A Christening at Holdernesse House


 The Royal Lady’s Magazine, and Archives of the Court of St. James’s

April 1831
Royal Court Fete at Holdernesse House
(the name was changed to Londonderry House in 1872)

The preparations for this unique and splendid entertainment were completed on Wednesday morning; and a brilliant illumination which was displayed in front of the Drawing-room suite of windows, was lighted by 6 o’clock. It consisted of the Shield of England, surmounted by a Royal Crown, with the word “Adelaide”
beneath, and enclosed by an immense wreath of laurel; every part being in the exact colours of the object sought to be represented; and on each side was a star, with the letters W. A. A Guard of Honour of a hundred men, commanded by Captains Hulse and Clinton, was stationed outside the mansion in readiness to receive the Royal visiters on their arrival. Considerably before six o’clock the whole of the select company invited to be present at the Christening and the Banquet had arrived, and were assembled in the grand yellow Drawing-room, where the ceremony was to take place. Before the above hour the Royal Family had also arrived, with the exception of the King and Queen.

Holdernesse House

At length, shortly after six o’clock, her Majesty arrived. Her Majesty was accompanied by the Landgravine of Hesse Homburg, and attended by a numerous suite, and escorted by a guard of honour. On her Majesty’s carriage drawing up at the door of Holdernesse House, the noble host, Lord Londonderry, advanced and assisted her Majesty to alight. The Queen then took the arm of Lord Londonderry. The Marchioness of Londonderry was waiting to receive her Majesty at the foot of the grand staircase, which her Majesty ascended leaning on the arm of Lord Londonderry, and was by him conducted to the Grand Drawing-room, where the company were assembled, and the Ceremony of the Baptism was to be performed. Her Majesty and the noble host were preceded to the drawing-room by Lord Castlereagh, the eldest son of Lord Londonderry, bearing wax-lights; and they were immediately followed, first by the Landgravine of Hesse Homburg and the Marchioness, and then by the ladies and gentlemen of her Majesty’s immediate suite. During this period the vestibule and all the mansion resounded with the national anthem, which was played by the band of the 3d foot guards, stationed at the foot of the grand staircase.

Immediately on the arrival of the Queen and her suite, the ceremony of the christening was performed, by his Grace the Archbishop of York, who was assisted by the Rev. W. R. Wyatt, Lord Londonderry’s chaplain. The infant is fifteen months old, and was named Adelaide Emmelina Caroline; the male sponsor to the ceremony being the Duke of Rutland; and the two female sponsors, the Queen and Lady Caroline Wood, sister to the Marchioness of Londonderry. After the ceremony was concluded, her Majesty presented to the infant a gift of a superbly-chased silver-gilt cup and stand.

The Sculpture Gallery, Holdernesse House

 Immediately after the ceremony of the Baptism was concluded,  the band in the vestibule struck up the national anthem, and the Queen was conducted by the Marquis of Londonderry into the Statue Gallery, where a splendid banquet was prepared. The banquet table was placed in the centre of the saloon, at the right hand of the noble host, in the centre of the table, on the side opposite the door,—not at either extremity. On the left of the Marquis was the Margravine of Hesse Homburg; and opposite to him the Marchioness of Londonderry was seated. The other guests were placed in the order of their precedence.

The Dresses of some of the distinguished guests were splendid.

Her Majesty was attired in a rich white Monde dress over a satin slip; beautiful lace lappets. Head-dress of diamonds, and white ostrich plume; brilliant necklace and ear-drops.

The Landgravine of Hesse Hamburg.—A plain white crape dress, full lappets of white blonde, and bandeau and bouquet of brilliants.

The Duchess of Cumberland.—A white blonde and satin dress, richly embroidered with gold, a beautiful crimson cashmere beret, with an embroidery in front, composed of brilliants, and necklace also of brilliants.

The Duchess of Gloucester.—A white crape dress over satin slip. Head-dress of beautiful pearls.

The Princess Lieven.—A pink crape dress, richly embroidered in silver lama, and the body very handsomely ornamented with diamonds. Head-dress, a pink terry velvet beret, with feathers and brilliants.

The Marchioness of Londonderry. — A beautiful white blonde-lace dress over a while satin slip; a isone entirely composed of brilliants. Head-dress, brilliant garland of diamonds, with a comb ornamented with large pearls ; an eselavage necklace, composed of immense pear-shaped pearls and diamonds. Her Ladyship also wore a bouquet of costly brilliants at her left breast, and three rows of pearls suspended from the left epnulette by a lozenge of brilliants, terminating on the right side towards thejwaist. Head-dress, an immense tiara of diamonds, surmounted by moveable pieces, with a plume of fifteen rich ostrich feathers. The most conspicuous part of this nttire was the zone or cincture of brilliants, full two inches in width, and consisting of one entire mass of brilliants, divided only by the invisible setting of each.

The Duchess de Dino.—A blue “Arabesque” gauze and gold robe, elegantly trimmed with feathers and vine-leaves; plume of ostrich feathers, with brilliants.

The Marchioness of Salisbury.—A very rich white satin dress, trimmed with oriental gold. Corsage trimmed with rich blonde lace; enamels and di
amonds. Head-dress, ostrich feathers and diamonds.

Countess of Jersey.—A grenat and white gauze dress, ” crochettee” with gold, trimmed with gold ribbon and aiguillettes, feathers.

Lady Robert Peel.—A tulle blonde dress, elegantly trimmed with white and gold gauze ribbon. A white crape hat and feathers, ornamented with costly diamonds.

Lady Ann Beckett.—Rich white satin dress embroidered with gold; a profusion of beautiful diamonds, and a splendid plume of ostrich feathers.

Lady Sophia Lennox.—A white satin dress, neatly and tastefully trimmed with silver lama; a rich and delicate plume of white ostrich feathers, with diamonds.

The Duke of Gloucester.—A. military full uniform.

The Duke of Sussex.—The full Windsor uniform, with several orders.

Prince Leopold.—In the uniform of a British Field Marshal.

The Prince of Orange.—The same.

Prince Talleyrand.—A richly embroidered’ Court Dress, with several orders.

Prince Esterhazy.—A splendid Austrian Hussar Uniform.

The Duke of Devonshire.—A richly embroidered Court Dress, of the most costly description, with the ribbon of the Order of the Garter, and a garter embroidered with beautiful brilliants; and several diamond stars of different orders and diamond epaulettes, and diamond knee and shoe buckles. As Lord Chamberlain, his Grace wore the gold key.

Note: Holdernesse/Londonderry House stood in Park Lane, London, and was demolished in 1962.

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