Royal Weddings through the history

Royal Weddings through the history

Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on February 10, 1840 at Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.  Queen Victoria's ring was unique and rare. It was designed in the shape of a serpent with a mix of emeralds, rubies and diamonds. She was the first royal bride to wear white and set a fashion trend that generations would follow. Her gown was made of the finest silk, satin and lace. The wedding cake was about three yards in circumference and 14 inches in height. Weighing approximately 300 pounds, it was covered in white icing and decorated with several figurines and other floral embellishments.


Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon wed Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on 26 April 1923 at Westminster Abbey. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon received a sapphire ring from the Duke of York. It had diamond accents and was paired with a Welsh gold wedding band. She wore a pearl and silver thread embroidered silk crepe moire gown that was designed by Madame Handley Seymour. It had silver trimmings and a design of lace that combined shamrocks, roses and thistles. Her round, multilayered cake appeared to take inspiration from Roman and Baroque architectural styles, with the spiralled Solomonic columns harkening to Biblical times. Festoons or garlands of leaves create four quadrants around the cake’s central column; beneath each is an indented arch within which lies a figure. Below, cameos and reliefs of faces and crests decorate the bottom layer.

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh took place on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey in London.  Her wedding ring was a square-cut solitaire diamond flanked on each side by smaller diamonds. Prince Philip obtained the diamonds from his mother’s tiara. The Queen had to purchase material for her dress by utilising coupons. It was designed by Norman Hartnell and was made with soft Damascus Prokar. It featured a high neckline, a tailored bodice and a short train. It was embroidered with 10,000 pearls, silver threads, sparkling crystals and transparent applique tulle.  The wedding cake was nine-feet-tall and weighed around 500 pounds. It was a fruitcake that contained oranges, lemons, eggs, and Navy Run.

The wedding of Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, and Wallis Simpson occurred on June 3, 1937 at the Château de Candé in France. Wallis Simpson was a twice-divorced American socialite and Prince Edward abdicated his throne in order to marry her. Her wedding ring was a classic platinum set with dazzling rectangular emeralds flanked by diamond baguettes. The Prince had inscribed the quote “We are ours now 27 x 36” which symbolises the date of their engagement on October 27, 1936. She wore a silk crepe dress by American designer Mainbocher. The streamline dress was dyed the colour ‘Wallis Blue’, a pale blue that matched her eyes.  



On May 6, 1960, Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey. This was the first Royal wedding in the history to be telecasted. Her engagement ring consisted of a large central ruby surrounded by eight diamonds. The ring resembled a rose in honour of Margaret’s middle name ‘Rose’. Her dress was designed by Norman Hartnell. It was made from silk, organza and had minimal crystal embellishments and beading. The wedding cake stood at five-ft tall with three massive layers. It bore Princess Margaret’s coat of arms plus the couple’s new monogram. 

The wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer took place on July 29, 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom. Her ring was designed by Royal jeweller  Garrard. It was a 12-carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds, set in a white gold band.  She wore a dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. It was layers upon layers silk taffeta, featuring puffy sleeves and 25ft long train. The main cake was five-tiered and stood five feet high. It was styled simply with minimal embellishments. It was decorated with white royal icing and featured the Windsor coat of arms made in marzipan. The cake was topped with fresh flowers including roses, lilies of the valley and orchids. 

The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson was held on 23 July 1986, at Westminster Abbey in London. Prince Andrew gave her a ring designed by Garrard. It featured a large oval Burmese ruby surrounded by 10 diamonds, set in white and yellow gold. He chose a ruby because it matched her fairy red hair. She wore a dress designed by Lindka Cierach. The dress was made of ivory Duchesse satin and had a 17-ft-long train. It also had intricate embroidery and beading that referenced her union with the Prince. It had their initials intertwined, motifs from her family crest, anchors and waves. Their wedding cake was created at the Royal Naval Cookery School, HMS Raleigh, at Torpoint in Cornwall.
Two cakes were made just in case of disaster during the journey from Cornwall to Buckingham Palace, where the cake was displayed at the couple's wedding breakfast.

The wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles took place in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, on 9 April 2005. This was the second wedding of Prince Charles. He gave Camilla an art deco ring, set with a huge emerald cut diamond and three diamond baguettes on each side. This ring was part of the Queen Mother’s jewellery collection. For her wedding, she wore a silk chiffon dress hemmed with vertical rows of Swiss-made appliqued woven disks. She also added a matching oyster silk basketweave coat. The outfit was designed by Robinson Valentine. The wedding cake weighed in at 17 stone, took around 130 hours to coat and decorate and was made with 20 bottles of brandy. 

The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton took place on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London. Prince William chose to give Kate Middleton his mother’s engagement ring. She is seen wearing it on all occasions. Her dress was designed by Alexander Mcqueen creative fashion director Sarah Barton. It was inspired by the 50s style and was made of satin gazar, lace and organza.  It had a satin bodice that was nipped at the waist, a full-length skirt and a short train. Fiona Cairns decorated the traditional wedding fruit cake. It was covered with white fondant and the customary piping and scrollwork. It also incorporated many historical and symbolic decorations. There were the traditional gum paste flowers including the rose for England, the thistle for Scotland, daffodils for Wales and shamrocks for Ireland.  As a special touch, Sweet William flowers were also used to honour the groom.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex married Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. He proposed to her with a ring that he designed himself.
 For the central piece, he chose a diamond from Botswana. He added a diamond on either side from his mother Princess Diana’s personal collection. Meghan Markle wore Givenchy wedding gown.


Their wedding cake broke away from the traditional royal fruit cake and was a lemon elderflower cake. It was decorated with fresh flowers and buttercream frosting.