A history of Royal weddings

A history of Royal weddings

Following the announcement of the Royal engagement between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we’re looking back on some of the most iconic Royal weddings throughout history.

Prince Albert and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon 


April 23, 1923: Prince Albert, the Duke of York marries the Queen Mother, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey. Although it wasn’t a traditional wedding dress, she wore a beautifully designed Twenties style gown which was heavily embellished with pearls and silver embroidery, with a long veil and short train.


Princess Elizabeth and Phillip Mountbatten


November 20, 1947: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip married at Westminster Abbey where 2,000 guests were in attendance to watch the ceremony as well as being broadcast by BBC Radio. Her dress was designed by Norman Hartnell and it was made from ivory silk, crystals and 10,000 pearls.


Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones


May 6, 1960: Princess Margaret, the Queen's younger sister and Anthony Armstrong-Jones married at Westminster Abbey and it was the first Royal wedding to be broadcast on television, watched by an estimated 20 million viewers. She wore a white silk gown designed by Norman Hartnell and a diamond tiara.  


Princess Anne and Mark Phillips


November 14, 1973: Princess Anne, the only daughter of the Queen married ex-army captain and Olympic Gold medallist, Mark Phillips. They married at Westminster Abbey and pulled in a global television audience of over 500 million. Princess Anne wore an embroidered dress with a high neck and medieval sleeves.  


Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer 


July 29, 1981: Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married in St Paul’s Cathedral where it is estimated that 750 million people watched worldwide as well as the 3,500 guests who were in attendance at the wedding. Complete with a 25ft train, Diana’s dress, which was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel, values at over £30,000 in today’s money!


Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson 


July 23, 1986: Prince Andrew, the second son of the Queen and Sarah Ferguson married at Westminster Abbey in a service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Sarah Ferguson wore an ivory satin dress with a 17ft train and there was a total of 30,000 flowers at the ceremony.


Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones


June 19, June 1999: Prince Edward, the queen’s youngest child married Sophie Rhys-Jones in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. This was a fairly informal occasion as far as Royal weddings go, requesting that guests wear formal evening gowns with around 550 guests attending. The wedding dress was designed by Samantha Shaw and featured a fitted coat with long sleeves.


Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles


April 9, 2005: Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles had a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall with a blessing after the ceremony at St George’s Chapel. The Queen didn’t actually attend the ceremony but attended the blessing afterwards. Following the wedding, Camilla became HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.  


Prince William and Catherine Middleton 


April 29, 2011: Prince William and Catherine Middleton married at Westminster Abbey with 1,900 guests. The engagement ring was the one that his father, Prince Charles, gave to Diana. Kate’s lace dress was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and the tiara she wore was lent to her by the queen.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle


Predictions are already beginning surrounding what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will be like. So far, we know that the wedding will take place at Windsor Castle in May 2018, with many hoping it will be around May bank holiday.  There’s no news yet on who the bridesmaids will be or what Meghan will choose to wear but we can’t wait to find out!