Prince Andrew’s Wedding – 23rd July, 1986
Andrew Albert Christian Edward, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, and Sarah Ferguson were married on 23rd July, 1986. As with the majority of the royals since the early 20th century, they married in Westminster Abbey, with a television audience of 500 million worldwide. Queen Elizabeth granted Prince Andrew the titles of Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh just 90 minutes before the ceremony took place.
Prince Edward was the best man, and their reception took place at Claridges Hotel. They later honeymooned in the Azores.
They went on to have two children, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and divorced in 1996.
Prince Edward’s Wedding – 19th June, 1999
Once best man to his brother Prince Andrew’s wedding, it was Prince Edward Anthony Richard Louis’ turn on 19th June, 1999. Breaking the tradition observed since George VI’s wedding back in 1923, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones did not marry in Westminster Abbey. Instead their marriage was to be a smaller affair in comparison to the Prince’s elder brother’s wedding, and was held in St George’s Chapel in Windsor. This wedding was very select in its guestlist, only allowing close friends and family. Sophie Rhys-Jones wore a dress designed by Samantha Shaw. It was a coat with long fittings and sleeves and an ivory train made from hand-dyed silk.
Queen Elizabeth granted Prince Edward a title that had not been in use since 1071, the Earldom of Wessex.
The couple also have two children, Princess Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor and Prince James Alexander Philip Theo.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles’ Wedding – 9th April, 2005
It had been nearly ten years since the breakdown of Prince Charles’ and Diana’s marriage (and their subsequent divorce), and her tragic death on 31st August, 1997. Camilla Parker-Bowles had been a lifelong friend of Prince Charles, and the couple grew ever closer, becoming engaged on 10th February, 2005.
Thanks to the Church of England’s stance against the re-marriage of divorcees, Prince Charles and Camilla nee Shand turned to civil partnership for their wedding. The small civil ceremony took place in Windsor Guildhall (town hall of Windsor), and then quickly moved on to Windsor Castle for an official religious blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop, in light of the divorce issue and other allegations, required from the couple an Act of Penitence:-
“We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time, have committed by word, thought and deed, against thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.”
This was the first time any member of the English Royal Family had undertaken a civil marriage. The Duchess wore an oyster silk basket-weave coat dress for the ceremony in Windsor Guildhall, and changed into a porcelain blue silk dress in Windsor Castle.
High-profile wedding photographer Hugo Burnand took the official photos, and is rumoured to be making an appearance at Prince William and Kate’s wedding later this year.