The wedding of Prince Charles to then 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981, was a global spectacle that made it the “Wedding of the Century.” Many years, afterwards, that fateful day that transformed a shy lady into the world’s well-loved "Queen of Hearts" continues to capture every girl’s imagination that a dashing prince will one day come and propose for a fairy tale wedding that’s bound towards happily-ever-after. Here are 15 interesting things that made the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, truly unforgettable.
Prince Charles seriously considered Diana as a bride in 1980.
The two were guests at a country weekend where Diana watched him play polo.
The Royal Family warmly welcomed Diana.
Diana was well-received by Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother when Prince Charles introduced her on Balmoral.
They were engaged on February 24, 1981.
Her engagement ring was definitely expensive!
At £30,000, the ring is studded by 14 diamonds placed around a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold.
The wedding was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The Cathedral can sit more guests that the usual royal wedding venue, Westminster Abbey.
About 3,500 guests attended the wedding.
That included members of the British Royal Family, Diana’s family, all of the governors-general of the realm, all of Europe’s sovereigns, except for King Juan Carlos of Spain (who was advised by his government not to attend due to the conflict about Gibraltar), and most of Europe's elected heads of state, except for the President of Greece, Constantine Karamanlis (Greece’s deposed King Constantine II, a distant relative and close friend of Prince Charles was invited as "King of the Hellenes"), and the President of Ireland, Patrick Hillery (because of the issue regarding Northern Ireland).
Commonwealth regiments joined in the procession.
The wedding was witnessed by over a billion people worldwide.
About 750 million people tuned in to their televisions, the rest stayed updated via their radios. Two million people lined the streets from Clarence House to the Cathedral. The security team included 4,000 police and 2,201 military officers.
The bride took the Glass Coach.
Lady Diana Spencer was conveyed by the Glass Coach, together with her father, the 8th Earl Spencer, to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Six mounted police escorted them. However, because of the bride’s bulky gown, the two barely felt comfortable during the ride.
It was almost a perfect wedding.
Except that the bride and couple committed a few minor errors while exchanging their vows. Diana mentioned the groom’s name as Philip Charles Arthur George, instead of Charles Philip Arthur George. The groom, meanwhile, promised to offer her "thy goods," instead of "my worldly goods." Also the promise by the bride to “obey” the groom was eliminated, which became sensational at that time.
Diana’s wedding gown was one of a kind.
Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the gown was worth £9000. It was made of ivory silk taffeta, ornamented with lace, hand embroidery, sequins, and 10,000 pearls, followed by a 25-foot ivory taffeta and antique lace train. Charles, meanwhile, wore his full dress naval commander uniform.
Diana wore the Spencer Diamond Tiara.
According to her brother, Charles, the bride was not used to wearing heavy objects on her head and she got a headache after the wedding.
A sumptuous wedding “breakfast” was served after the ceremony.
About 120 guests were invited to the "wedding breakfast" and there were 27 wedding cakes!
The balcony scene on Buckingham Palace was a memorable one.
Thousands of people turned out to catch a glimpse of the newly-wedded couple.
The wedding was blessed with two adorable boys, Prince William (born 1982) and Prince Harry (born 1984). However, the fairy tale wedding wasn’t bound to last happily ever after. The couple separated in 1992 and they were divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car crash in 1997 with his boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed. Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Out of respect for Diana, Camilla wished to be called Duchess of Cornwall, instead of taking the title Princess of Wales.