Royal Wedding: British royal weddings since 1840

Royal weddings have long been occasions of fascination and splendor. Here’s a look at the marriages of key members of the British royal family beginning with Queen Victoria’s 1840 union with her first cousin, Prince Albert.

March 10, 1863: Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and his bride, Princess Alexandra of Denmark, after their wedding. She is the daughter of Christian IX, king of Denmark. Press Association / Associated Press
King George V, Queen Mary, Queen Victoria
1893: King George V and Queen Mary with the late Queen Victoria during their honeymoon in London in 1893. He was not to ascend the throne until 17 years later. Associated Press

On July 6, 1893, George V marries Princess Mary of Teck at Chapel Royal. She had been engaged to his older brother, Albert, who died unexpectedly of pneumonia six weeks after the betrothal was announced. A story in The Times reports of the wedding: “The weather was beautiful. A great crowd gathered along the route from Buckingham Palace to the garden entrance of St James Palace… The ceremony eclipsed in pomp and splendor any recent ceremonial of the British court.”

York Wedding
April 26, 1923: The wedding of Prince Albert, later King George VI, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Prince Albert, the future George VI, marries Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, at Westminster Abbey in 1923. At the time, he is second in line to the throne. The bride “wore the simplest and daintiest gown probably ever made for a royal marriage,” The Times reported.

Britian's Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, sits, left, whilst wedding photographs are t
Nov. 29, 1934: Prince George, fourth son of King George V, is married to Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. Associated Press

Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, sits at left in this wedding photograph of her uncle, Prince George, and Princess Marina of Greece in Buckingham Palace in 1934. From left, standing, King George V, Princess Nicholas of Greece, Princess Marina, Prince George, Queen Mary and Prince Nicholas of Greece. Seated front right is Lady Mary Cambridge.

Prince Henry, Princess Alice, King George V, Queen Mary, Princess Elizabeth
Nov. 6, 1935: Prince Henry and his bride, Lady Alice Scott, on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following their wedding. Len Puttman / Associated Press

Britain's Prince Henry and his bride, Lady Alice Scott, with Queen Mary, right, Princess Elizabeth, waving far left, and King George V on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Prince Edward, Wallis Simpson
June 3, 1937: The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, and Wallis Simpson after their wedding at Cande Castle, France, with witnesses Hermann Rogers, left, and Major Metcalf. Associated Press

The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, marries Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American, in France. He had abdicated the throne a year earlier in order to continue their romance, telling his subjects: “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.”

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh make a charming picture as they wave to the
Nov. 20, 1947: Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding. Associated Press

Princess Elizabeth, 21, marries Prince Philip, 26, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, at Westminster Abbey. He receives the title of Duke of Edinburgh on the day of the wedding. The Times reports that they “married in a ceremony of breathtaking beauty” and drove past well-wishers in a glass carriage to shouts of, “We want the bride.”

This is a May 6, 1960 file photo of Anthony Armstrong-Jones holds the hand of his bride, Princess M
May 6, 1960: Antony Armstrong-Jones and his bride, Princess Margaret, leave London's Westminster Abbey after their wedding. Associated Press

Princess Margaret marries Antony Armstrong-Jones, a photographer with no royal lineage. The ceremony, at Westminster Abbey, is the first royal wedding to be televised. Her previous love affair with Group Capt. Peter Townsend, who had divorced his first wife, ended under tremendous pressure on her to refuse his proposal of marriage. Her marriage to Armstrong-Jones, who was given the title Earl of Snowdon, ended in divorce in 1978.

March 11, 1961: Duchess of Kent, at the left, walks with her son, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and hi
March 11, 1961: The Duchess of Kent, left, walks with her son, Prince Edward, and his fiancee, Katherine Worsley, in the garden at Kensington Palace in London, three months before their wedding. UPI
The bride has a royal following Britain?s Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh
April 24, 1963: Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Phillip and Prince Charles at the wedding of Princess Alexandra and Angus Ogilvy in Westminster Abbey. Associated Press
Britain's Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, with her husband Captain Mark Phillips of t
Nov. 14, 1973: Britain's Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband Capt. Mark Phillips, wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding in Westminster Abbey. Associated Press

Princess Anne, marries Capt. Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey. The Times reports that her mother, the queen, weeps in public for the first time “tears of joy at the unaffected delight of seeing her 23-year-old daughter and the dashing Dragoon Capt. Mark Phillips in love.” The couple divorces in 1992.

July 29, 1981: The carriage carrying the Prince and Princess of Wales passes along Trafalgar Square on its way from St. Paul's Cathedral to Buckingham Palace after the royal wedding. Associated Press

Charles, Prince of Wales, marries Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Hundreds of millions of people watch the televised ceremony. “Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made,” the Archbishop of Canterbury says in a brief homily. A wedding, he adds, is the “place where the adventure really begins.” The couple divorces in 1996.

July 23, 1986: Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson after their wedding at Westminster Abbey. Associated Press

Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson, both 26, at Westminster Abbey. An estimated 300 million people watch on television. The Times’ reports: “The royal family celebrated the occasion with a sense of pomp, military precision and style that have become a British trademark.” They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

Princess Anne, Timothy Laurence
Dec. 12, 1992: Britain's Princess Anne leaves a church near Balmoral, Scotland, after her wedding to Commander Tim Laurence. Princess Anne added a joyous chapter to the fractured royal fairy tale with a private wedding to the navy commander. Martin Keene / Press Association / Associated Press

Princess Anne marries naval Cmdr. Timothy Laurence. Only about 30 guests attend the service at tiny Crathie Church near the royal Balmoral Castle in northeastern Scotland on an overcast, bitterly cold day with a hint of snow in the air. It is in marked contrast to her first marriage in a glittering state wedding in Westminster Abbey nearly two decades earlier.

June 19, 1999: Prince Edward and his bride, Sophie Rhys-Jones, ride through the streets of Windsor after their wedding at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. Neil Munns / Associated Press

Prince Edward, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II, marries Sophie Rhys-Jones, a public relations executive. The Times reports: “Despite the royal splendor, it was a relatively modern ceremony for a decidedly modern couple. The early evening service, attended by just 550 family members and friends, was held well away from London’s great cathedrals and with no military processions or official representatives from other countries.”

April 9, 2005: Prince Charles and his bride, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, leave St George's Chapel in Windsor following the church blessing of their civil wedding ceremony. Alastair Grant / Associated Press

Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles 35 years after their romance first began. After the civil exchange of vows at the Guildhall in Windsor, witnessed by only a few dozen close family members and friends, Charles and Camilla emerged for a much more public and elaborate religious service of “prayer and dedication,” televised nationwide and attended by his mother. Camilla, whose first marriage also ended in divorce, uses the title Duchess of Cornwall.

FILE: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Expecting Baby
April 29, 2011: Prince William and Kate Middleton kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

Amid extravagant displays of elegance, patriotism and tradition, Prince William marries Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey. His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, announces new titles for the couple: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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