A royal wedding history : Andrew, Edward, Charles and Camilla

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 London at 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 they decided to marry in Berkshire at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and to hold a smaller affair in comparison to the Prince’s elder brother’s wedding. 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.


<—-Take a look our previous post in The Wedding Photography Secret’s history of royal weddings.



A royal wedding history : Princesses Margaret, Anne and Diana

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1960

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones’ marriage was the first royal marriage to be broadcast live on television, and received an audience of 300 million viewers worldwide with over 20,000 guests in attendance. Princess Margaret wore a stunning sophisticated princess ballgown with a tailored bodice.

The dress was created in a delicate silk organza fabric and by Norman Hartnell an esteemed couturier at the time. Princess Margaret accessorised the dress with a stunning regal crown and an elegant waterfall style veil trimmed with satin.


Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth I,  has been known in history as the ‘rebel party girl princess’. Princess Margaret and Armstrong met in 1958, following her scandalous relationship with Peter Townsend.

The whirlwind romance saw them married in 1960. Antony Armstrong Jones was a Cambridge graduate in architecture, but quickly took up a career in photography, despite his esteemed education, he was the first ‘commoner’ to marry into the Royal Family for 400 years .

Their honeymoon was enjoyed on the Royal Yacht Britannia on a six-week Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately after 20 years of marriage they got divorced in 1978, however their love story will remain in history.

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, 1973

Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth, married Captain Mark Phillips in Westminster Abbey on the 14th November, 1973 (her brother, Prince Charles’ birthday).

Princess Anne wore a stunning and regal Tudor-style wedding dress, with a high collar and billowing mediaeval sleeves. Created by the British designer Maureen Baker, the beautiful modest dress, elegantly referenced history. Yet also the sleek style, fit and expert tailoring brought the dress into the modern day.

The relatively simple gown was paired with a cascading white bouquet containing roses and lily of the valley. As Mark was a Lieutenant, he wore his cavalry captain uniform to the wedding.

Both Princess Anne and Mark Phillips were key equestriennes, which their daughter Zara Phillips has followed in their footsteps. Princess Anne competed within the British Eventing Team in 1975 and at the Montreal Summer Olympics in 1976. Mark Phillips too competed in the 1972 and 1988 Olympics. The couple even became engaged at the Badminton Horse Trials.


Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, 1981

The official engagement of Charles Philip Arthur George and Diana Frances Spencer on 24th February, 1981, and subsequent marriage on 29th July, witnessed the arrival of an era of saturated press and media coverage that the royal family had never seen before.

The Royal couple were married in Westminster Abbey, and it is an understatement to say that Diana’s dress was over the top. The ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown contained a 25 foot train with a 153 yard tulle veil. The dress at the time was valued at £151,000 and is one of the most iconic dresses in history.

The dress was designed by David Emmanuel and was a pivotal turning point in his designing career.


The dress itself characterised the dramatic flair of 1980’s fashion with its puffed sleeves, sinched in waist and dramatic skirt. Decorated with hand embroidery, sequins and 10,000 pearls, this dress encapsulates the fairy tale princess vision that weddings are often associated with.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s relationship was heavily scrutinised, starting from their televised wedding of over 750 million people. This, combined with plenty of other factors, led to the demise of their relationship and they were divorced in 1996.

The public scandal surrounding their relationship tribulations has created plenty of theories that still subsequently remain today. However, their relationship has certainly fascinated the world, and Diana is remembered as the pure hearted ‘People’s Princess’.


Wedding Music Planning: How long will a live band play for?

When planning live music for your wedding reception you need to have a rough idea of how long your live band will play for in order to work out an order of events for the day and evening. Most wedding bands work to a previously agreed playing time, although different musicians will have different standard arrangements.

The majority of live professional performers will be fairly flexible as to how they will arrange the entertainment, provided your requests are reasonable and made in advance of the big day.

Most wedding bands will provide two hours of live music

Find out more about booking a live band for your wedding.

The typical performance time for a wedding band is a total two hours of live music within a three or four- hour period. The musicians will split this two-hour playing time into sets with breaks in between, and will arrange these however you wish depending on your requirements. Most bands will offer three 40-minute sets of live music, but two 1-hour sets or four sets of 30-minutes are also fairly common. Two hours of live music is usually more than enough to provide a fantastic main event for the evening reception.

In between the live sets, most musicians will have ready prepared playlists in keeping with the musical theme of the reception. These will be played through the band’s PA system in order to ensure that the atmosphere is maintained throughout the evening. If you would prefer, it is perfectly acceptable to create your own CD, or hire a DJ to fill in during the breaks. Some party bands offer a DJ as an additional option.

Many musicians will be flexible with their performance

If you are planning to have live music during a different part of your wedding day, for example during the ceremony or afternoon drinks reception, you may find a different setup is more appropriate. If you are having a band to play at your wedding ceremony, they will probably still offer to provide two hours of live performance. This might include a set while your guests gather, specially chosen songs during the ceremony and then a further set directly afterwards to entertain at the drinks reception.

Certain bands playing specific musical styles might offer a shorter performance for a reduced price. Steel bands will commonly offer two 40-minute sets of live music within a two-hour period, and some other musicians may be willing to do something similar.

The fee doesn’t tend to change for a shorter playing time

In most cases the fee you pay will remain the same if the band is asked to play for a shorter period. Even if they are only performing at your wedding for an hour, the musicians will still be required to book out an entire day or evening to cover travelling and setup times. If they were to offer a reduced fee for the shorter playing time, it would deny them the opportunity to earn their full fee elsewhere on the same day.

The exact duration of time that musicians will perform at your wedding tends to vary slightly from band to band. In general, you can expect about two hours of live music split up into two or three sets of an hour or 40 minutes. Some bands will offer different options for performances at specific times of day, but in most cases you will pay the same amount for a shorter playing time. If you have any unusual requirements you should communicate with the musicians as they will often be fairly flexible and do all they can to make your wedding day as special as possible.