Author Topic: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals  (Read 24807 times)

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Offline kmerov

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2010, 04:14:04 PM »
Thanks for your reply and picture. It looks like it's only Mary's cap that is white, and that her dress is black.

It seems that the custom survived into the 20th century, but I don't know if it was restricted to royal women.

Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2010, 04:24:05 PM »
Yes, thank you for bringing the white-mourning question to this specialized thread about mourning customs.

Like Eddie told about white-mourning being a custom of the medieval queen was completely unknown to me. I was also not aware that the Queen Mothers ''white-wardrobe'' was originated from this same custom. I knew it was an alternative way of mourning for her mother, but I never knew the idea behind it. I just thought the dressmakers and Queen Elizabeth had to find a quick alternative for her dresses because Elizabeth's mother had suddenly died and black was not the right representation in the difficult times before the war. Or so I read in the information of the Royal Collection:

''At a time of political turmoil, the State Visit was intended to reinvigorate the entente cordiale and to reinforce Anglo-French solidarity against Hitler's Germany. Five days before the date of departure for Paris, Queen Elizabeth's mother, the Countess of Strathmore, died and the visit was postponed by three weeks until 19-22 July.  Hartnell had to remake the Queen's wardrobe in its entirety, substituting 'many lovely colourings' with something more appropriate to the period of Family Mourning.  Black was not a practical choice for the height of summer and seemed inappropriate for the mood of the time.  The couturier's last-minute suggestion that white might be a suitable colour met with the Queen's approval.  Accompanying the King, Queen Elizabeth departed from Buckingham Palace in black and stepped from the Royal Train in Paris dressed in white. ''

Other royal women that I know of were Queen Olga of Greece and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands together with her daughter Juliana. But I think Wilhelmina's ''white mourning wardrobe'' can not be traced back to the medieval queens. At least I never read such a thing. Aldo Wilhelmina and Henry did not have a good marriage. She and her husband had promised each other that they both would chose to have a white funeral and wear white mourning, because the both did not see death as an the ultimate ending of their life. But as some sort of new beginning or death as the way to a new life. So it had to do with faith. Henry's funeral was complete in white and Queen Wilhelmina and her daughter wear white mourning outfits during the mourning period. Just three months and a few days earlier Queen Wilhelmina's mother Queen Mother Emma had died and the mourning custom had been black. When Queen Wilhelmina died in 1962 her funeral was just as white as her husband had been. Her daughter and granddaughters followed the coffin in their white outfits. Juliana must have been impressed by this and when her own time came to go (2004) - her funeral was in purple with white accents. And again her four daughters appeared in white mourning.

Queen Sophie of Greece also weares some different mourning outfits during special celebrations and like Eric stated princess Nicholas did the same.



Queen Wilhelmina and her daughter Crown-Princess Juliana of the Netherlands in white mourning when visiting the grave of King Albert of Belgium in the church of Leaken (1935).



Queen Wilhelmina visiting a exhibition in the Vondelparck in Amsterdam (1935).
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 04:26:18 PM by royal_netherlands »

Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2010, 04:34:47 PM »
Official portraits of Queen Wilhelmina in her ''white mourning outfit'' during the mouring period after her husband's death in 1934. Pearls were known as the ''tears of the sea'' so perfect as mourning jewelry. Fur was also known ''as not to mourn'' so that's why fur can always be worn during moruning periods.







Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2010, 04:52:53 PM »


The complete opposite can be seen during the funeral of Queen Emma of Orange-Nassau nee Waldeck-Pyrmont - mother of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands - in march of 1934. On Wilhelmina's left you can see her youngest aunt Elizabeth zu Erbach-Schönberg and on the right Friedrich zu Waldeck Pyrmont. Both of them were a brother and sister of Queen Emma. Elizabeth was only seven years older than her niece Wilhelmina and died a just a year before Wilhelmina in 1961. A other welknown sister of Queen Emma was Helena of Waldeck-Pyrmont who had married Prince Leopold  in 1882 - the son of Queen Victoria and the Duke of Albany - their daughter Alice was a cousin of Wilhelmina and a close relative to the Dutch Royal Family. Helena had already died in 1922.


Offline Veronica

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2010, 05:19:59 PM »
Nice pics RN.
I've also found this portrait of Louise-Francoise de Bourbon (1673-1743), a daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, in mourning for her husband the Prince of Conde. She mixes both black and white, but this last colour is the preminent.


Offline royal_netherlands

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2010, 05:41:53 PM »
Thank you Veronica! Your pictures are nice too!

I have inspected Queen Marie of Romania's funeral wardrobe and habits and she has been photographed in ''white-mourning'' too. Also in a combination whit both black and white, but not like Louise-Franciose de Bourbon she choose black as the preminent colour.



Queen Marie in a white mourning outfit (1929)



Queen Marie in a combination mourning outfit (1928)



''The Two Queen Marie's'' (1928)


Offline Gerta

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Re: Royal & Imperial Mourning Customs & Funerals
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2012, 09:01:35 PM »
For a russian imperial funeral (emperor, grand dukes,duchesses), did the women have a mourning court dress that they would wear to the church services before the funeral and then at the funeral itself? Would the dresses be off the shoulder like other court dresses or were the shoulders and arms covered?