A Wartime Wedding

A little over a year after the First World War had begun, there was cause for some celebration at Welbeck Abbey when the Marquis of Titchfield married Ivy Gordon-Lennox. The Marquis was the eldest son of the 6th Duke of Portland and Duchess Winifred. A military man, Titchfield was a Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards during the war and had managed to obtain a short leave for his wedding.

Ivy Gordon-Lennox, who later founded The Harley Foundation, also made her contribution to the war effort. She spent time in France acting as Princess Victoria’s representative for Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. 


Wedding of Marquis of Titchfield and Ivy Gordon-Lennox with Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria


In normal times, the wedding of the 6th Duke’s son would have been one of the biggest social occasions of the year, but the couple felt strongly that an elaborate celebration would be inappropriate in the time of war.  Guests were limited to close family, representatives of the 6th Duke and Duchess’ employees and tenants, as well as Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria. Ivy was a Maid of Honor to the Queen and a close friend of the Princess. The couple were married in the chapel at Welbeck Abbey, and the ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Southwell and the Duke’s own chaplain.


Sketch of the Marquis of Titchfield and Ivy Gordon-Lennox’s wedding, Philip de Laszlo (1915)


The society portrait painter and friend of the family, Philip de Laszlo, was in attendance and made a sketch of the wedding. He also painted three portraits of the bride, including one of Ivy in her wedding dress and veil. The Marquis of Titchfield’s portrait also made an appearance in the Tatler magazine, which selected him as ‘Bridegroom of the Week’!