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January 25, 2016

25 Jan 1858: a royal “Wedding March” debut

On this day in 1858, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was played at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter. It has since become a staple of the ceremony.

sheet music via Wikimedia Commons

The piece is typically used as a recessional; on the other end, “Here Comes the Bride” is the more common name for Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”.

Some more details:

  • The piece was originally composed in 1842 to accompany Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Queen Victoria was a huge Mendelssohn fan, and would often host him when he visited from Germany
  • the wedding was between Victoria, The Princess Royal, and Prince Frederick William of Prussia
  • Its first use for a wedding was in 1847, but it did not become popular until it got the royal treatment

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