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AP

When Prince William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, were married in 1981, 750 million people watched the ceremony on television and two million people lined the streets of London to get a glimpse of the bride and groom.


Will Prince William and Kate Middleton find inspiration in the details of his parents' iconic wedding? We think so.

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Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne and one of the world's most eligible bachelors, proposed to Lady Diana Spencer after a brief courtship. The couple announced their engagement on February 24, 1981.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

When Prince Charles popped the question, he didn't offer his future bride an engagement ring but allowed her to pick her own ring from the official crown jeweler, Garrard Jewelers. After browsing several designs, she selected a ring with an oval sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds in a cluster setting. The ring was not a custom design but part of the jeweler's collection, and cost $65,000.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

About 750 million people from around the world tuned in to watch the "wedding of the century" and two million well-wishers lined the streets of London to see Lady Diana's journey from Clarence House to St. Paul's Cathedral.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

The iconic wedding dress was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Elizabeth recently recalled that the gown's inspiration came from "romance, and froth and lace and big skirts. It was over the top and it was perfect. She loved that."

Made from silk taffeta and antique lace, the designers and the bride wanted the gown to make a "dramatic statement," which it did with it's incredibly long 25-foot train. The bride wore a cathedral-length veil and the Spencer family diamond tiara, which we recently learned gave her a splitting headache.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

Before entering St. Paul's, Lady Diana took her father's arm. He had recently recovered from a stroke and it wasn't certain that he'd be able to make the almost four-minute walk to the altar.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

On July 29, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married in front of 3,500 invited guests at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Most royal weddings take place at Westminster Abbey, but due to the size of the guest list, St Paul's was selected for the wedding of the century.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

The hour-long ceremony, a traditional Church of England service, was led by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Robert Runcie. During their vows, Diana jumbled Charles' name and called him Philip Charles Arthur George, instead of Charles Philip Arthur George. The groom mixed-up his vows too, stating "thy goods" instead of "my worldly goods." Before the wedding, the couple decided to omit the word "obey" from the ceremony.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

As a member of the British Royal Navy, Charles wore the full dress uniform of a naval commander.

The Prince and Princess of Wales led the processional to Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance."

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

After the ceremony, the newlyweds rode to Buckingham Palace for an intimate wedding breakfast with 120 guests. Riding in an open carriage, the couple waved to the crowds along the route.

After arriving at Buckingham Palace, they posed on the front balcony and shared a kiss as the crowd cheered.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding

In British wedding tradition, the bridal party was made up of children. The groom's brothers, princes Andrew and Edward, served as his supporters -- similar to the American role of the best man.

The bride's cascade bouquet included gardenias, stephanotis, yellow roses, freesia and ivy. The yellow roses coordinated with the attendants' dresses.

Prince Charles & Diana Spencers Wedding



More Royal Wedding News:

Browse our Gallery of Royal Weddings of Windsor

From the wedding cake to the dress: Find out what the royal wedding details are!

Will Prince William and Kate Middleton be inspired by other royal weddings? Browse our gallery of royal weddings from around the world.

Kate Middleton may get her something old from her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana -- find out what!

Visit RoyalWedding.aol.com for the Most Comprehensive Royal Wedding Coverage on the Web



Royal Wedding Videos

  • Angie

    those old photos do not give due praises to Diana's dress justice, it was very beautiful, I remember watching the service on TV it was awesome. Too bad they never made each other happy. The one good thing were their Boys. I wish the yoing couple well, and hope they learn from their parents's mistakes. Living out your life in front of a camera is very hard to do, hope they can handle it. The media will love you toady and hate you tomorrow.

    Reply
  • Larry Godden

    SADLY=BUT Princes Diana HAD To DIE-Think of This=She was Going To MARRY a SAUDI PRINCE who One Day would RULE His Country= OK= Fast Forward Forty Years= and Their Son= The New King of SAUDI-ARABIA Has a HALF BROTHER who is NOW KING of ENGLAND INDEED
    THAT WOULD BRING INTERNATIONAL PROBLEMS== YES Think ABOUT THAT

    Reply
  • rosie

    Sorry to disagree but I thought Diana's gown was awful. Terrible wrinkled and just not her style whatsover. I watched some of the wediing but I kept thinking about an interview they both gave when they became engaged. They were asked if they loved each other. She said of course. He said "whatever that means". I have never seen such 2 ill suited people in my life. Royalty, smoyalty. He should have been allowed to marry Camilla from the beginning. It would have saved a heck of alot of heartbreak. And to call your intended "sir" while on a date? NOT!!!!! It is very sad looking back at the pictures and seeing what so many people chose not to see....the reality of it all. She in love, he not even in lust.

    Reply
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