#Throwback Thursday: Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ Wedding Was the Wedding of the Century For a Reason

Leah Bourne

m 4 #Throwback Thursday: Princess Diana and Prince Charles Wedding Was the Wedding of the Century For a ReasonWhen an image of that perfect fairytale wedding comes to mind, you are likely thinking of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding back in 1981. Billed as the “wedding of the century” the nuptials were watched by an estimated 750 million viewers around the world. From the dress, the carriage ride, to the tiara, the entire affair went down in history for good reason. Here, the details on one of the most lavish weddings the world will ever see.
Venue: The service took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the dinner that followed took place at Buckingham Palace.
The Guests: There were 3,500 people in the congregation at St Paul’s Cathedral. The list included Aga Khan IV, the Princess of Monaco, Nancy Reagan, and more royals than you can count. Two million spectators lined the route of Diana’s procession from Clarence House, with 4,000 police and 2,201 military officers to manage the crowds. The after-party dinner was attended by only 120 people.
The Dress: Diana’s wedding dress was made of silk taffeta, decorated with lace, hand embroidery, sequins, and 10,000 pearls. It was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel and had a 25-foot train of ivory taffeta and antique lace. Charles wore his full dress naval commander uniform.
The Food: The ‘dinner’ was mainly simple breakfast food — sausages and baked beans, kedgeree, and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. The couple had 27 wedding cakes with the official wedding cake being supplied by the Naval Armed Forces. David Avery, the head baker at the Royal Naval cooking school, in Chatham Kent, made the cake, which took 14 weeks. They made two identical cakes in case one was damaged. The couple’s other wedding cake was created by Belgian pastry chef S. G. Sender, who was known as the “cakemaker to the kings.” A slice of the dessert was sold in 2008 for $1,830 at auction.
Fun Fact: The seating at the dinner was not pre-arranged, except for the Queen’s table. Everyone could sit where they wanted to (much less informal than you would expect).
The Cost: The entire affair cost $45 million in 1981. In today’s dollars that is roughly $110 million. Bear in mind much of the cost went towards security.