The big news on Tuesday of Prince William getting engaged to long time girlfriend Kate Middleton made me reminisce about his parent's big day on July 29, 1981. Wikipedia reports 750 million TV sets were tuned in worldwide to watch the royal wedding.
While I wasn't then, nor am I now, obsessed with the royal family; I was excited to watch this fairy tale on live television. The romance of it all was just too much to pass up. What little girl hasn't had the occasional daydream of becoming a real life princess?! So here we got to see a commoner becoming royalty for real! 20-year old, Diana Spencer was going to become The Princess of Whales.
As I recall, the wedding happened around 2am and I was front and center with my female roommate soaking it all up. I remember feeling a wide range of emotions from envy and jealousy to depression that it will never happen to me. But I also cried, although I don't remember why hahaha! It's not like I knew these people, but I guess weddings bring that out in some of us.
Princess Di married ugly old Prince Chuck and they seemed like such an odd couple -- unlike Prince Will and his girl Kate. Looks as if Will has learned a thing or two, saying he waited eight years to make sure Kate knew what she would be in for being married to a royal. They met in collage and are both 28 years old. They broke up twice over the last eight years, so it looks like this marriage could go the distance.
Diana's train was 25 feet long! I love that Prince William gave Kate his mother's engagement ring! He said it was his way of including her in his big day. That is so sweet and very touching to me. Below are photos of Kate and Di each wearing the 18 ct oval, blue sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds, as well as the actual ring.
Princess Diana's tiara was reported to be so heavy, it gave her a headache.
Princess Di's wedding was held in St. Paul's Cathedral instead of Westminster Abbey, because it offered more seating for guests. Wikipedia reports 600,000 people lined the surrounding streets to try and catch a glimpse of the royal couple. Did you know Di did not say she would "obey" Prince Charles? The couple had that phrase deleted from their vows, which caused a lot of comments at the time.
Mounted police hold back the crowds gathered in London's mall.
Here's the official wedding photo of the royal wedding party.
What's a royal wedding without a coat of arms! This was Diana's when she became a Princess.
Alas, the couple divorced in 1996. I wish Prince William and Kate a much longer and much happier marriage. You can bet I'll be glued to my TV to watch their royal wedding next year.
**I was incorrect when I called Diana Spencer a commoner. While she wasn't a oyal before marriage, she was a descendant of King James II of England through an illegitimate daughter. Kate Middleton will be the first commoner to marry a royal in 300 years.