Britain's royal weddings of the past

16th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

British royal weddings have taken place in a variety of locations, from huge public events to small-scale marriages in tiny venues.

All that is currently known about Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton is that it will take place in spring or summer next year.

Here is a list of high-profile royal weddings over nearly 40 years:

PRINCESS ANNE and MARK PHILLIPS

-- 1973, November 14, Westminster Abbey, London

Anne was the first of Queen Elizabeth II's children to tie the knot, marrying army lieutenant Mark Phillips in an ceremony at London's historic Westminster Abbey that was televised around the world.

It was the first big royal wedding since Queen Elizabeth's sister princess Margaret married in 1960.

Unusually, Phillips did not take a title and their two children, Peter and Zara Phillips, bear no titles. They divorced in 2002.

PRINCE CHARLES and LADY DIANA SPENCER

-- 1981, July 29, St Paul's Cathedral, London

Billed as the wedding of the century, the heir to the throne married Diana Spencer in a huge ceremony attended by royalty and heads of state from around the world. Britain had a national holiday and the event was broadcast live across the globe.

It was held at St Paul's at it can hold more people than Westminster Abbey and allowed for a longer procession route.

Though not of royal blood, Diana was the daughter of an earl.

They had two children, Princes William and Harry, but separated in 1992 and divorced four years later. She was killed in a car crash in 1997.

PRINCE ANDREW and SARAH FERGUSON

-- 1986, July 23, Westminster Abbey, London

After Charles's wedding, all eyes were on Queen Elizabeth's second son, who married Sarah Ferguson, a commoner and the daughter of a major, five years later. The big-scale event followed the template set by Charles's wedding.

Andrew was created Duke of York. They have two children, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. They divorced in 1996 but remain close.

PRINCESS ANNE and TIMOTHY LAURENCE

-- 1992, December 12, Crathie Kirk, Scotland

Anne became the first British royal divorcee to marry again since 1905. She married Royal Navy commander Timothy Laurence in a low-key ceremony at the church used by the royals when at the sovereign's Balmoral estate in Scotland.

The Church of England did not allow divorced people to remarry in its churches, while the Church of Scotland did.

PRINCE EDWARD and SOPHIE RHYS-JONES

-- 1999, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

Queen Elizabeth's youngest son Edward married public relations manager Sophie Rhys-Jones in a smaller-scale event than his brothers' weddings. He was given the title Earl of Wessex. They have two children.

PRINCE CHARLES and CAMILLA PARKER-BOWLES

-- 2005, April 9, Windsor Guildhall

After a long courtship in which Camilla Parker-Bowles was gradually accepted as the prince's partner, the couple married in the royal town of Windsor, in a civil ceremony.

It was followed by a religious blessing at St George's Chapel in Queen Elizabeth's presence.

The wedding was to have taken place in Windsor Castle, but was switched to the town's Guildhall.

Both divorced, there was controversy over whether they could have had a church wedding, especially given Charles's future role as supreme governor of the Church of England.

The wedding was also delayed by a day to allow the prince to attend pope John Paul II's funeral.

PETER PHILLIPS and AUTUMN KELLY

-- 2008, May 17, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

Queen Elizabeth's eldest grandchild Peter Phillips married Canadian management consultant Autumn Kelly in a low-key family wedding. She converted from Catholicism to Anglicanism to keep his 11th place in the line of succession to the throne.

Princess Anne's son works for the Royal Bank of Scotland and carries out no royal duties.

PRINCE WILLIAM and KATE MIDDLETON

-- 2011

After an on-off courtship lasting the best part of eight years, Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged in October 2010 during a private holiday in Kenya. The engagement was announced on November 16, with the wedding set for spring or summer 2011.

Given William's position as second in line to the throne, the event is expected to match the scale of his parents' 1981 wedding although no details of the arrangements were immediately released.


© 2010 AFP

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