We have had the opportunity to see one more Royal wedding. Britain has enjoyed three of them in 37 years, and the British court has got three new Princesses for only a few decades. Each of them has been different and has brought new changes to the old court. While the world was enjoying the last wedding ceremony, the comparison between three weddings and the princesses inevitable appeared.
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The Modern Princesses
Lady Diana Spencer was the John Spencer (Viscount Althorp) and Frances Roche’s youngest daughter and a member of British nobility with the Royal Ancestry. She was raised in Park House on the Sandringham estate and studied in England and Switzerland. Her official title was Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, and Countess of Chester.
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton is the Michael and Carole Middleton’s eldest child. She was raised in a Chapel Row village near Newbury, Berkshire and finished her studies of art history at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Her official title is Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn in Scotland and Baroness of Carrickfergus in Ireland.
Rachel Meghan Markle is Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland’s daughter. She was born in Los Angeles, California and finished theatre and international studies at Northwestern University US. Her official title is Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton in Scotland and Baroness of Kilkeel in Northern Ireland.
How Old Were The Princess-Brides?
Diana was 20 years old young woman when she married His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Carrick, Duke of Rothesay, and Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland (32).
Kate was 29 years old when she married His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus (28).
Meghan was 36 years old when she married His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel (33).
The Special Days – Then and Now
Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer on 29 Jul 1981, at the High Altar at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. This wedding was a worldwide sensation. During that day, seven hundred and fifty million people in the world watched the Royal ‘fairy-tale wedding’. Thirty-five hundred guests came to the wedding ceremony. International press filmed the wedding in a variety of ways, including Movietone 35mm film.
Prince William married Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011, in Westminster Abbey in London. There were 1,900 guests in the Abbey. Nineteen hundred guests came to the wedding ceremony, 36 million people watched it on the TV, and this wedding became one of the most significant events on the Net.
Prince Harry married Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in Berkshire. Up to 600 guests came in Windsor to the private Royal wedding without any political leaders. It wasn’t forbidden for the press, but they had very limited access. Inside the chapel, there was only one seat to a reporter, and only four reporters covered the event from the outside.
The Royal Wedding Rings
Diana was proposed with the white gold engagement ring which consists of 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire and 14 solitaire diamonds around it.
Kate was proposed with Diana’s sapphire engagement ring made out of white Welsh gold.
Meghan was proposed with the ring specially designed for her, made out of Welsh gold, two Princess Diana’s diamonds and a stone from Botswana, where she fell in love with her Prince.
The Dresses, Veils, and Tiaras
Diana wore a giant puffy dress full of pearls, laces, sequins, and layers, with voluminous taffeta sleeves, and the longest foot train in Windsor history. A cathedral-length veil was made of 140 meters of tulle. She had her family’s heirloom tiara on her head. David and Elizabeth Emanuel designed the dress which cost approximately 115,000 dollars ($330,000 by today’s standards).
Kate wore an iconic, beautiful lace dress with a mixture of white and ivory fabrics. She picked out long lace sleeves and a V-neckline. A 9-foot long veil with hand-embroidered flowers was made of ivory silk tulle. She had a Cartier halo tiara featuring almost 1,000 diamonds on her head, loaned by Queen Elizabeth II, and Robinson Pelham’s earrings which were a gift from her parents. Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen luxury fashion house, designed the dress, and it cost approximately $434,000.
Meghan wore elegant, minimal designed wedding dress made of silk cady, with a triple silk organza underskirt, and a bateau neckline. On her head, she wore the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara loaned by Queen Elizabeth II, and Cartier’s earrings and the bracelet. She picked out a silk tulle 16-foot-veil trimmed with lace depicting flora from each of the 53 Commonwealth countries along with the California poppies. Clare Waight Keller from the fashion house Chloé designed the dress. It’s still a little early to talk about the price of Meghan’s wedding dress, but Givenchy wedding dresses approximately cost up to $500,000
The Royal Wedding Bouquets
Diana had a beautiful bouquet made of gardenias, orchids, stephanotis, lily of the valley, freesia, roses, Veronica, ivy, and spider lilies. Florists at Longmans Florist designed that bouquet weighing two kilos, and it has become an enduring symbol of the new Princess’ ‘fairytale’ wedding to this day.
Kate‘s all-white bouquet was small and made of hyacinth, lily of the valley, a sprig of myrtle, sweet William, and ivy.
Meghan‘s bouquet was made of flowers which Prince Harry handpicked for her. It includes forget-me-nots (Princess Diana’s favorite flower), lily of the valley, sweet peas, jasmine, astilbe, a sprig of myrtle, and astrantia. The designer of this small sweet bouquet was Philippa Craddock.
The Wedding Shoes
It took six months to design Diana’s Clive Shilton wedding shoes with pearls, sequins, and very low heels. She wanted the initials C + D to be painted under the heels.
Kate‘s almond-toes Alexander McQueen stilettos were made of hand-embroidered ivory duchess satin and the same lace as her gown and veil.
Meghan wanted comfortable shoes and chose simple white pumps with a high vamp.
The Walks Down the Aisles
Diana was walking down the aisle three and a half minutes with her father who pushed his health problems away to be able to walk with her. Seven bridal attendants accompanied Diana to the altar. Diana’s ceremony was a traditional and included the members of royal families from across the world and many Republican politicians.
Kate drove her route to the church with her father, Michael, and he was also walking down the aisle with her. Kate had four bridesmaids and two pageboys. Her sister Pippa was a maid of honor and accompanied the new Princess to the altar. Kate’s ceremony was pretty formal without joking and a lot of laughing.
Meghan came to St. George’s Chapel with her mom Doria Ragland and walked down the aisle by herself most of the way. Prince Charles joined her for the last few feet. Ten bridesmaids and pageboys, including newly-minted nephew Prince George and niece Princess Charlotte, followed her to the altar. Meghan decided that she doesn’t want to have a maid of honor. Her ceremony included a Minister who came from Chicago, gospel singing, relaxed atmosphere, and a lot of laughing and jokes.
The Royal Wedding Cakes
There were 27 cakes on Diana‘s wedding. Her wedding cake, created by the Royal Navy’s Cookery School, was the 5-foot tall. It was decorated with the initials ‘C and D’, Charle’s coat of arms, and the Spencer family crest. All around were roses, orchids, and lilies of the valley.
Kate‘s had two wedding cakes. Experts from McVitie’s Cake Company created the main fruitcake. It was covered with England’s roses, Scotland’s thistle, Wales’ daffodils, and Ireland’s shamrocks. Plus, there was the flower Sweet William, the symbol of smile, gallantry, and finesse.
Meghan chose a radical lemon-and-elderflower wedding cake covered with flowers created by Claire Ptak of London’s Violet Bakery.
As much as I tried to make the right comparison between these three Royal weddings, I couldn’t compare three entirely different women and the conditions in which their weddings took place. None of us know truly what kind of personality each of them has. We can only speculate from their public behavior.
The wedding of Princess Diana was presented as a ‘fairytale wedding’, but she spent many years unhappy and unloved.
Kate’s wedding was overly formal, just as it should be according to Royal regulations. But now we can see that she is not ready to fully comply with the imposed standards and use the small, silent rebellions very often in her everyday life.
Megan’s wedding could be held anywhere, and she and Prince Harry could be any other couple in love. They enjoyed relaxed wedding according to their own rules. They are in love and happy. I hope this will be the essential difference regarding the marriage of the beloved Lady D.