A wedding shower of goodies is on offer to a lass who proposes to her lad on an iconic bridge in the Lake District on leap year day.
Tradition says that in a leap year a woman may propose to a man on the leap year day itself, February 29.
So a business group in Kendal in the Lakes is encouraging love’s young dreamers to take the chance, on a special town centre bridge. The Victoria Bridge was named after the Queen whose union with Prince Albert is one of the greatest love stories in history.
It’s also a bridge of celebration, just re-opened with stronger foundations after being damaged during the December floods.
“We love our Victoria Bridge, and we love a good love story,” says Daniel Morley, director of the Kendal Business Improvement District.
“We don’t mind where the couple come from – visitors and locals are equally welcome to pop the question.”
He and colleagues in town centre businesses are promising a bunch of red roses and a photographer to mark the occasion, as well as a discount on the engagement ring, and a free makeover for the bride and her bridesmaids when the happy day arrives.
The leap year tradition dates back to the 13th century and was said to be the one day of the year when women are ‘allowed’ to get down on bended knee and propose to their boyfriends – a chance that only comes around once every 1,461 days.
It’s also believed that if he says no, he has to buy the woman a dress, as allegedly decreed by Queen Margaret of Scotland.
When they married in 1840, Victoria was a 20-year-old young woman who had just become Queen in 1837. She was most pleased with her new husband and wrote to her uncle Leopold thanking him for “the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me in the person of dear Albert. He possesses every quality that can be desired to make me perfectly happy.” They were together for 21 years and had a family of nine children before his untimely death plunged her into grief.
The Victoria Bridge is one of five road bridges over the River Kent in Kendal and was built to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee in 1887.
Any lasses who need a little prompting to ask the big question should contact the Kendal BID manager Sarah Williams : firstname.lastname@example.org.