The Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul’s Cathedral on this day in 1981, in what was dubbed the ‘Wedding of the Century’. The couple had two sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, but separated in 1992, eventually divorcing in 1996. The former Princess of Wales tragically died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, while the Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Take a look at scenes from their wedding below-
Lady Diana rode with her father, Earl Spencer, in the Glass Coach through the streets of London towards St. Paul’s Cathedral. The bride and her father walked up the aisle to the “Trumpet Voluntary” by Jeremiah Clark.
The wedding was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and during the ceremony, Lady Diana got her groom’s names wrong while the Prince promised to share all of ‘her worldly goods’. After the long ceremony, the Archbishop made his famous address:
Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made: the Prince and Princess on their wedding day. Those who are married live happily ever after the wedding day if they persevere in the real adventure which is the royal task of creating each other and creating a more loving world.”
After signing the register, the Prince and new Princess bowed and curtseyed to the Queen before walking down the aisle to the strain of “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G” and ‘Crown Imperial.” The bells of St. Paul’s rang in jubilation with church bells from all over London, while the newlyweds drove in the 1902 State Landau back to Buckingham Palace.
After the Wedding Breakfast and Official Photographs, the Prince and new Princess of Wales appeared on the famous Balcony of Buckingham Palace with their families and started the tradition of kissing for the crowds. Later, the couple left Buckingham Palace in a open carriage for their honeymoon at Broadlands and then a cruise on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Royal guests at the ‘Wedding of the Century’ included:
- King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium
- Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark
- King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden
- King Olav, then Crown Prince Harald, and Crown Princess Sonja of Norway
- King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece.
- Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands
- Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
- Princess Grace and Prince Albert of Monaco
- Prince Hans-Adam and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein
- Then Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko of Japan
- Princess Maha Chakri of Thailand
- Then Crown Prince Hassan and Crown Princess Sarvath of Jordan
- King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou and Queen Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe of Tonga
- Queen ‘Mamohato Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho
- Prince Gabieni and Princess Lindiow of Swaziland
- King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania
- Tsar Simeon and Tsarina Margarita of Bulgaria
The Wedding attendants were:
- Clementine Hambro, one of Lady Diana’s charges at the Young England Kindergarten and a great-granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill
- Catherine Cameron, the Prince’s goddaughter
- Sarah Jane Gaselee, daughter of the Prince’ horse trainer
- India Hicks, the Prince’s goddaughter, daughter of David and Lady Pamela Hicks and granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten
- Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, cousin of the Prince, daughter of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, was the maid of honor
- Edward van Cutsem, son of the Prince’s racehorse training friends Hugh and Emilie van Cutsem
- Lord Nicholas Windsor, the Prince’s godson and son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent
The Prince of Wales wore the Royal Navy’s ceremonial dress uniform with the blue sash of the Order of the Garter, the Stars of his other Orders, and his medals. The new Princess of Wales wore an ivory pure silk taffeta gown made by David and Elizabeth Emanuel with a twenty-five feet long silk taffeta train. The whole ensemble was topped with the glittering Spencer Tiara, which the Princess continued to borrow from her family for the rest of her life, and her mother’s Diamond Earrings.