Upon her heade a crowne of refined golde

These fragments come from an account of the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter to James I, and Frederick V of Palatinate ( a region of Germany), on 14th February 1613 at the Royal Chapel, Whitehall.  The celebrations began on the Thursday with a spectacular firework display on the river Thames, and continued into the weekend with mock sea battles, masques, and all manner of ‘triumphant sportes’.  The weekend culminated in the royal wedding itself.

The Court being placed full of people of many Estates, sortes, and Nations, first came the Bride-groom from the newe built Banquetting-house, attired in a white Satten sute, richly beset with Pearle and Golde, attended on by a number of young gallant Courtiers, both English, Scottish, and Dutch, all in rich manner, every one striving to exceede in sumptuous habilliaments, fitte for the attendants of so princely a Bride-groome.  After came the Lady Elizabeth, in her Virgin-robes, clothed in a gowne of white Satten richly embroidered, led betweene her royall brother Prince Charles, and the Earle of Northampton.  Upon her head a crowne of refined golde, made imperiall by the Pearles and Dyamonds thereupon placed, which were so thicke beset that they stood like shining pinnacles.  Upon her amber coloured haire, hanging plaited down over her shoulders to her Waste, betweene every plaight Gold spangles, Pearles, Riche stones, and Diamonds, and many Diamonds of inestimable value embroidered upon her sleeves, which dazzled and amazed the eyes of the beholders.  Her traine in most sumptuous manner carried up by fourteene or fifteene Ladies, attired in white Satten gownes adorned with many rich Jewells.


After went a traine of Noble-mens Daughters, in white Vestements, gloriously set forth.  These Virgin Brides-maides attended upon the Princesse like a skye of Celestiall starres.  After them came another traine of gallant young Courtiers in sutes embroidered and Pearled, who were Knightes, and the sonnes of great Courtiers.  After them came four Heralds at Armes, in their rich coates of Heraldrie, and then followed many Earles, Lords, and Barrens, of Scotland as well as England, in most noble manner, then the king of Heralds bearing upon his shoulder a Mace of Golde, and then followed the honourable Lords of his Highness privie Councell, which passed along towards the Chappell.  And then came four reverend Bishops of the Land in their Church habilliaments.  After them four Seargiants of the Mace, bearing upon their shoulders foure riche Enamelled Maces.

Then followed the right Honourable the Earle of Aundell carrying the kings Sword. And then in great Royaltie the Kings Majestie himself in a most sumptuous black sute with a Dyamond in his hatte of a wonderfull value.  Close unto him came the Queene attired in white Satten, beautified with much embroidery and many Diamonds.  Upon her attended a number of married Ladies, the Countesses and wives of Earles and Barrons, apparelled in most noble manner which added glory into this triumphant time and Marriage. Then went the passages of our States of England, accompanying the princely Bride and Bridegroome to his Highness Chappell, where after the celebration of the Marriage, contracted in the presence of the King, Queene, prince Charles and the rest, they returned into the banquetting house with great joy.


The Lady Elizabeth thus being made a Wife was led backe by two Batchellors as before.  At the Bridegrooms returne from Chappell went five of his own Country gallants clad in crimson Velvet laide exceedingly thicke with gold lace, bearing in their hands five silver Trumpets. They presented him with a melodious sound of the same, flourishing so delightfully that it greatly rejoyced the whole Court, and caused thousands to say at the same time ‘God give them joy, God give them joy’.  Thus preparing for dinner they passed away a certain time and after fell to Dancing, Masking, and Revelling, according to the custome of such Assemblies, which contined all the day and part of the night in great pleasure.

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