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America's Royal Weddings

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 12:16 PM

By Doug Wead

As we all anticipate the coming royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton it might be fun to take a look at our own "royal weddings."

Of course, there is no such thing as American royalty and when some make such pretensions, we quickly find a way to cut them down to size. Curiously, the same families that some might call our "royalty" others call "cursed." The Kennedys and the Harrisons come to mind. Both were political dynasties, the Harrisons having multiple presidencies, and both were plagued by untimely deaths.

There have been 21 White House weddings, including nine presidential children and one president, Grover Cleveland. Two other presidents were married outside the White House during their time in office, John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson.

The list of weddings of presidential children is more complex. Several were married outside the White House during their father’s presidency and some of these were spectacular social events.

After the death of her father, when Fanny Hayes was married in Ohio, the sitting president William McKinley was in attendance, as well as his Cabinet. Anna Roosevelt Dall was married at the family estate in New York. In the last years of her father’s presidency, she became a powerful White House aide.

The wedding of Luci Baines Johnson was a national social event, even though it took place at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. And the small, private wedding of Julie Nixon, shortly after her own father had won the presidency, to Dwight David Eisenhower II, himself the grandson and namesake of a president, prompted widespread public interest and curiosity.

Dorothy Bush, daughter and sister to two presidents, was the only presidential child married at Camp David.

Here is a list of 23 weddings of presidential children married during their father’s presidency. Children married in the White House are underlined:

Maria Hester Monroe, Samuel L. Gouverneur, March 9, 1820
John Adams, II, Mary Catherine Hellen Feb. 25, 1828
Andrew Jackson Jr., Sarah Yorke Nov. 24, 1831
Abraham Van Buren, Angelica Singleton Nov. 27, 1838
Elizabeth Tyler, William Nevison Waller Jan. 31, 1842
Nellie Grant, Algernon Charles Satoris May 21, 1874
Frederick Grant, Ida Marie Honore Oct. 20, 1874
Alice Roosevelt, Rep. Nicholas Longworth Feb. 17, 1906
Jessie Wilson, Frances Bowes Sayre Nov. 25, 1913
Eleanor Wilson, William Gibbs McAdoo May 7, 1914
Anna Roosevelt, John Boettiger Jan. 1935
Elliot Roosevelt, Ruth Googins July 22, 1933
FDR Jr., Ethel duPont June 30, 1937
John Roosevelt, Anne Lindsay Clark June 18, 1938
James Roosevelt, Romelle Schneider April 14, 1941
Elliot Roosevelt, Faye Emerson Dec. 3, 1944
Luci Baines Johnson, Patrick John Nugent Aug. 6, 1966
Lynda Bird Johnson, Charles Spittal Robb Dec. 9, 1967
Tricia Nixon, Edward Ridley Finch Cox June 12, 1971
Maureen Reagan, Dennis Revell April 25, 1981
Patti Davis, Paul Grilley Aug. 14, 1984
Dorothy Walker Bush, Robert Koch June 26, 1992
Jenna Bush, Henry Hager May 10, 2008

 Note: Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower after her father was elected president but before his inauguration. The Dorothy Bush wedding took place at the presidential retreat at Camp David.

All facts and quotes are taken with permission from the New York Times best-seller, "All The Presidents’ Children."

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