Wedding Ceremony of Anne, Princess Royal of Great Britain and Prince Willem IV of Orange Nassau, after William Kent
42 cm x 27.2 cm (16 9/16 in. x 10 11/16 in.)
(Marseilles, circa 1681 - 1754, Paris)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Documenting the elaborate decoration of Saint James Chapel for the wedding of Princess Anne, George II's eldest daughter, to William of Orange in 1734, this etching gives little evidence of the political turmoil that preceded the occasion. At 23, Anne was past her prime as a bride and suitable bachelors were scarce. Although a hunchback and physically unattractive, William of Orange was one of the few eligible candidates from Europe's Protestant royal houses. The king gave her the option to decline the offer; but the ambitious princess replied that she would "marry a baboon" if it meant becoming queen. She met her fiancé for the first time just weeks before the original date of the wedding.
Contemporary accounts of the ceremony describe Anne's gown of blue satin from France embroidered with silver thread. Her attendants wore white.