The Best (and Worst) Royal Weddings in History
Royal weddings are nothing short of spectacular. From the historic venues to the sparkling crown jewels to the stunning wedding gowns (and, sometimes second wedding gowns), royal families around the world pull out all the stops to celebrate love. However, not all royal weddings go according to plan.
We count down to the best (page 12) and worst (page 15) royal weddings in history, ahead.
12. Crown Prince Pavlo and Crown Marie-Chantal Miller
In 1995, the Crown Prince of Greece married Marie-Chantal Miller at St Sophia’s Cathedral in Bayswater, London. With around 1,400 guests in attendance, the wedding ceremony reportedly cost Miller’s billionaire father around $1.5 million. Combined with the receptions and celebrations, the entire ordeal cost around $8 million. Talk about extravagant!
Next: True love in Jordan.
11. King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein and Queen Rania
Often described as the “epitome of modern royalty,” King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein and Queen Rania’s love story is nothing short of a fairy tale. The couple’s wedding night consisted of royals from all over the world, multiple wedding gowns, a ginormous cake, traditions, and a whole lot of love.
Next: A Swedish princess and an American financier.
10. Christopher O’Neill and Princess Madeleine
In 2013, Sweden’s Princess Madeleine and American financier Christopher O’Neill wed at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm Palace. The princess was escorted down the aisle by her father King Carl XVI Gustaf and the entire event was broadcast on TV for all of Sweden to see.
Next: Despite a rocky marriage, this wedding was one for the books.
9. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Despite a scandalous marriage, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson had a very stable relationship at the time of their 1986 wedding. The couple married at Westminster Abbey and then took to the balcony at Buckingham Palace for a traditional kiss in front of the public. It was surely a day to remember.
Next: These two wanted a normal life.
8. Captain Mark Phillips and Princess Anne
At the time of their wedding, it was fairly uncommon for a royal to marry a commoner. But, that didn’t stop the queen’s only daughter from marrying Olympic equestrian Captain Mark Phillips. The two were wed at Westminster Abbey in London and followed traditional royal wedding protocol — only, upon his marriage to Princess Anne, Phillips declined a royal title.
Next: This wedding took place in the same venue as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding.
7. Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones
Unlike other royal weddings, the wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones was a private affair for friends and family members only. That said, it was still televised. Their nuptials took place in the iconic St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and millions of viewers watched as the queen’s son and daughter-in-law said “I do.”
Next: The first televised royal wedding.
6. Antony Armstrong-Jones and Princess Margaret
Nothing beats the first televised royal wedding! On their wedding day, Antony Armstrong-Jones — a British fashion photographer and commoner — and Princess Margaret were joined by two million virtual guests who got to experience a royal wedding in depth for the first time ever.
Next: Childhood sweethearts
5. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I
Another iconic royal wedding? King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I’s! The queen’s parents met when they were children and went on to become lifelong friends (and eventually partners). They married in 1923 in Westminster Abbey, where many British royal weddings have taken place.
Next: A second marriage.
4. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles may have had a long and rocky road to the altar, but the future king finally married the love of his life in a small civil ceremony at the Windsor Guildhall, followed by a traditional blessing at St. George’s Chapel.
Next: One of the most iconic weddings of all time.
3. Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly
Is there anyone more iconic than Grace Kelly? We think not. The American actress had a real life fairy tale wedding when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Her dress was a gift from MGM and took 30 seamstresses six weeks to make, her veil was 90 yards long, the couple’s wedding cake was topped with a bird cage and real doves, the guest list was star-studded — need we go on?
Next: A lifetime of love
2. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
One of the best royal weddings in history goes to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The life long lovers married at the iconic Westminster Abbey and received thousands of well-wishes — in the form of gifts and telegrams — from all over the world.
Next: A wedding of the century.
1. Best: Prince William and Kate Middleton
How do you top the queen’s wedding? By marrying your college girlfriend — and commoner — in front of millions of people. Prince William met Kate Middleton while at University and fell in love. Fortunately for him, the queen approved of his commoner girlfriend and he was given the greenlight to marry.
From the dress to the historic wedding venue to the balcony kiss, the royal couple’s wedding was nothing short of a fairy tale.
Next: The worst royal weddings in history.
3. Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding may have been dubbed the wedding of the century, but there were quite a few mishaps. For one, Prince Charles allegedly cried the night before his wedding because he felt an immense amount of pressure to marry Diana, despite still being in love with his former girlfriend, Camilla Shand (aka, Camilla Parker Bowles).
In addition to Charles emotions, Princess Diana said the wrong name at the altar. While it was nowhere near as bad as Ross Geller’s infamous name swap, it was still pretty bad. Instead of saying “Charles Philip,” the late princess accidentally called him “Philip Charles.” Oops!
Next: A runaway groom.
2. Emperor Puyi and Empress Gobulo Wan Rong
As the emperor of China, it was only natural that Puyi and his young bride Gobulo Wan Rong have a grand celebration. And while their nuptials were marked with Chinese traditions — including, a ritual meal of dumplings and noodles (to represent children and longevity) — their wedding night was nothing short of disastrous.
According to History, Puyi was overwhelmed by the celebrations and fled the scene, which leads historians to believe that the marriage was never consummated.
Next: That one time the King of England abdicated the throne to marry a Nazi.
1. Worst: Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
Abdicating the British throne may seem like a grand romantic gesture, but in Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson’s case, it is not. When the former king (and brother of King George VI) fell in love with American socialite and divorcee Wallis Simpson, it was against royal rules to marry someone who had been divorced, but that didn’t stop Edward from following his heart.
In order to marry the love of his life, Edward VIII abdicated the throne. And, get this: The no longer royal couple had a romantic honeymoon in the Third Reich and were even caught giving the Nazi salute. Yikes!
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