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5 Unknown Romantic Details From the Biggest Royal Weddings in History

Photo: Getty

Royal weddings are largely defined by pomp, circumstance and strict adherence to tradition, but most Windsor brides and grooms have found ways to work a few personal touches into their celebrations.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drove through the streets in an Aston Martin DB6 Volante decorated by their close friends. Photo: Getty

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have never exactly gone in for PDA, making Kate’s decision to pay tribute to her husband via her wedding bouquet especially memorable. Each flower in her posy – assembled by west London florist Shane Connolly – had a special meaning in accordance with the Victorian language of flowers (hyacinths for steady love, ivy for lasting fidelity), but the bride also carried sweet Williams in a nod to her partner. Also of note? The fact that the pair chose to travel from Buckingham Palace to Clarence House in an Aston Martin, which had been decorated with ribbons and a license plate reading, “Ju5t Wed” for the occasion.

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana had a heart painted between the letters C and D on the soles of her wedding shoes. Photo: Getty

Given the way that the marriage between the Waleses ended, many people forget how madly Diana loved Charles in the beginning of their relationship. For her wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981, the Princess of Wales collaborated with designer Clive Shilton to create a pair of flats (standing at 5’10”, the late royal worried about appearing taller than her husband when in heels). Not only were the shoes embellished with 500 sequins and 100 pearls, but Diana had a tiny C and D painted on each sole, with a love heart in between the couple’s initials.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

The Duchess of Sussex had her “something blue” sewn into the lining of her wedding dress. Photo: Getty

The Duchess of Sussex surprised the world with her decision to wear Givenchy couture for her 2018 nuptials, sweeping down the aisle of St George’s Chapel in a custom dress and train by British artistic director Clare Waight Keller. It’s only after the fact that Meghan revealed she had asked Keller to stitch “something blue” into the lining of the gown. “It’s fabric from the dress that I wore on our first date,” she told cameras while filming the ITV documentary, Queen of the World. “I knew that it would be a fun surprise as well for my now husband, who didn’t know, and he was really over the moon to find out that I would make this choice for our day together.”

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh

The royal couple playing with the future monarch’s corgi, Susan, during their honeymoon on the Broadlands estate in Hampshire. Photo: Getty

The Duke of Edinburgh had his qualms about marrying into the royal family – particularly when it came to sacrificing his anonymity and freedom for a life of duty and tradition – but he never questioned his love for his wife. One particularly sweet gesture of devotion to the future Queen? Despite being a heavy smoker during his years in the Royal Navy, Philip quit cold turkey on the morning of his wedding after Elizabeth said that his tobacco addiction bothered her. (The Queen’s father, George V, already had problems with his lungs due to smoking, and would later die as a result.) The Duke never touched a cigarette again up until his death at the age of 99. Another sign of his devotion? The fact that he allowed the Queen’s dearly beloved corgi, Susan, to accompany them on their honeymoon.

Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon

Lord Snowdon designed Princess Margaret’s ring to call to mind a rose in bloom. Photo: Getty

Princess Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon was the first royal wedding ever to be televised, with 300 million people tuning in to watch their Westminster Abbey nuptials. True to form, the pair dispensed with tradition when it came to Margaret’s distinctive engagement ring. In lieu of classic diamonds, the Vogue photographer designed a special ring that nodded to Margaret’s middle name, Rose, a ruby fringed with smaller diamonds.

Originally published in

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