Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Charles and Diana’s Wedding: A Retrospective

Arguably one of the most celebrated and anticipated events in modern history, the wedding of Prince Charles to the then Lady Diana Spencer was viewed by an estimated 750 million people worldwide on television. The congregation at St. Paul’s Cathedral itself comprised three and a half thousand people, whilst the throng of gatherers outside on the streets reached around two million people. Interestingly, the cathedral was chosen as the setting for wedding ceremony due to the fact that is much larger, a break from tradition since typically most royal weddings were conducted at Westminster Abbey.

At around 11:20, Lady Diana concluded her journey to the cathedral with her father, the late 8th Earl Spencer, and walked up the aisle, showing off her 8m long train, which has become one of the most enduring and iconic images within the fashion world today.

The Ceremony
At the time, Charles and Diana’s decision to omit the obeisance vow sparked intrigue in the media and arguably nodded towards the couple’s future troubles to come. What also raised one or two eyebrows was the fact that Diana accidentally listed her future husband’s name in the wrong order, offering herself to a Philip Charles rather than Charles Philip.

Among the clergy carrying out the service were former Archbishop of Canterbury Coggan, Cardinal Hume, the Right Reverend Doig and the Reverend Williams, all of whom led prayers and carried out the various components of the ceremony. Once the couple were wedded, the sound of the jubilatory crowds from outside the cathedral could be heard and the future king and queen boarded their carriage to make for Buckingham Palace, where they were to hold a banquet for 120 members of the Royal Family, friends, and VIP guests. But before they could sit down and ‘tuck in’, Charles and Diana went out to face the crowds that had now filled The Mall leading up to the palace, and in front of the nation and the world they shared a brief, but romantic kiss. The crowds roared with glee.

For the reception, head baker for the Royal Naval cooking school, David Avery and his team, baked a gargantuan twenty seven wedding cakes. According to reports, the official cake itself took 24 hours to bake- 12 hours for the ‘real’ cake, and 12 hours for the ‘backup’. Luckily there was no damage sustained during its journey to Buckingham Palace's banqueting venue, and the substitute was divided amongst the trainee cooks afterwards.

Diana Charles Honeymoon 2With a glorious day behind them, the following morning the couple hosted a breakfast for the same 120 guests. Soon afterwards, the Prince and Princess of Wales were driven to Waterloo Station where they then travelled onto Hampshire to begin their honeymoon. The rest, as they say, is history.

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