However painstakingly you prepare for every eventuality, it’s almost a given that something will go wrong on your wedding day. So, with that in mind, spare a thought for the royal family, for whom the stakes are significantly higher. Of course, it must be something to do with the fact their ceremonies are broadcast to millions of people around the world, so any mistakes will inevitability make it into the history books — or at least become the subject of some particularly incisive memes in the aftermath of the big day.
And the lead up to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle certainly hasn’t been without drama. Meghan has confirmed that her father, Thomas Markle, will not be attending her wedding and Prince Charles will walk her down the aisle instead — so we imagine that at this late stage, the happy couple are probably crossing their fingers to ward off any last minute mishaps.
What could possibly go wrong on the day, you ask? From Queen Elizabeth‘s broken tiara and Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s recalcitrant (but scene-stealing) bridesmaids to Princess Diana‘s mixed up marital vows, history tells us that things often go slightly awry at royal weddings (because months and months of meticulous planning can only get you so far, after all). With Harry and Meghan’s nuptials just hours away, we’ve looked back at all the times things didn’t quite go to plan. Scroll down to read about the biggest royal wedding mistakes!
Kate Middleton’s wedding ring didn’t fit
Before marrying Prince William, Kate asked the royal jeweler to re-size her ring. Having lost some weight in the lead up to her wedding, she requested them to make the band smaller, as she was worried that it might slip off. The Duchess ended up having precisely the opposite problem: when the time came for her husband to place the ring on her finger, William couldn’t get the band past her knuckle, resulting in an awkward pause as he tried to make it fit. Luckily, the couple have since seen the funny side, and the incident is said to be a subject of amusement between them.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s bridesmaids went rogue
A royal bridal party traditionally consists of children under ten years old, and while this guarantees some very sweet wedding photos, it also means that things can get a little chaotic. William and Kate’s three-year-old bridesmaid Grace van Cutsem ended up inadvertently stealing the show during the couple’s balcony kiss by making faces and covering her ears. To placate another royal bridesmaid, Eliza Lopes, during the carriage ride, Prince Harry presented the youngster with a wriggly worm toy — which even made it into the official photographs.
Prince William had a sleepless night before his wedding
The groom had a major case of pre-wedding jitters to contend with ahead of the Westminster Abbey ceremony, and later revealed that he only managed to catch “about 30 minutes” of sleep before getting married. According to the Prince, things weren’t helped by the crowd of well-wishers that had gathered outside the Palace, “singing and cheering all night long.” When he finally arrived at the Abbey, a sleep-deprived Wills ducked into a room just off Poets’ Corner with his best man, Harry, to compose himself before Kate’s arrival.
Princess Diana said the wrong name at the altar
Before you visualize an “I Ross, take thee Rachel” moment, Diana’s name mix-up wasn’t quite as dramatic as an episode of Friends. Understandably nervous on her wedding day, the future Princess of Wales mixed up the order of her husband-to-be’s many names, calling him Philip Charles Arthur George, rather than Charles Philip Arthur George (hardly a surprise, given that the then 20-year-old Diana had only met Charles 13 times before their wedding day).
Princess Diana’s dress wouldn’t fit in her carriage
Diana’s now-iconic wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel, is known for its striking 25 foot train, which was perfect for, say, aerial shots of the aisle of St Paul’s Cathdral, but less suited to traveling to the ceremony with her father in a cramped carriage. The fairytale gown ended up being bundled into the Queen’s Class Coach, resulting in a number of visible creases and wrinkles.
Princess Diana spilled perfume on her wedding dress
With notes of rose, jasmine, and tuberose, Quelques Fleurs by Parisian perfume house Houbigant was a favorite with Diana, who eventually chose the scent to wear on her wedding day. When she reached for some perfume to apply to her wrists before her wedding ceremony, however, she ended up spilling it on her wedding dress. Her make-up artist, Barbara Daly, advised the bride to hold the offending spot to seem as if she was lifting the dress to avoid stepping on it.
Queen Elizabeth broke her wedding tiara in two
Disaster struck on the morning of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding when her “something borrowed” — the diamond Fringe tiara belonging to her grandmother Queen Mary — snapped in two. Though her mother advised that the bride should simply choose another (her cool response was reportedly, “We have two hours, and there are other tiaras”), the bride would not be moved, and summoned the royal jeweler to the palace. The tiara was eventually welded back together, but look closely at the Queen’s wedding photos and you will spot a small gap between the centerpiece and the diamond spike on the right hand side.
Queen Elizabeth’s bouquet went missing
A broken tiara wasn’t the only mishap to befall the future Queen on her wedding day. Before the Princess departed for Westminster Abbey, her bouquet (which featured white orchid with a spring of myrtle, as is traditional for royal brides) went AWOL, leading to yet more frayed nerves in the bridal party. However, it transpired that a considerate footman had placed the bouquet in a coolbox to keep the flowers fresh.
A fainting vicar brought things to a halt for the Queen Mother
The Queen Mother, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, wasn’t free of drama on her wedding day either. When she tied the knot with Prince Albert, the Duke of York (who later became King George VI), proceedings reportedly came to a halt when one of the clergymen gathered at Westminster Abbey fainted and fell to the floor.
This post was written by Katie Rosseinsky. It originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia Daily.
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