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Who were Queen Elizabeth II’s bridesmaids?

It was a wedding that made royal history and brought cheer to a nation still recovering from the Second World War. When Elizabeth, then heir to the British throne, married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, hundreds of thousands turned out to celebrate with them. Royalty from around the world made their way to Westminster Abbey for the service while huge crowds lined the streets of London for a glimpse of the happy couple. And amidst the excitement, were a group of young women whose task was to ensure that this most famous bride was well looked after for every moment of her special day. Meet the bridesmaids of Queen Elizabeth II.

HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent

The daughter of the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra was born on Christmas Day in 1936 and is a first cousin of Princess Elizabeth. The princess was the youngest bridesmaid at the wedding, aged 10. Her younger brother, Prince Michael, was a page boy at the wedding.

In 1963, Princess Alexandra married Angus Ogilvy and the couple had two children, James and Marina. Princess Alexandra continues to complete royal engagements and attend family events.

Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott

Born in November 1927, Lady Caroline was aged 20 at the time of the wedding and was the daughter of the 8th Duke of Buccleuch. Lady Caroline married Sir Ian Gilmour in July 1951, with whom she had five children. Lady Caroline died in October 2004.

Diana Bowes-Lyon

Diana’s father, John Bowes Lyon, was the youngest brother of Queen Elizabeth and therefore Diana was a first cousin of Princess Elizabeth. Born in 1923, Diana was 23 at the time of the wedding.

Diana married Peter Somervell in February 1960 and had one child. Diana died in May 1986.

Lady Elizabeth Lambart

Lady Elizabeth, a childhood friend of Princess Elizabeth, was was born in October 1924 and was the daughter of 10th Earl of Cavan, who was a friend of King George V and had served as a Commander during the First World War. Lady Elizabeth’s mother was a lady-in-waiting to Princess Mary (the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary) and so Lady Elizabeth grew up around the royal family.

Lady Elizabeth married Mark Longman in 1949 and had three children. Lady Elizabeth died in December 2016, aged 92.

The Hon. Margaret Elphinstone

Born in 1925, The Hon. Margaret Elphinstone was a first cousin and childhood friend of Princess Elizabeth. Margaret’s mother was Lady Mary Bowes Lyon, sister of the Princess’s mother, Queen Elizabeth. Margaret married Denys Gravenor Rhodes in 1950 and had four children.

In later years, Margaret would be appointed as ‘Woman of the Bedchamber’ to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, serving in this role from 1991 until 2002. Margaret Rhodes died in November 2016, aged 91.

HRH Princess Margaret

Born in August 1930, Princess Margaret was the younger sister of Princess Elizabeth. In May 1960, Princess Margaret was herself married in Westminster Abbey to society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who became Earl Snowdon.

The couple, who had two children – David (born in 1961) and Sarah (1964) – were divorced in 1978. A senior figure in the royal family, Princess Margaret was associated with over 80 organisations, for whom she was either president or patron. Princess Margaret died in February 2002.

Lady Mary Cambridge

Born in September 1924, Lady Mary Cambridge was the only child of the 2nd Marquess of Cambridge and a second cousin of Princess Elizabeth. Lady Mary was aged 23 at the time of the wedding.

Lady Mary married Peter Whitley in 1951, with whom she had two children, Sarah and Charles. Lady Mary died in December 1999, aged 75.

The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten

The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten was the youngest daughter of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and a first cousin of Prince Philip. Pamela was 18 at the time of the wedding and had flown in from India, where she was living at the time due to her father’s role as Viceroy. As a lady-in-waiting to Princess Elizabeth, she was present in Kenya when King George VI died and Princess Elizabeth became Queen.

Pamela married David Hicks in 1960 and had three children; their daughter India Hicks was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Lady Hicks is now a director of a fund management and brokerage firm.

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