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Royal Wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Thirty-nine years ago, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer took place on Wednesday July 29th, 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral in London, United Kingdom. The groom was the heir to the British throne, and the bride was a member of the Spencer family.

Their marriage was widely billed as a "fairytale wedding" and the "wedding of the century". It was watched by an 14.2 million people and estimated global TV audience of 750 million people. Events were held around the Commonwealth to mark the wedding. Many street parties were held throughout the United Kingdom to celebrate the occasion.

The royal wedding precession from Buckingham Palace to the Cathedral started with the Queen of England, followed by Prince Charles and then by Lady Diana of Spencer in a carriage accompanied by her father, the Earl of Spencer:

The ceremony was a traditional Church of England wedding service. The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral Alan Webster presided at the service, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie conducted the marriage. Notable figures in attendance included many members of other royal families, republican heads of state, and members of the bride's and groom's families. The ceremony featured many ceremonial aspects, including use of the state carriages and roles for the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry.

After the ceremony, the Prince and Princess of Whales are taken back to Buckingham Palace through the packed streets of London, as an adulating, cheering crowd of British citizens look on. After the ceremony, the couple made the traditional appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The United Kingdom had a national holiday on that day to mark the wedding:

The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, after fifteen years of marriage. Diana would go on to use her public platform to champion and bring awareness to several humanitarian efforts and charities but died tragically in a car accident on August 31, 1997.

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