Book Series Musicology (Outside a Series)

British Royal Weddings: From the Stuarts to the Early Twentieth Century

Matthias Range

  • Pages: xv + 367 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:32 b/w, 40 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59696-9
  • Hardback
  • Available

A study of the venue, the ceremonial, and the music of British royal weddings from the early-modern period to the early twentieth century, and at the same time the most complete pictorial record of these ceremonies to date.


Matthias Range has published widely in both history and music, with the focus of his interdisciplinary research being sacred music and religious culture since the sixteenth century. An area of particular interest is the history of the British monarchy, which is the topic of his major publications. He currently works as a post-doctoral researcher for the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford.


This generously illustrated volume is the first in-depth study of the history and ceremonial at British royal weddings from the late sixteenth century onwards. With its over 70 illustrations it is also the most complete pictorial record of these ceremonies. Focusing on the actual wedding service, it follows the three main aspects of the choice of venue, the structure of the ceremonial, and especially the music of these events up to the early twentieth century.

Being so closely linked with the performance of these ceremonies, music presents itself as an intriguing aspect for discussing the ceremonial details. Since the eighteenth century, at least some royal weddings have also been notable musical occasions and since Victorian times they have influenced the choices at other weddings.

Many newly discovered sources have allowed for new insights and conclusions about the historical facts and interpretations of these ceremonies. Overall, this study presents the most complete account to date of how these magnificent occasions were celebrated. With its holistic approach and interdisciplinary character, replete with numerous illustrations and tables, this study is an extensive resource for historians and musicians alike – and for all those with a wider range of interest in British royal ceremonies.

A second volume "British Royal Weddings: The House of Windsor" is scheduled to appear in 2023 by the same author and is the first in-depth discussion of how the British Royal Weddings since 1919 have been celebrated.



Illustrations and Figure
Abbreviations and Conventions

1 Setting the Scene

2 From Elaborate to Modest: The Seventeenth Century

3 The ‘Concert’ Weddings I: The Children of George II

4 The ‘Concert’ Weddings II: The Later Eighteenth-Century Georgians

5 Home Weddings: The Early Nineteenth Century

6 ‘State Marriages’: The Early Victorians

7 The ‘Windsor Castle’ Weddings: The Mid-Victorians I

8 Routine and Innovation: The Mid-Victorians II

9 The Choral Weddings: The Late-Victorians

10 The Last ‘of the Old Age’: The Early Twentieth Century

11 The ‘Pomp of Old Days’: Three Centuries of Royal Weddings

A Chronological List of British Royal Weddings
B Texts and Transcriptions
C Royal Weddings and their Music

Sources and Bibliography
Printed Orders of Service and Ceremonials
Manuscript and Archival Material
Published Material (including Dissertations)


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