LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of Britons are planning to get out the bunting, balloons and fold-up tables to celebrate the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Here are some details on some of the major British royal weddings in the last 80 years:
1923 — Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) in Westminster Abbey in April.
1937 — King Edward VIII, formerly the Prince of Wales, formally abdicated from the British throne on December 11, 1936, in order to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite. Edward’s younger brother became King George VI.
— In June 1937 Edward and Wallis Simpson married in the
secluded Chateau de Cande in the Loire Valley in France.
1947 — Westminster Abbey was the scene of the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on November 20. They first met at the wedding of Prince Philip’s cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, to The Duke of Kent, who was an uncle of Princess Elizabeth, in 1934.
1960: The current queen’s sister, Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones (later Earl of Snowdon) were married on May 6. She was divorced from him in 1978.
1973 — Princess Anne, the queen’s only daughter and the younger sister of heir-to-the-throne Charles, married Captain Mark Phillips. The couple had two children, Peter, the queen’s first grandchild, in 1977 and Zara in 1981.
— The marriage broke down in 1989 and they were divorced in 1992. In the same year, Anne married one-time royal aide Commander Timothy Laurence, Royal Navy (now Vice Admiral Laurence), at a private ceremony at Crathie Church, near Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
1981 — St. Paul’s Cathedral was the venue for the glamorous wedding of Prince Charles to 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer which relieved the gloom of economic recession. Diana became one of the most high-profile royals.
— The mood was one of national rejoicing. But the union was ill-starred, and the marriage eventually collapsed amid mutual accusations of adultery.
1986 — Prince Andrew, Charles’s younger brother, the Duke of York, married publishing executive Sarah Ferguson.
— The marriage fell apart in 1992 after the publication of photographs showing the married duchess in the arms of another man, Texan John Bryan. The marriage produced two daughters, Beatrice in 1988 and Eugenie in 1990.
1999 — Prince Edward, the queen’s youngest son is the only one of her children who has not divorced. He married public relations executive Sophie Rhys-Jones and they became the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Their first baby, named Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor was born in 2003 and their son James Viscount Severn was born in 2007.
2005 — The marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales to Mrs. Camilla Parker Bowles was dedicated in St. George’s Chapel following a civil ceremony in Windsor’s Guildhall on April 9, 2005.
2011 — About 1,900 people — ranging from family and friends to foreign dignitaries, diplomats, soldiers and charity workers — have been asked to attend the April 29 wedding service for second-in-line to the throne Prince William and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey.
— Some 600 will get the opportunity to enjoy a lunch reception with the queen at Buckingham Palace, while a more select group of about 300 will be treated to an evening banquet hosted by William’s father, Prince Charles.
— Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter Zara Phillips will marry in July, Buckingham Palace said on March 9. The daughter of Princess Anne and her first husband Mark Phillips, she will wed the captain of England’s rugby team, Mike Tindall, on July 30 in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. The wedding will be held at Canongate Kirk, the parish church of Edinburgh Castle, with a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the queen’s official residence in Scotland.
Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit: