Royal Weddings Through The Ages

Published in History Today

As the final preparations are made for the Royal Wedding on Friday April 29th, we explore the history of regal marriages, from Tudor times to the twentieth century, through a selection of articles from our archive, historic photographs and videos.

The televised Royal Wedding that most people think of first is likely to be that of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. The first involving an heir to the English throne in the mass media era, the wedding was watched by over 750 million people worldwide. Earlier marriages were also caught on camera, however, and despite the changing fashions, the formality of what is one of the most important state occasions has little changed in the past century.

Prince Albert & Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 1923

Prince Albert, the future King George VI, married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Mother, on April 23rd, 1923. Although she was the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Elizabeth was legally considered a commoner and was reluctant to submit to the trappings of royal life. She refused Prince Albert's proposals of marriage twice, before eventually accepting to marry him in January 1923.

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Princess Elizabeth Weds, 1947

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark) were married at Westminster Abbey on November 20th, 1947.

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