Beautiful weather for Ernst August and Ekaterina

The photos are copyrighted and are not allowed to be posted or copied elsewhere without permission. I have permission to use the HAZ pictures, but for use with the wedding reports only.

Despite of being in Hannover I probably saw less of Hereditary Prince Ernst August von Hannover and his bride Ekaterina Malysheva than I had hoped for. Partially my own mistake I must admit. My hotel was just around the corner, so just before breakfast I had a quick look at the Marktkirche (Market Church) and saw already something was going on. Imagine around 7am the first fans, some Dutch I knew already, and an old German lady had already arrived. Also some media was hanging around already. I quickly secured some places on the press stand, hoping they had arranged one after all, and got back to the hotel for a quick breakfast and some food to take with me. The weather didn’t look very promising, but turned out to be much better and sunnier after 11am. Lucky bride and groom, no rain the whole day, despite of some not too great forecasts.

Unfortunately shortly after I had returned it was clear we were not allowed to use the press stand, which was only for the two local news media that were accredited. Such a pity! It would have saved the media and a few onlookers some trouble. Fences were placed around the square, but unlike what was said before, there was quite a bit of space to have a look at the wedding. However we were warned there would be Schützenvereine ( riflemen’s associations) and also some musicians, a hunting horn band. Around 100 marksmen from the shooting fraternity “Das Grosse Freie” lined up outside the church before and after the wedding in their uniforms.

I decided to focus on the guests before the wedding. In the end it turned out it was rather messy at the entrance of the square where the guests had to pass. And some guests used other entrances of the church, despite of us being told they wouldn’t. At one point one known photographer stood a bit more in the direction of the entrance, just too far to the right for me to take more or less the same photographs as he did. I did see the cars with the groom and his mother Princess Chantal, and the one with the bride and her father arrive just before noon. But didn’t see more than the top of their heads disappearing between the riflemen and riflewomen.

About 600 guests were invited for the wedding, that was led by the Loccumer Abbot and former Bishop of Hannover Horst Hirschler. The boys’choir Hanover with 60 singers sang Zadok the Priest (played at every coronation of a British monarch) by Georg Friedrich Händel during the ceremony.  After the wedding ceremony also sung was the final chorale of Cantata 147 “Jesu bleibet meine Freude” (Jesus remains my joy) by Johann Sebastian Bach. These pieces highlighted the more than 300 year old connections between London and Hannover. To conclude the mass the choir sang Hallelujah from Händels Messiah, performed by the Baroque orchestra L’Arco.

Many people had turned up to have a look at the wedding, probably more than there seemed to be around 11am. And there was no way a friend and I managed to get a good spot anymore opposite the church entrance to see the bride and groom leaving the church after their wedding. Luckily I had the good idea to ask at my hotel if we could borrow a stepladder (I should have asked for two), so at least Stig, who has a much better camera, would be able to take pictures. Therefore he did manage to take photos when bride and groom left the church as a married couple around 1pm. I just saw enough on a very tiny step, but at least I did see something, even when there were several photographers with stepladders and people with handies partly blocked my view. I at least caught a glimpse of the beautiful wedding dress designed by Ekaterinas friend Sandra Mansour. Below my about only good pictures of the wedding when the couple just stepped out of the doors of the church, and a few more by Stig.

I decided to go inside the hotel as I had to work and send photos to my boss, a press agency, quickly. Stig helped me bringing the stepladder back to the hotel and gave me his memory cards. Another stupid decision I guess. I probably should have stayed outside a tiny bit longer as it turned out the church had opened its doors soon. And I could have photographed a few more guests too. Anyway it is too late to think about that all now. Such a pity that people actually stole the flowers in the church as soon as the church was open.

Stig hurried to the Herrenhäuser Gärten by public transport and, oh wonder, managed to be there before the couple, having passed the carriage on his way there. Bride and groom waved gently from the carriage. The carriage was a loan item from the Celle County Stud, and had a special history. This carriage was used by the great-great-great-grandfather of Ernst August, the later King Georg V of Hannover, at his wedding to Marie of Saxe-Altenburg in February 1843. The groom’s grandfather giftet the carriage to the County Stud in the 1950s as a thank you for saving the art treasures of the family in Celle during World War II.

Photo & Copyright: HAZ/Ben Hopper.

A reception was being held at the gallery building in the Herrenhäuser Gärten, where conductor Ernst Müller and his orchestra, the House Orchestra of His Royal Highness Prince of Hanover, welcomed the guests. He already played in 1967 for the groom’s grandfather, and also played at Ernst Augusts christening at the Marienburg and his half-sister Princess Alexandra.’s christening.

The day ended with a private celebration in the Marienburg Castle outside Hannover.

More photos of guests and of the evening will appear later, either on this blog or via my Flickr account.

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