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The 23 Most Memorable Royal Weddings of All Time

Look back at the most memorable royal weddings of the 20th and 21st centuries from all across the world and glimpse fairy tales made real.

Royal weddings have been fascinating commoners for generations. In 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton captivated the world, with a gobsmacking 2 billion global viewers. Perhaps it’s the garb: tiaras, 25-foot trains, grooms in full military dress. Perhaps it’s the pomp and circumstance: centuries-old rituals, gilded carriages, and thousands of onlookers. Or, perhaps it’s just a desire to take a glimpse into a fairy tale made real. From Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III to King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema of Bhutan, here, we take a look back at 23 of the most memorable royal weddings.

1. Prince William and Kate Middleton

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Photo: Getty Images

When: April 29, 2011
Where: Westminster Abbey
The Bride: Kate Middleton
The Groom: Prince William, third in line to the British throne


It’s generally believed that Prince William met Kate Middleton in 2001 when they were both students at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. By 2003, they were a couple. After a brief split in 2007, they got back together. They announced their engagement in 2010 and got married the following year. They welcomed Prince George in 2013 and Princess Charlotte in 2015, and a third child, Prince Louis, arrived in April 2018.

2. Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly

Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly

Photo: Getty Images

When: April 18, 1956
Where: The Palace Throne Room
The Bride: Grace Kelly
The Groom: Prince Rainier III, the sovereign of Monaco


American actress Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier III in the French Riviera in 1955. The following year, they married and Kelly retired from acting. She had three children: Princess Stéphanie, Princess Caroline, and Prince Albert ll of Monaco. In 1982, Kelly suffered a stroke while driving, resulting in the car crash that ended her life at 52.

3. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Photo: Getty Images

When: May 19, 2018
Where: St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
The Bride: Meghan Markle
The Groom: Prince Harry, sixth in line to the British throne


Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle were introduced by a mutual friend. After a transatlantic courtship, the two announced their engagement in November 2018. Their springtime wedding at Windsor Castle enraptured millions with its pomp, circumstance, and grandeur. Nearly a year after their fairytale nuptials, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

4. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling

Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling

Photo: Getty Images

When: June 19, 2010
Where: Stockholm Cathedral
The Bride: Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, heiress apparent to the Swedish throne
The Groom: Daniel Westling


Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden met Daniel Westling in 2002. He was her personal trainer, helping her restore her health, reportedly after a serious bout with an eating disorder. The two fell in love and married eight years later. In marrying Crown Princess Victoria, he officially also became Prince of Sweden and Duke of Västergötland. Since their marriage, they have had two children.

5. Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones

Photo: Getty Images

When: May 6, 1960
Where: Westminster Abbey
The Bride: Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II
The Groom: Antony Armstrong-Jones


Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister, Margaret, fell in love with and married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones. They had two children and announced their divorce after 18 years of marriage, following rumors of infidelity.

6. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

Photo: Getty Images

When: November 20, 1947
Where: Westminster Abbey
The Bride: Then–Princess Elizabeth of England
The Groom: Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark


At 13, Princess Elizabeth had a notable meeting with Prince Philip (then 18) on a tour of the Royal Naval College where the young prince was a naval cadet. Following that encounter in 1939, the two began exchanging letters throughout all of World War II and fell in love. Their engagement was formally announced in 1947, and they were married that same year. They have four children.

7. Princess Caroline of Monaco and Philippe Junot

Princess Caroline and Philippe Junot

Photo: REX

When: June 28 and 29, 1978
Where: Monte Carlo
The Bride: Princess Caroline of Monaco
The Groom: Philippe Junot


Princess Caroline of Monaco reportedly met French venture capitalist Philippe Junot in 1976 at a disco in Paris. Two years after their wedding, the couple divorced. The couple had no children together and the marriage was eventually annulled by the Roman Catholic Church.

8. Prince Charles and Diana Spencer

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

Photo: Getty Images

When: July 29, 1981
Where: St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Bride: Lady Diana Spencer
The Groom: Charles, Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne


Princess Diana rose to worldwide fame in 1981 when she became engaged to the heir apparent to the British throne, Prince Charles. Loved and revered across the world, Princess Diana dedicated her life to charity work and raising her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Rumors of Prince Charles’s infidelity were widespread, and the pair divorced in 1996. The following year, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, an Egyptian film producer.

9. Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson

The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson

Photo: Getty Images

When: June 3, 1937
Where: Château de Candé
The Bride: Wallis Simpson
The Groom: Edward, Duke of Windsor and former King of the United Kingdom


Prince Edward became the King of the United Kingdom in early 1936. Less than a year later, he abdicated the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite. Upon his abdication, he received a new title: the Duke of Windsor. Accordingly, Simpson became the Duchess of Windsor.

10. Prince Felipe VI and Letizia Ortiz

King Felipe and Letizia Ortiz

Photo: Getty Images

When: May 22, 2004
Where: Almudena Cathedral
The Bride: Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
The Groom: Felipe, then Prince of Asturias, heir apparent to the Spanish throne


Before meeting Prince Felipe VI, Ortiz worked as a television journalist. It’s rumored that after seeing her on television, the then-prince asked a mutual friend to set up a dinner for them to meet. Following their meeting in 2002, they began to date and announced their engagement in 2003. The couple have two daughters.

11. Prince Hamzah bin Hussein and Princess Noor

Prince Hamzah and Princess Noor

Photo: Getty Images

When: August 29, 2003
Where: Amman, Jordan
The Bride: Princess Noor bint Asem bin Nayef
The Groom: Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, former Crown Prince of Jordan


Prince Hamzah and Princess Noor announced their engagement in TK. They had one daughter, Princess Haya bint Hamzah, in 2007. They divorced in 2009.

12. Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist

Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist

Photo: Getty Images

When: June 13, 2015
Where: Stockholm’s Royal Palace
The Bride: Sofia Hellqvist
The Groom: Prince Carl Philip, third in line to the Swedish throne


Sofia Hellqvist, a former model and reality television personality, and Prince Carl Philip met by chance in 2010 while eating in a restaurant. Both were with friends, and as luck would have it, Hellqvist’s friends knew the prince’s friends. In 2011, they moved in together, and by 2014, they were engaged. The couple have two children.

13. Crown Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal Miller

Prince Pavlos and Marie-Chantal Miller

Photo: Getty Images

When: July 1, 1995
Where: St. Sophia’s Cathedral
The Bride: Marie-Chantal Miller
The Groom: Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece


These two reportedly met on a blind date in 1992 when they were set up by a mutual friend. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Miller revealed, “It was love at first sight.” Prince Pavlos proposed about three years later. Since their marriage, they’ve had five children.

14. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

Photo: Getty Images

When: October 12, 2018
Where: St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
The Bride: Princess Eugenie of York
The Groom: Jack Brooksbank


The granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth wed her longtime beau, Jack Brooksbank, in a fall wedding at Windsor Castle. The bride wore a custom gown by Peter Pilotto and an emerald and diamond tiara. Her niece and nephew, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, served as a bridesmaid and pageboy, respectively.

15. Crown Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada

Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada

Photo: Getty Images

When: June 9, 1993
Where: Imperial Palace
The Bride: Masako Owada
The Groom: Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan


Masako Owada, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, met the prince at a tea in 1986. Over the next few years, Prince Naruhito courted her. He reportedly proposed three times, but she didn’t accept the first two proposals because she didn’t want to give up her career and civilian life. Eventually, however, she accepted, and she became Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess of Japan and was placed in the Japanese imperial order of precedence. The couple has one child, Aiko, born in 2001.

16. King Constantine II and Princess Anne-Marie

King Constantine and Princess Anne-Marie

Photo: Getty Images

When: September 18, 1964
Where: Metropolis
The Bride: Anne-Marie, Princess of Denmark
The Groom: Constantine II, King of Greece


Princess Anne-Marie met her third cousin and then–Prince Constantine when she was only 13, in 1959. The prince was visiting Denmark with his parents and they paid a visit to the princess’s royal family. At the time, Prince Constantine was 19. In 1961, they met again, and rumor has it, the prince told people that he wished to marry Princess Anne-Marie. Upon the death of his father in 1964, Constantine became king, the same year the couple married. They have five children.

17. King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan and Lisa Najeeb Halaby

King Hussein bin Talal and Lisa Najeeb Halaby

Photo: Corbis

When: June 15, 1978
Where: Zaharan Palace
The Bride: Lisa Najeeb Halaby
The Groom: King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan


Lisa Najeeb Halaby, the daughter of a prominent businessman, graduated from Princeton in 1974 and met King Hussein bin Talal four years later while working as a planning executive with Royal Jordanian Airlines. The king met, courted and married Halaby, 16 years his junior, all in the same year. The couple had four children and remained married until the king’s death in 1999.

18. Prince Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie

Prince Guillaume and Countess Stephanie

Photo: REX

When: October 20, 2012
Where: Our Lady of Luxembourg Cathedral
The Bride: Belgian Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy
The Groom: Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg


The pair met briefly around 2004 while on holiday in Germany. In 2011, their paths crossed again, and they became romantically involved. De Lannoy was granted Luxembourg citizenship and became the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg the day of her marriage to Prince Guillaume.

19. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema

Photo: Getty Images

When: October 13, 2011
Where: Punakha Dzong
The Bride: Jetsun Pema
The Groom: Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan


King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck took commoner Jetsun Pema as his bride when he was 31 and she was 21. When their engagement was announced, the king stated the following: “Many will have their own idea of what a Queen should be like—that she should be uniquely beautiful, intelligent, and graceful. I think with experience and time, one can grow into a dynamic person in any walk of life with the right effort. For the queen, what is most important is that at all times, as an individual, she must be a good human being, and as queen, she must be unwavering in her commitment to serve the people and country. As my queen, I have found such a person and her name is Jetsun Pema. While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character. These qualities, together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience, will make her a great servant to the nation.”

20. Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah and Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini

Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah and Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini

Photo: Getty Images

When: September 20, 2012
Where: Nurul Iman Palace
The Bride: Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, daughter of the Sultan of Brunei The Groom: Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini

The princess wed the civil servant as 3,000 guests bore witness. The bride was 32 and her groom was 29. He now bears the title Son of His Highness.

21. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles

Prince Charles & Camilla Bowles

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When: April 9, 2005
Where: Windsor Guildhall
The Bride: Camilla Parker Bowles
The Groom: Charles, Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne


This royal wedding is memorable mostly because the couple has been mired in controversy for decades. Prince Charles is rumored to have had an ongoing affair with Bowles during his marriage to Princess Diana. Prince Charles took his longtime girlfriend to be his wife eight years after Diana’s tragic car crash in Paris.

22. Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones

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When: June 19, 1999
Where: St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle
The Bride: Sophie Rhys-Jones
The Groom: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex


The couple reportedly began dating after a charity event. Sophie Rhys-Jones was working in public relations at the time, while the prince had started his own television company after a short stint in the Royal Marines. They announced their engagement and married in 1999. Prince Edward was 35 and the freshly minted Countess of Wessex was 34. They have two children.

23. Charlotte Casiraghi and Dimitri Rassam

charlotte-casiraghi-provence

Photo: Félix Dol-Maillot

When: June 1, 2019
Where: Prince’s Palace, Monaco
The Bride: Charlotte Casiraghi
The Groom: Dimitri Rassam


Charlotte Casiraghi, granddaughter of Princess Grace, wed Dimitri Rassam in a civil ceremony at Monaco’s Prince’s Palace. Later in the month, they held a larger wedding in Provence, France, where the bride wore Giambattista Valli Haute Couture.

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Originally Appeared on Vogue