Last week the Middy featured the front-page story telling the district of the death of King George VI.
It also mentioned that, the now Queen, then Princess Elizabeth (seen on the right), was a bridesmaid at a Royal wedding in Balcombe about two decades prior to the King’s death.
Then aged five, the future Queen Elizabeth II was the bridesmaid at the wedding of Lady May Cambridge to Captain Henry Abel Smith on October 25, 1931.
Lady May Cambridge was a member of the British Royal Family and the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
The King on the throne at the time was George V whose wife Victoria Mary of Teck was Lady May’s aunt.
The Mid Sussex Times had a two-page spread on the Royal wedding covering the guest list, reception and what wedding gifts they received.
At the time the paper said: “From being one of the ‘little unknowns’ Balcombe assumed tremendous proportions in the public eye when the news leaked out that the Queen and other members of the Royal Family were to attend the service.
“On Saturday the village had an experience which it had never known before and will probably never know again.”
Our current Queen was described as ‘the national darling, Princess Elizabeth’ and was met with a cheer when her father, the Duke of York, later King George VI, lifted her out of the car.
She wore a long powder blue velvet frock, with tiny silver shoes and velvet ribbons in her hair, ‘looking like she could have stepped out of a fairy story’.
The paper went on to say: “An enormous crowd, such as no man could number, came to look on. What scenes there were! What excitement! It was a day Balcombe will never forget.”
Lady May chose Balcombe for her wedding as her parents, Prince Alexander of Teck, later Alexander Cambridge first Earl of Athlone, and Princess Alice of Albany, were living there since their return from South Africa.
There were 400 guests in the church including Princes and Princesses from across the Commonwealth.
Although described in the paper as the village being invaded, it seems that the Balcombe crowds loved every minute, cheering throughout.
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Weather for Haywards Heath
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 15 C to 27 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: East