by Maria Asaad
As the nation quietly, but undoubtedly excitedly awaits the wedding of 6th in line to the throne Prince Harry to wed US born actress, Megan Markle, we can’t help but feel a little nostalgic towards the Royals that have previously tied the knot.
The Royal weddings and marriages have always made TV history and taken over the headlines with their beautifully elegant ceremonies and celebrations.
Here at Majalla we want to pay our own tribute to Harry and Megan by celebrating their Royal relatives that have succeeded them in walking down the aisle.
ELIZABETH II AND PRINCE PHILIP
Prince Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten on 20th November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony took place in front of 2000 invited guests and it broadcast on the radio to over 200 million listeners worldwide.
Her majesty’s dress was designed by Norman Hartnell, a duchess satin bridal gown with motifs of star lilies and orange blossoms.
After the ceremony, the couple went to Buckingham Palace to wave at the large crowds from the balcony. They spent the duration of their honeymoon at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate, before returning to married life.
They welcomed their first child, Prince Charles, in 1948 and their second child, Princess Anne quickly followed in 1950.
Her majesty became Queen in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI. Her coronation took place in June 1953 at Westminster Abbey, which was televised by the BBC to millions worldwide.
In 1960, Prince Andrew was born, and then Prince Edward came four years later.
The Queen is the first British monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary, which took place in 2007.
PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA
The Queen’s eldest son and Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles first met Lady Diana in 1977 while visiting her family home, Althorp. Their relationship, however, developed in 1980, and after much speculation from the press their engagement became official on 24th February 1981.
Their wedding took place at St Paul’s Cathedral with a congregation of 3500, and an estimated global audience of 750 million.
Lady Diana arrived in the Glass Coach with her father, Earl Spencer for the late morning ceremony. She wore an Emanuel designed ivory taffeta and antique lace gown with a 25ft train. Charles was dressed in the full dress uniform of a naval commander.
Dr Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury, led the tradition Church of England service whilst being assisted by clergymen from many denominations.
It was apparent that there were wedding day nerves as Diana mixed up the Prince’s names by calling him Philip Charles Arthur George, rather than Charles Philip. The groom also displayed a few jitters by referring to “thy goods” rather than “my worldly goods”.
The newlyweds made their way to Buckingham Palace by open-topped State landau, where they emerged on the balcony for a public kiss in front of the 600,000 strong crowd.
They spent their honeymoon on the Royal Yacht Britannia on a 12-day cruise through the Mediterranean to Egypt, followed by a stay at Balmoral.
Within a year of their marriage, Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William in 1982. Prince Harry was born a couple of years later in 1984.
The Prince and Princess of Wales worked together frequently by carrying out many engagements together and going on overseas tours. However, by the late 1980s, it was very public knowledge that they were leading very separate lives. Prime Minister John Major announced that the couple had agreed to split in December 1992.
The Princess continued to lie at Kensington Palace and carry out her public work, after their divorce in 1996.
She died in a tragic car crash on 31st August 1997 whilst in Paris. Over a million people lined the streets and route of the funeral cortege to Westminster Abbey. Her sons, William and Harry were in the cortege with father Prince Charles.
The Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles on 9th April 2005.
PRINCE ANDREW AND SARAH FERGUSON
Second son to the Queen, Prince Andrew first met Sarah Ferguson at a very young age and the pair knew each other since childhood. It was a Windsor castle party in 1985 that led to their romance, an engagement quickly followed in 1986 which set the stage for a summer wedding.
The streets of London were lined with thousands of people and a TV audience of 500 million tuned in to watch the wedding. The bride travelled to Westminster Abbey with Major Ronald, her father.
She wore an ivory duchess satin dress with a 17-foot train, and Prince Andrew was dressed in the ceremonial day dress of a naval lieutenant. The church was occupied by 2000 guests and contained over 30,000 flowers.
After the ceremony, the couple travelled to Buckingham Palace to display their first kiss on the famous balcony in front of the 100,000 strong crowd. They had their reception in Claridges Hotel and then honeymooned in the Azores.
The couple went on to have two daughters, Princess Beatrice in 1988 and Princess Eugenie in 1990.
They divorced in 1996, but continued to live together for a year at their family home in Berkshire.
Sarah Ferguson published children’s books and made TV appearances in an attempt to recover from large debts. Secretly filmed News of the World footage showed Ms Ferguson offering a reporter access to her ex-husband for £500,000, in 2010.
PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES
Prince Charles and Camilla Shand first met in 1970 at a polo match.
Camilla married her first husband, cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973 and had two children with him.
She remained in contact and held a friendship with Prince Charles, which resulted in tension in his own marriage. In 1995, Princess Diana broadcasted in a famous interview, “There were three in the marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Camilla and Andrew divorced in 1995, and speculations of Charles and Camilla forming a romantic relationship were becoming more and more public.
The death of Diana in 1997, however, forced Camilla to retreat from the public as press criticism was renewed.
In 1999, Camilla met both Prince William and Prince Harry, she also hosted a 50th birthday party for Prince Charles, and in 2000 she met the Queen.
On the 10th February, Charles and Camilla announced their engagement.
The Prince of Wales and Camilla had a small, private civil wedding at Windsor’s Guildhall that was watched by over 20,000 people.
The Duchess wore an oyster silk basket-weave coat and chiffon dress for the ceremony, and later changed into a blue silk dress for the blessing.
A reception was hosted for the couple by the Queen in Windsor Castle’s State Apartments. The Queen made a speech in which she described how “proud” she was of Charles, and how she wished the couple well. The couple spent their honeymoon in Scotland.
Camilla became The Duchess of Cambridge after she wed Charles, and accompanied him on many official obligations and overseas tours. Prince Charles also has an interest in a number of fields such as architecture, farming, education and has founded a large number of charities.
PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON
Prince Harry’s older brother, Prince William met his other half, Kate Middleton at Scotland’s University of St Andrews in 2001 after starting out on the same history of art course. Even though William later switched to Geography, Kate was credited for persuading him to stay on as he struggled during his first year to adjust to university life.
The couple’s relationship grew and flourished over the years as they shared accommodation with friends and would spend weekends at the Queen’s Balmoral estate.
They both graduated from university with 2:1 degrees in their respected fields and carried out work experience in their own trades.
The couple split for a few months in 2007, after pressure from media and paparazzi attention forced them to divide. But they soon reunited, and Kate was present during the ceremony of Prince William receiving his RAF wings in April 2008.
The pair announced they were engaged on 16th November 2010, after the prince proposed on holiday in Kenya by giving Kate his mother’s engagement ring. The couple married on 29th April 2011 at Westminster Abbey.
Kate wore a stunning Alexander McQueen wedding dress, while Prince William was decked out in his traditional army attire.
After seven successful years of marriage the couple share three beautiful children together; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.