 17."

Exact details of the story are sketchy in contemporary news reports. Miss Battye disappeared while staying with her friend Viscountess Long in Oxford Square, and was feared kidnapped (she had been attacked with a razor on the evening of the coronation of George VI several weeks earlier, and her fiance Michael subsequently received an anonymous letter threatening her well being). However, she turned up several days later in Regents Park, near the home of her future mother-in-law. She was suffering from what The New York Times called "nervous strain" and "memory loss," but was otherwise unharmed. The couple married and had three children, but ultimately divorced in 1952.

Today's English wedding was surrounded by far less intrigue. Lovely in every way! A new, fresh approach for the British monarchy, I think.

Some of my favorite bits:

* the dress!
* the flowers
* the kiss(es)
* and that Aston Martin

Well done! And a happy weekend to you all. . .

10 comments:

columnist said...

I think you mean the coronation of George VI...

Janet said...

columnist ~ Ah yes. . . two very different monarchs! Thank you for catching that typo. I have corrected it.

Style Court said...

Janet --

As you know I smiled when I saw the small bouquet. No cascade after all. (Shane could pull off either, I imagine though!) I just came back from the nursery with green/white flowering plants. Wanted lily of the valley but couldn't find it.

The car might just be my favorite element. So much to love -- the dress, the music and the flowers!

Inkslinger said...

Wasn't it just perfection? Just loved it. And I agree about that dress (and the car :)!!

Gretchen said...

What a sweet occasion. The trees were such a lovely touch; and that bouquet! I'm a sucker for lily of the valley.

JBR said...

I loved the Aston Martin too! Also like that Grace Kelly's wedding dress may have been among inspirations for Catherine's dress. Like another poster, I enjoyed trees in the Abbey.

Janet said...

Courtney ~ a mini cascade in a way. It was just perfect. Like you, I went to the market on sunday with green things in mind (wishing for lilacs too).

Inkslinger ~ it was the most fun I have had since my wedding! I loved it.

G ~ I passed some lily of the valley on my walk on saturday. It smeilled divine!

JBR ~ Grace Kelly for sure! Sigh.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

as for this photo: Do you think the folks lining up are associated with the families (servants, residents of the nearby towns)? It is an odd and jarring juxtaposition. It is the end of the 1930s with all the political turmoil and still economic turmoil and everyone is looking at this rich young couple. Gives me goosebumps in a bad way.

Janet said...

Ms. Wis ~ you are the first to say anything about the photograph. The image is extraordinary in many aspects. On the cusp of war, the wedding of a wartime prime minister, marking the end of an era. Strong social commentary. And then there is the personal human drama. I thought it was fascinating.

Janet said...

. . . wedding of the GRANDSON of a former prime minister, that is.