The 12 Most Memorable Royal Weddings in History

The May 19th wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — now titled the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — was celebrated around the world. Even people who loathe the pomp and ceremony (and excessive spending!) of a royal wedding were sucked into the simple elegance of the couple, and the meaningful touches that the new Duke and Duchess put on the ancient and traditional ceremony.

There are plenty of other royal couples who have wed during the era of television, and we take for granted the fact that millions of TV viewers get to peak into this intimate event. This latest royal wedding was just one of many in a list of memorable royal weddings — which ones do you remember watching?

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding has most frequently been compared to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. The couple have been together — with only one significant break — since 2003. Their relationship has always been in the spotlight because behind his father Charles (Prince of Wales), William is the next in line to the throne, and will likely be king one day. Luckily, since his father is still kicking, the wedding was a private, rather than state occasion. The wedding was held in Westminster Abbey and viewed by tens of millions of people online and on TV.

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Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

One of the most memorable weddings in history was the day that Charles, Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. Since he was (and remains) the next in line to the throne, the wedding was a massive state occasion, and the day was declared a public holiday. The wedding, referred to by many as “the wedding of the century” was televised and reached an audience of about 750 million. Even though the couple had only dated for about 6 months before their 5-month engagement, the British public fell in love with the timid Lady Diana and came out in droves to watch the nervous young lady marry a prince.


Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly

Meghan Markle is far from the first actress to marry into a European royal family. The most famous actress-turned-royal is Grace Kelly, a Hollywood starlet who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. The couple met at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and conducted a quiet courtship before the Prince asked Kelly to marry him over Christmas that same year. Kelly stayed in the United States until she flew to Monaco to marry her prince charming. The wedding was split into two parts — a civil ceremony in the palace Throne Room, and a Catholic ceremony the next day at St. Nicholas’s Cathedral. The bride’s dress was a gift from MGM Studios in Hollywood and was made from 250 yards of priceless lace and silk.

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