Centenary of a Royal Wedding
One hundred years ago on 23 April 1923 royalty gathered in Westminster Abbey. They came to witness and celebrate the union between HRH Albert 2nd son of King George V and Queen Mary with Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, daughter of the Earl of Strathmore. The happy couple were later to become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth following the abdication of Prince Albert’s elder brother King Edward VIII in 1936.
The guests at the ceremony witnessed the bride and groom exchanging their vows in front of an illustrious gathering. Lady Elizabeth was attended to by eight bridesmaids, one of which was the Hon. Diamond Evelyn Violet Hardinge. She was the granddaughter of Charles Stewart Hardinge, 2nd Viscount Hardinge of Lahore and King’s Newton.
Charles’s brother, the Hon. Arthur Edward Hardinge and his family were residents of Kibworth Hall here in Leicestershire according to White’s diary of 1863.
The Hon. Diamond Hardinge was the great niece of Arthur Edward Hardinge and was born in the same year as the bride on 8 June 1900 in Hanover Square, London. She was the daughter of Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst and the Hon. Winifred Sturt.
On 12 June 1923, two months after the Royal Wedding, Diamond celebrated her own union. She married Major Sir Robert Alexander Abercromby at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London. Diamond sadly passed away on 11 January 1927 at the tender age of 26. She was buried in gothic style Forglen Mausoleum in Aberdeenshire.
Incidentally, Diamond’s brother, Alexander Henry Louis Hardinge was a great nephew of the Hon. Arthur Edward Hardinge of Kibworth Hall. He held the privileged position of Private Secretary to King Edward VIII later HRH the Duke of Windsor.
The Hardinge family was no longer residents of Kibworth Hall in 1923. It must however, have been a proud and memorable day for the Hon. Arthur’s great niece, Diamond and her family, having been chosen as a bridesmaid at the wedding of a future King and Queen of this realm.
It is good to know that Kibworth had a connection, albeit tenuous, to this historic event when both the Hardinge and Royal families met together in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the marriage of an English Prince to a Scottish lady. After the ceremony, she was known as HRH The Duchess of York.