European royal weddings: a timeline

20th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A list of major royal weddings in Europe since World War II, starting with that of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, whose grandson Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton on April 29:

- November 20, 1947: Princess Elizabeth, the 21-year-old daughter of king George VI, marries Philip Mountbatten, born a prince of Greece and Denmark and nearly five years her senior. He becomes the Duke of Edinburgh. Elizabeth accedes to the throne on her father's death in 1952 and is crowned the following year.

- April 18, 1956: Prince Rainier III of Monaco, 32, marries US film star Grace Kelly, 26. Kelly is killed in a car crash in 1982, and Prince Rainier dies in 2005. The couple's son, Prince Albert II, will marry South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock in July this year.

- July 2, 1959: Prince Albert of Belgium, 25, marries 21-year-old Italian princess Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria. He has been Albert II, King of the Belgians since 1993.

- December 15, 1960: King Baudouin of Belgium, 30, marries the Spanish noblewoman Fabiola de Mora y Aragon, 32. Baudouin dies in 1993.

- May 14, 1962: Spain's Prince Juan Carlos, 24, marries Princess Sophia of Greece, the 23-year-old daughter of king Paul of Greece and sister of king Constantine II. The couple have been King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain since 1975.

- March 10, 1966: Beatrix, 28, princess of the Netherlands and daughter of queen Juliana, marries German aristocrat Claus von Amsberg, 39.

Beatrix becomes queen in 1980; prince Claus dies in 2002.

- June 10, 1967: Princess Margrethe, 27, the eldest daughter of the king of Denmark Frederick IX and princess Ingrid of Sweden, marries French count Henri de Monpezat, 33. She has been queen of Denmark since 1972.

- August 29, 1968, Prince Harald of Norway, the 31-year-old son of king Olav V, marries Sonja Haraldsen, a commoner of the same age. He has been on the throne since 1991 as Harald V.

- June 19, 1976: Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, 30, marries Silvia Sommerlath, a 32-year-old interpreter. He has been king of Sweden since 1973.

- July 29, 1981: Prince Charles, the 32-year-old heir to the British throne, marries Lady Diana Spencer, 20. The couple produce two sons of whom the elder, Prince William, is to marry Kate Middleton on April 29.

Charles and Diana separate in 1992 and are formally divorced in 1996; she is killed in a Paris car crash in the following year.

Charles remains the heir to the throne; William is second in line.

- May 22, 2004: Prince Felipe de Bourbon, the 36-year-old heir to the Spanish throne, marries Letizia Ortiz, 31, a journalist and television news presenter.

- April 9, 2005: Britain's Prince Charles, aged 56, marries his long-time companion Camilla Parker-Bowles, 57. She becomes Duchess of Cornwall.

© 2011 AFP

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