Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Frances Spencer, daughter of the eighth Earl Spencer on 29 July 1981 after a short engagement that had been announced on 24 February the same year.
The marriage ceremony was held at St Paul’s Cathedral rather than the more traditional Westminster Abbey as it could hold more guests. Charles, a future King of Great Britain, and Diana invited 3,500 guests. It was solemnised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie.
Diana travelled to St Paul’s in the Glass Coach with her father. Her gown was designed by husband and wife duo David and Elizabeth Emmanuel. It was a stunning dress made of ivory taffeta and antique lace with a record-breaking 25-foot train. Charles wore the uniform of a naval commander.
Diana wore the Spencer tiara, rather than choosing one from the Royal Collection.
Charles was supported by his brothers, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Diana had five bridesmaids, including Lady Sarah Armstong-Jones, now Lady Chatto, the daughter of Princess Margaret and Earl Snowdon.
Around 600,000 people congregated in London to watch the royal processions to and from St Paul’s and to join in the celebrations.
The marriage was viewed by an estimated television and radio audience of 1,000 million people.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds headed to Buckingham Palace for the traditional wedding breakfast in the open-topped State Landau Coach.
Their kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in front of thousands of cheering royal fans was the first in what became a tradition for royal weddings.
Charles and Diana separated in December 1992 and they divorced on 28 August 1996. Diana died in a Paris car crash on 31 August 1997.
See my post marking the birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales here.
See my post on Diana: Her Fashion Story – the Kensington Palace Exhibition here.
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