The most memorable royal wedding moments, from fumbled vows to eccentric hats

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No one can deny the palpable impact that a royal wedding has on the nation.

Whether you’re a staunch royalist or couldn’t care less about the upcoming union between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, you won’t be able to escape the headlines surrounding the royal wedding when it takes place this Saturday.

Despite the meticulous preparation that goes into such an extravagant occasion, some of the most memorable moments from royal weddings of old were certainly not planned. 

From mistakenly spoken vows to a bridesmaid stealing the show on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, here are seven of the most unforgettable royal wedding moments in recent history:

Princess Beatrice’s hat

All eyes were on the happy couple when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed in 2011.

However, Princess Beatrice’s unusual hat also received a fair amount of attention from onlookers for its eccentric design. 

The fascinator, which was designed by Philip Treacy, was described as looking like a “pretzel”.

The eighth-in-line to the throne told British Vogue in 2017 that she took a light-hearted approach to the situation, using it to raise awareness for an important cause.

“When everyone else was saying you look ridiculous, you have to have a sense of humour about that and I was able to raise awareness about some incredible issues by using humour,” she said.

Princess Beatrice put the hat up for auction on eBay, where she raised £75,000 for Unicef and Children in Crisis to support victims of bullying.

The disgruntled bridesmaid

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet the thousands of people down below following their wedding ceremony, one little girl was none-too-pleased by the din being made by the crowds.

Grace van Cutsem, daughter of Hugh Ralph van Cutsem and Rose Astor, was made a bridesmaid for the wedding. 

When the then three-year-old appeared on the balcony alongside her newlywed godfather and his bride, it was made quite clear that she wasn’t a fan of the overwhelming noise as she could be seen covering her ears.

Now ten years old, her mother frequently shares pictures of Grace and her siblings on social media.

A tired prince

 

In 1986, the Queen’s third child Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.

A four-year-old Prince William was made one of the page boys for the wedding. 

As one may expect of a very young child, Prince William was spotted yawning during the ceremony.

He could also be seen peering over at his younger brother Prince Harry, then not quite two years old, and smiling at the bridesmaid sitting to his right.

This Saturday, Prince George will be a page boy and Princess Charlotte will be a bridesmaid for the wedding of Prince Harry and Markle.

Fumbled vows

At the same wedding, which took place four months after the announcement of the engagement between Prince Andrew and Ferguson, the bride experienced a slight mishap when it came to reciting her vows.

Ferguson made the slight error of repeating Prince Andrew’s middle name, Christian, when reading his names.

However, Ferguson wasn’t the first royal bride to make this mistake.

Princess Diana did the same thing during her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles by accidentally altering the order of his names.

Instead of saying “Charles Philip Arthur George,” she said “Philip Charles Arthur George.”

Furthermore, Princess Diana made the decision not to say that she would “obey” her husband in her vows, a choice that caused quite a stir at the time. 

Prince Charles also made a small blunder when reciting his vows, as he said he would offer Princess Diana “thy goods” instead of “my worldly goods.”

It’s commonly believed that Markle won’t include the promise that she will “obey” her husband in her vows, following in the footsteps of Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Pippa Middleton as maid of honour

As the Duchess of Cambridge gave the crowds their first full view of her Alexander McQueen wedding dress in 2011, some found the sight of her maid of honour slightly more distracting. 

Pippa Middleton, Kate’s younger sister, wore a white dress by the same designer as she carried out her duty of carrying the bride’s train into Westminster Abbey.

The attention that Pippa received for her appearance at the wedding was unprecedented, with a Facebook group called “The Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society” garnering nearly 200,000 members on Facebook.

Pippa jokingly addressed the attention that she’d received at an event in 2014, stating: “As I have found out, recognition has its upside, its downside and – you may say – its backside.”

Pippa became engaged to hedge fund manager James Matthews in 2016, marrying him at St Mark’s Church at Englefield Estate in Berkshire in May 2017.

In April The Sun reported that Pippa is currently pregnant with her first child.

She and her husband apparently informed their friends and family after the 12-week scan.

Trouble with the wedding ring

The wedding between Prince William and Kate was a fairly seamless affair. 

However, there was a temporary moment of worry when it appeared that the groom was having issues with successfully placing the wedding ring on the finger of his bride.

Kate could be seen smiling as Prince William struggled with the ring. However, he managed to finally place the ring on her finger in the end.

Prince William allegedly chose not to wear a wedding ring out of “personal preference”.