Style & Beauty

A Look Back At Princess Diana And Prince Charles' Wedding

Today marks 40 years since the Prince and Princess of Wales tied the knot on July 29, 1981.
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Today marks 40 years since 20-year-old Diana Spencer married 32-year-old Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.

It was almost as if the world stopped for the royal wedding, as 750 million people watched the ceremony on TV and another 600,000 lined the streets of London.

Princess Diana picked a taffeta and lace gown by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her walk down the aisle ― attached to it, a now-infamous 25-foot-long train.

The ceremony went off without a hitch, other than Diana’s reversal of Charles’ first and middle names when reciting her vows. Also of note, Diana did not say she would “obey” her future husband, setting the precedent for future brides like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to follow suit.

Diana and Charles inaugurated the balcony kiss at Buckingham Palace, where they held a reception with over 20 wedding cakes. A slice of one of the cakes is currently up for auction, though potential buyers have been advised not to eat it.

Revisit all of the pomp and circumstance from the big day below:

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Diana Spencer and her fiancé, Prince Charles, leaving St Paul's Cathedral after the final rehearsal before their wedding on July 27, 1981.
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Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip ride in the semi-state coach to St Paul's Cathedral.
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Prince Charles (L) and his brother Prince Andrew, who is the best man, arrive at St Paul's Cathedral.
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Lady Diana Spencer arrives in the royal coach for her wedding to Prince Charles at St Paul's Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981.
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Nancy Reagan, wife of then-U.S. President Ronald Regan, leaves Winfield House for St Paul's Cathedral for Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding.
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Lady Diana Spencer arriving with her father, Earl Spencer, at St. Paul's Cathedral for her wedding.
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Lady Diana Spencer and her father Earl Spencer enter the cathedral.
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Diana enters St. Paul's Cathedral on the hand of her father.
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The couple pictured in St Paul's Cathedral.
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Diana's first curtsy to Queen Elizabeth II as the Princess of Wales.
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Diana and Charles leaving the cathedral.
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An aerial view of the Prince and Princess of Wales walking arm-in-arm down the aisle.
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Charles and Diana during their marriage ceremony.
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The Prince and Princess of Wales leave St. Paul's Cathedral following their wedding.
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Princess Diana wore the Spencer family tiara for her wedding day.
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Leaving St Paul's Cathedral by carriage.
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The newlyweds wave to the crowd from their carriage following their wedding ceremony.
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Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Charles pose for the official photograph by Lord Lichfield in Buckingham Palace.
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An official family photo taken on July 29, 1981. Back Row, from left to right: Mark Phillips, Prince Andrew, Viscount Linley, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Edward, the Princely Couple, Ruth, Lady Fermoy (the bride's grandmother), Lady Jane Fellowes (the bride's sister), Viscount Althorp (Diana's brother) and Robert Fellowes. Center row, from left to right: Princess Anne, Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, India Hicks, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Mrs. Shand Kydd (Diana's mother) Count Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquedale (Diana's sister), Neil McCorquedale. Front row: ushers and bridesmaids.
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Formal portrait of Lady Diana Spencer in her wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.
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The Prince and Princess of Wales pose on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, with Queen Elizabeth and some of the bridesmaids.
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A photo showing the famous kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.
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Prince Charles kisses the hand of his new bride.
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Prince Charles and Princess Diana waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, accompanied by Prince Philip.
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The Princess of Wales poses on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with a group of bridesmaids and pageboys.
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The Prince and Princess of Wales are seen during their wedding at St Paul Cathedral on July 29, 1981.
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The Prince and Princess of Wales leave Buckingham Palace for their honeymoon after their wedding.

Before You Go

Princess Diana's Wedding Dress

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