Royal Weddings

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (now The Prince and Princess of Wales) were married at Westminster Abbey in April 2011, they followed a long line of British royal weddings. However, their wedding would have been seen by more people than any other. Although the Abbey was full to its 2,200 capacity, nearly a billion people worldwide tuned in to watch live coverage or news highlights of the wedding.

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The wedding of HRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

None would have been prouder than Prince William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten RN here during post-war austerity in 1947.

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The wedding of HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Elizabeth II's father, His Majesty King George VI, exchanged vows with Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at the High Altar in April 1923.

Elizabeth II's sister HRH The Princess Margaret was married here in 1960 and of the current Royal Family, HRH The Princess Alexandra, HRH The Princess Royal and HRH The Duke of York were all married on the steps of the High Altar.

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The wedding of HRH The Princess Royal

In all, only 16 royal weddings have taken place in the Abbey but the tradition goes back nine hundred years - to Henry I who married Princess Matilda of Scotland in 1100 in the Norman church. It was not until 1919 that it became more usual for royal weddings to be held at the Abbey, rather than in smaller chapels in royal palaces. Traditionally, since the marriage of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1923, royal brides have laid their bouquets on the grave of the Unknown Warrior. Several members of the royal family who were married elsewhere have also sent their bouquets to the Abbey afterwards, including Princess Diana.