With excitement building towards Prince William and Kate’s April 29 wedding, I thought it might be fun to remember some other royal brides.
Queen Elizabeth, Prince William’s grandmother, married Prince Philip November 20, 1947. Their wedding was held at Westminster Abbey, just as William and Kate’s wedding will be. The Queen and Prince Philip have been married over 60 years – pretty amazing!
The Queen’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, led a more tumultuous and less happy life than Elizabeth. She married Anthony Armstrong-Jones (later dubbed Lord Snowdon) on May 6, 1960, after deciding not to marry her first true love, Peter Townsend (he was divorced, which was highly frowned upon by the monarchy at the time). They married at Westminster Abbey as well. Princess Margaret died in 2002 at age 71.
Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter, Anne, married Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey on November 14, 1973 (coincidentally, that was the date that her brother Prince Charles turned 25). Anne and Mark divorced in 1992 and she married Timothy Laurence later that year.
Of course the most famous royal bride of the last many years was Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana. She and Prince Charles married at St. Paul’s Cathedral (chosen over Westminster Abbey because it held more people) on July 29, 1981. She had turned 20 earlier the same month.
Charles and Diana’s wedding was a massive media event, with an estimated 750 million viewers. I just read this morning that 2 billion people are expected to watch William and Kate’s wedding. Wow!
Diana died in August 1997, a fact that I still have a hard time coming to terms with.
July 23, 1986, Westminster Abbey hosted yet another royal wedding: the Queen’s second son Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, known as Fergie. Fergie’s dress was less poufy and fairy-tale than Diana’s had been, and actually I liked it more. They had two girls, Beatrice (born 8-8-’88) and Eugenie. You’ve probably read that Fergie, who divorced Andrew in 1996, is not invited to William and Kate’s wedding. Their girls, who are William’s cousins, will be there.
The Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, married Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19, 1999 at Windsor Castle. Edward and Sophie have kept a low profile and have thus far avoided the “divorce plague” that seems to follow royal marriages. They have a 7-year-old daughter, Louise, who will be a bridesmaid in William and Kate’s wedding. They also have a 3-year-old son, James.
Finally, Prince Charles married long-time love Camilla Parker Bowles on April 9, 2005, at Windsor Guildhall. Mixed feelings on this one. I watched the wedding and couldn’t help feeling happy for Charles and Camilla. They’d loved each other for years and seemed to be well-matched. But, I can’t shake a bit of anger that Charles messed up Diana’s life by marrying her when he really loved Camilla.
Which of the royal brides is your favorite?