17th century ‘hand-fasting’ to celebrate Royal wedding at The Real Mary Kings Close!

We will be taking time out of our usual tour at midday on Saturday 30 July to re-enact some 17th century nuptials in honour of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall’s Edinburgh-based wedding. In addition, all Zaras and Mikes* will have free admission on the couple’s special day.

We have recently installed extra staging within one section of the tour in the form of wine racks, crates and barrels that would have existed when the Close was in its hey day. What has been dubbed ‘the merchant’s cellar’ will be used as a backdrop to perform highlights of what was a traditional marriage ceremony of the period, including a ‘hand-fasting’.

Whilst the Royal couple’s wedding is somewhat shrouded in mystery, the 17th century wedding will be equally exclusive with only one lucky tour group being invited to the wedding of Agnes Chambers – aka the Maid and Walter King – aka the Foul Clenger. The couple will have their hands tied together in the customary ritual, signifying their marriage to each other. The demonstration will conclude with so called ‘bride cakes’ (thin, dry biscuits) being crumbled over the bride’s head, acting as a wish of good fortune and hope that the bride will be ‘fruitful’!

Guests at the ceremony will also be treated to a more twenty-first century glass of champagne in order to toast both of the happy couples’ health and happiness.

*Photo ID required.