Britain's royal weddings past

British royal weddings have ranged in scale from huge events broadcast around the world to quieter ones in intimate venues.

Prince Harry’s nuptials with US actress Meghan Markle on Saturday will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Here is a list of some of Britain’s royal weddings during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, and what became of the marriages:

PRINCESS MARGARET and ANTONY ARMSTRONG-JONES

— 1960, May 6, Westminster Abbey, London

Queen Elizabeth’s sister was talked out of marrying equerry Peter Townsend in 1953, as he was a divorcee.

She married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones with their arty friends in attendance.

They had two children: David, who became chairman of Christie’s auction house, and painter Sarah.

Reports of numerous affairs first circled in 1966. They drifted apart by the early 1970s and divorced in 1978. Margaret died in 2002.

PRINCESS ANNE and MARK PHILLIPS

— 1973, November 14, Westminster Abbey, London

Anne was the first of Queen Elizabeth’s children to wed, marrying army lieutenant Mark Phillips in a ceremony filmed in colour and televised globally.

Unusually, Phillips, an Olympic gold medal-winning equestrian, did not take a title and their two children, Peter and Zara Phillips, bear no titles. They divorced in 1992.

PRINCE CHARLES and LADY DIANA SPENCER

— 1981, July 29, St Paul’s Cathedral, London

Billed as the wedding of the century, the heir to the throne married Diana Spencer, the daughter of an earl, in a huge ceremony attended by global royalty and heads of state. Britain had a national holiday and the event was broadcast live worldwide.

It was held at St Paul’s Cathedral because it is bigger than Westminster Abbey and allowed for a longer procession route.

They had two children, Princes William and Harry, but separated in 1992 and divorced four years later. Diana was killed in a car crash in 1997.

PRINCE ANDREW and SARAH FERGUSON

— 1986, July 23, Westminster Abbey, London

After Charles’s wedding, all eyes were on Queen Elizabeth’s second son, who married fun-loving Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of a major. The big-scale event followed the template set five years earlier.

Andrew was created Duke of York. They have two children, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. They divorced in 1996 but remain close.

PRINCESS ANNE and TIMOTHY LAURENCE

— 1992, December 12, Crathie Kirk, Balmoral

Anne became the first British royal divorcee to remarry since 1905. She wed naval commander Timothy Laurence in a low-key ceremony at the small church used by the royals when at the sovereign’s Balmoral estate in Scotland.

The Church of England did not allow divorced people to remarry in its churches, while the Church of Scotland did.

PRINCE EDWARD and SOPHIE RHYS-JONES

— 1999, June 19, St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son married public relations manager Sophie Rhys-Jones in a smaller-scale event than his brothers’ weddings. He was given the title Earl of Wessex. They have two children.

PRINCE CHARLES and CAMILLA PARKER-BOWLES

— 2005, April 9, Windsor Guildhall

After a long courtship in which former mistress Camilla was gradually accepted as the prince’s partner, the couple married in a small, private civil ceremony as both were divorced.

It was immediately followed by a bigger religious blessing at St George’s Chapel in Queen Elizabeth’s presence.

The wedding was set for Windsor Castle, but was switched to the town’s Guildhall, already a licensed wedding venue.

PRINCE WILLIAM and CATHERINE MIDDLETON

— 2011, April 29, Westminster Abbey, London

The biggest royal wedding in a generation since that of William’s parents in 1981, it was watched by up to two billion people worldwide and helped breathe new life into Britain’s monarchy after years of crisis.

The day was a public holiday in Britain and William was made the Duke of Cambridge.

In a surprise move, he took his bride for a spin in a classic car afterwards.

They now have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who was born on April 23.

Source: AFP

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