Luxurious Royal Weddings Around the World
With the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just around the corner, we've looked at our favourite royal weddings across the globe.
All over the world, royal weddings are synonymous with opulence, luxury, and expense. From the wedding of Grace Kelly's marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, to the late Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles in 1996, there's nothing we love more than a Royal Wedding. As soon as the Royal couple reveal their stunning diamond engagement rings, we cannot wait to see the breathtaking wedding dress and the inside of the venue they'll say their vows.
With the next Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just around the corner (19 May 2018), we thought we'd take a look at some of the most luxurious Royal Weddings across the globe. Check out the British Royal Family's engagement rings throughout history.
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco - 1956
63 years ago, American actress Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier III of Monaco on the film set of Alfred Hitchcock's ‘To Catch a Thief' production in 1955, and it was love at first sight. Besotted with the model, Prince Rainier III proposed to Grace Kelly with a diamond and ruby eternity ring, and of course she said yes! After announcing their betrothal at a press-conference, Grace Kelly was seen wearing a 10.48 carat emerald-cut diamond trilogy ring, with two flanked diamond baguettes set in platinum.
The beautiful couple got married in what will always be heralded as one of the biggest fairytale weddings ever. They said their vows at a civil ceremony on 18th April, and then had a catholic ceremony at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco on the morning of 19th April, where they exchanged wedding rings. The ceremony was televised for the world to see, and had over 30 million viewers. 600 people attended the ceremony, including Aristotle Onassis, Ava Gardner and Gloria Swanson.
The couple had thousands of white lilacs and lilies of the valley decorating the venue. Guests were fed caviar, lobster and champagne at the Royal Wedding banquet, and they had a six tiered wedding cake replica of Monaco's Pink Palace, that weighed 200 pounds.
Grace Kelly's timeless wedding gown is perhaps one of the most iconic wedding gowns in history- the $8,000 price tag would cost $68,000 (£50,000) today! Crafted by MGM costume designer Helen Rose, the dress was made from 300 yards of vintage Belgian lace and 150 yards of taffeta, tulle and silk with the help of 30 seamstresses. With hundreds of tiny pearls and a high neckline, the Princess of Monaco's silhouette would go on to inspire Kate Middleton's choice of wedding dress.
Prince Abdullah bin Al-Hussein and Rania Al-Yassin - 1993
Prince Abdullah bin Al-Hussein met Rania Al-Yassin in 1993, at a dinner party hosted by his sister. From helicopter flights to motorbike rides across the desert, Rania and Abdullah's whirlwind romance was truly spectacular. Infatuated with Rania, Prince Abdullah bin Al-Hussein proposed after he got permission from her father two months later. Prince Abdullah gifted Rania a stunning diamond and tourmaline engagement ring.
The royal couple wed on June 10th 1993 at Zahran Palace in Amman, Jordan. This date was announced as a national holiday in Jordan. Rania arrived at the palace in a vintage car and wore a gorgeous custom made Ell Saab gown created by British designer Bruce Oldfield. The dress featured a belt, big lapels and gold trim, with short sleeves. For the evening wedding reception, Rania wore her second wedding dress - a floor-length sleeveless white gown with a plunging v-neckline, embroidered with beautiful gold detail.
Over 2,000 guests attended both the ceremony and reception. Royalty from all over the world joined the celebrations, including Queen Sofia of Spain and Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum of Dubai. This treasured couple became King and Queen of Jordan in 1999, and Queen Rania is considered one of the most fashionable and elegant Queens in the world.
Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah of Brunei and Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini - 2012
In 2012 Princess Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah of Brunei married Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini at her Father's 1,700 room palace in Brunei. One of the richest men in the world, the Sultan of Brunei gave away his daughter away at a luxurious ceremony in the Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman Palace.
Dripping in diamonds, this luxurious wedding ceremony was spread over many days and its main focus was just how much the Sultan spent on the celebrations. Alongside this, the wedding was full of ceremony and tradition - for example, the bride and groom had two pots of crystal flowers with eggs tied on to the stalks next to them, to represent the hope of a fertile marriage. The celebrations finished with a 17-gun salute.
Dressed head to toe in a beige and silver crystal beaded gown, the Princess looked spectacular in an outfit decorated with diamond and gemstone jewellery. She also wore a brilliant diamond crown and carried a bouquet of jewelled flowers.The ceremony had over 3,000 guests, including Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Catherine Middleton and Prince William
Kate Middleton and Prince William met in 2001 whilst they were both attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The pair remained friends until they started dating in 2002 and the rest, as they say, is history. The couple dated for eight years and during a holiday in Kenya, William got down on one knee and proposed to Kate with his late Mother's beautiful Sapphire and Diamond halo engagement ring. The 12-carat sapphire and diamond cluster ring is said to be worth $650,000 (£470,236), and originally belonged to Prince Harry. Harry gave the ring to his brother so that he could propose to the now Duchess of Cambridge.
Kate and William married at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29th 2011. Their wedding day was a public holiday in the UK and events were held around the Commonwealth to mark the wedding. Over 5,000 street parties were held throughout the UK to celebrate the big day. One million people stood along the route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster, and the ceremony was televised - TV audiences peaked to 26.3 million viewers and 36.7 million watched part of the coverage.
The entire cost of the wedding is estimated to be around £20 million, with tourism surrounding the event generated £2 billion. Kate wore a beautiful wedding dress inspired by the Princess of Monaco's. The Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton, creative director for Alexander McQueen. The gown had a satin bodice with floral motifs cut from lace and was made using traditional Carrickmacross craftsmanship - a dressmaking technique that dates back to the 1800's. The beautiful hand-cut chantilly lace on the sleeves along with lace floral detail were truly spectacular.
During the wedding ceremony, Prince William gave Kate middleton a wedding ring made from Welsh gold - a tradition that has been in the British Monarchy since 1923. William chose not to receive a ring during the ceremony. After the ceremony, the Queen held a lunchtime wedding reception at Buckingham Palace where the official harpist to the Prince of Wales, Claire Jones, performed.