It’s a time-honored tradition: the royal wedding.
Across the globe, people tune in to watch as princes and princesses exchange vows and celebrate their love. Here in Britain, we have a long history of royal weddings. From Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to Charles and Diana to Will and Kate, these nuptials have captured the world’s attention. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most famous royal weddings in British history.
Henry VII and Elizabeth of York
On January 18, 1486, Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York were married in Westminster Abbey. It was a grand affair, with over 1,500 guests in attendance. The marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth came at the end of the Wars of Roses uniting both the House of Lancaster and House of York.
The bride and groom both wore crimson velvet, and the ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Following the wedding, there was a lavish feast that lasted for four days.
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
Henry VIII is one of the most famous kings in British history, and his wedding to Anne Boleyn was highly publicized. For Henry to marry Anne he had to have his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled. The pope disagreed with the annulment which lead to Henry creating the Church of England.
On January 25, 1533, Henry and Anne were married in a secret ceremony at Whitehall Palace. The ceremony was performed by Rowland Lee and was a low-key wedding with the king and queen being attended by Henry Norris and Thomas Heneage of the king’s privy chamber, and Anne Savage, Lady Berkeley.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
On February 12, 1840, Queen Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It was a grand affair with over two thousand guests in attendance. The bride wore a white silk gown trimmed with lace and orange blossoms, while the groom looked dashing in his military uniform. The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the couple exchanged vows in front of a large crowd that had gathered outside Windsor Castle.
Victoria was a reigning monarch at the time of the wedding.
George V and Princess Mary of Teck
On July 26, 1893, George V married Princess Mary of Teck at Westminster Abbey. The bride was beautiful in her white wedding dress with a long veil, while the groom looked very handsome in his naval uniform. Princess Mary was attended by five bridesmaids and five junior bridesmaids. The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St. James’ Palace and the couple exchanged vows in front of over 200 guests with many famous dignitaries from all other the world.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
On November 20, 1947, Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey. The bride wore an ivory gown with embroidered flowers and a tiara lent to her by her grandmother, Queen Mary. The groom looked dashing in his naval uniform. The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and more than two thousand guests attended the wedding reception at Buckingham Palace.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
On July 29, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It was one of the most highly anticipated weddings of all time, and an estimated 750 million people tuned in to watch around the world. Diana wore a spectacular ivory gown with a 25-foot train, while Charles looked dashing in his military uniform. The ceremony was a traditional Anglican service, and the couple exchanged vows before Archbishop Robert Runcie.
Prince William and Kate Middleton
On April 29, 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in an extravagant royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. It was watched by an estimated two billion people around the world, making it the most-watched event in history. The bride wore a beautiful white dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, and the groom looked handsome in his military uniform. The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the couple exchanged vows before a congregation that included members of the royal family, celebrities, and political leaders.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in a beautiful ceremony at Windsor Castle. The bride wore a stunning gown designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, while the groom looked dashing in his military uniform. More than two thousand guests attended the wedding, including members of the royal family, celebrities, and political leaders. It was the biggest royal wedding since Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "8 Famous Royal Weddings in British History" https://englishhistory.net/famous-royal-weddings/, January 28, 2022