Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A Look Back at the Most Stunning British Royal Weddings

As the world continues to obsess over the stunning event that was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s royal union, it’s exciting to look back at the royal weddings of the past. Read on for a look at some of the biggest British royal weddings through the years.

1. Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips

This wedding drew a lot of attention. | Coutureandroyals via Instagram

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips married on Nov. 14, 1973 at Westminster Abbey. Though Phillips was a captain, the marriage was seen controversial because Princess Anne was technically marrying a commoner.

Unfortunately, the union didn’t work out, and the couple divorced in 1992.

Next: This king had to propose three times. 

2. King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon's wedding day.
This was another stunning wedding. | British Monarchy via Instagram

Elizabeth wasn’t an easy bride to win over. King George VI needed to propose to Elizabeth three times to get her to say “yes.” They finally tied the knot in April 1923 at Westminster Abbey.

According to CNBC, crowds lined the streets in hopes to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds on their special day.

Next: Princess Diana’s wedding ceremony  

3. Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding.
The royal wedding everyone talked about | STR/AFP/Getty Images

The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer was a highly anticipated televised event. The two wed in 1981, and a global audience of 750 million viewers tuned in to witness the union.

The couple separated in 1992 and later divorced in 1996.

Next: Queen Elizabeth II was only 21 when she got married.  

4. Queen Elizabeth II and Philip Mountbatten

Princess Elizabeth II's wedding to Prince Phillip.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II made a charming couple. | AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II married the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip Mountbatten on Nov.  20, 1947. She was 21 years old on her wedding day.

According to CNBC, an estimated 200 million radio listeners tuned into the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Next: This wedding received 72 million live streams recorded on YouTube.  

5. Prince William and Kate Middleton

Britain's Prince William places a wedding ring on kate middleton's finger.
Kate Middleton and Prince William had perhaps the biggest wedding of the century. | Dave Thompson/AFP/Getty Images

You can’t have a list of famous past royal weddings without including Prince William and Kate Middleton. The two married on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London.

The first royal wedding to truly take place in the digital age, the ceremony received 72 million live streams recorded on YouTube.

Next: Queen Elizabeth’s only sibling

6. Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones

The bridal group at Buckingham Palace May 6, 1960 at the wedding of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones.
The first wedding to be televised. | Getty Images

Princess Margaret is Elizabeth’s sister (her only sibling). She married Antony Armstrong-Jones in the spring of 1960. Their marriage was also a historical one, as the first ever televised royal wedding.

According to CNBC, more than 20 million viewers watched the ceremony.

Next: This wedding banned the media from attending.  

7. Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones wave to wellwishers as their carriage leaves Windsor Castle.
This royal wedding was very private. | Sinead Lynch/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones married on June 19, 1999 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Though televised royal weddings were only growing in popularity by this time, the couple opted for a more private affair.

The ceremony was restricted to friends and family — no media allowed.

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