AS if you didn’t need reminding, it’s less than three weeks until Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk down the aisle. The much-anticipated wedding ceremony is due to take place on May 19 at Windsor Castle.

Almost a century ago, the country was gripped by wedding fever for another royal marriage- and just like this one, the groom was called Henry.

Princess Mary - the great grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth II’s aunt, married

Viscount Henry Lascelles, the future Earl of Harewood on February 28, 1922.

Their wedding was, as you’d expect, a lavish affair, as the first royal occasion in which the future Queen Elizabeth (wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II), a friend of Princess Mary and one of the bridesmaids, participated.

In our archives we’ve found a first hand account of the wedding, written by a ‘Captain RM Nixon of Leigh’ who recounted his experience of being one of the stewards at the wedding to the Southend Pictorial Telegraph.

We don’t know much about Captain Nixon or why he was selected to be part of the wedding, but his account gives us an intriguing insight into a royal ceremony.

Captain Nixon told the newspaper how, on the morning of the wedding, he had to get the 7.45am train from Leigh to London in order to make it to the cloisters at Westminster Abbey, by 10.05am

“Owing to the draughts in the cloisters the turret door was opened before the appointed time, and the fortunate ticket holders were allowed to ascend the stone spiral staircase leading to the Muniment Room and the Triforium,” he wrote.

“I was in the Muniment Room and the section of seats allotted to us was quickly filled. All that was left for us to do was to wait. Our view was a magnificent one, looking down as it did over Poet’s Corner and the chancel.

“The time passed rapidly enough, spent as it was watching the absorbing scene below, What a spectacle, what a kaleidoscopic change of colour! Prominent everywhere the scarlet and gold of British uniforms.

“For once in a way the men outshone the women. At length the hum of voices was silenced by the first note of the organ, introducing the solemn melody by Walford Davies. The glorious Trumpet Voluntary by our great English composer Purcell followed

“It was now nearly time for the arrival of the Queen Mother and shortly after 11.15am the head of the procession arrived.

“Very frail and fragile Queen Alexandra looked as she was assisted up the steps of the chancel. Hardly had she reached her seat when our eyes were caught by the royal figure of Queen Mary, attended by the three princes.

“If I were a woman I would attempt to describe her costume. I could make out that it was a wonderful thing of cream colour sparkling with diamonds.

“Very soon after we heard a few chords from the organ and the procession began.

“All round me were now standing up on their seats to catch the first glimpse of our Princess Mary.

Echo: princess mary wedding

“The bridegroom we could see with his head turned towards the west door and his eyes never once leaving his bride’s face. She floated in a lovely thing in white and silver. She dominated the whole scene.The king, her father was for the moment un-noticed, we only had eyes for her.”

Captain Nixon was clearly caught up in not only the pomp and ceremony, but also the emotional atmosphere of the royal wedding

He wrote: “Amid all the regal splendour and magnificence there was something very human about it and the subdued tones of the archbishop, the solemn hush over all the vast crowd caused a certain lumpiness in the throat.”

Captain Nixon revealed how he caught many tender moments including “the bridegroom’s father kissing his daughter in law” and Queen Mary as she “came up to the bridegroom who stooped to kiss her hand”.

He also wrote of seeing the queen adjusting the princess’s veil with her own hands, like any normal mother and daughter.

As the ceremony drew to a close, Captain Nixon described the scene: “The happy couple came out off the chancel, hand in hand This time we could see their faces. Very lovely the bride looked with the flush on her cheeks, very handsome the bridegroom looked, with his head held high.

“And so down to the steps of the nave and out of sight.

The wedding was over- and the Empire echoed our heart-felt ‘God Speed’”.

Echo: PA File Photo of Queen Victoria in 1897. See PA Feature NOSTALGIA Royal Births. Picture credit should read: PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature NOSTALGIA Royal Births..

Harry - whose proper title is Prince Henry Charles Albert David - and, to give her her full name, Rachel Meghan Markle are sure to receive some expensive gifts, although whether they will be of the calibre of the 1922 royal wedding remains to be seen.

Among the presents gifted to the royal couple were a rope of pearls for Mary, a parure (set of jewels to be worn together) of sapphires and diamonds, a necklet, tiara, and bracelet of similar stones, a sapphire brooch with setting of very fine diamonds, a diamond brooch and antique silver plates.

Mary and Henry had two sons and were married for 25 years, until his death in 1947.

Mary died on March 28, 1965 after suffering a fatal heart attack while out walking with her eldest son on their family estate. By this time her niece, Elizabeth II was on the throne.