8 Quick Facts About the Royal Wedding
The royal wedding is approaching fast, and the last thing you want is to be ill prepared to rattle off impressive trivia while you watch with your hubby/bestie/corgi. That’s why we compiled a selection of need-to-know fast facts not just about Harry and Meghan’s nuptials, but also about all the most recent royal weddings—Kate Middleton, the queen and Princess Di included.
Kate and Will’s Wedding Took the Longest to Plan
This may surprise you, but it turns out Kate Middleton was the most high maintenance of them all, spending a whopping six months locking down all the logistical details before saying “I do.” For reference, Queen Elizabeth planned her wedding in four months, Princess Diana took only five months and Meghan and Harry did it all in five and a half months.
Harry and Meghan’s ceremony guest list is the smallest
Meghan and Harry, FTW. Their low-key vibe totally translates to their guest list with just 600 invited to the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. This is in comparison to Kate’s wedding (she invited 1,900), the queen’s (she capped out at 2,000) and Diana’s (she clocked in with the most, inviting 3,500 guests).
Diana and Charles’s wedding cost the most
The bigger the guest list, the higher the cost, right? That’s why it only makes sense that Diana’s July 1981 wedding to Prince Charles set the royal family back a cool $110 million. Kate, on the other hand, spent $34 million when she married Prince William at Westminster Abbey and Meghan is spending an estimated $45 million to marry Prince Harry this month. (Most of these costs cover security, FYI.) Numbers on the cost of the queen’s wedding to Prince Philip are unknown.
Queen Elizabeth’s engagement ring was made with diamonds from a tiara
The queen used diamonds from a tiara that belonged to Prince Philip’s mother. Princess Diana’s ring was a 12-karat sapphire worth $500,000. (It’s also the one that Kate continues to wear today.) As for Meghan, Harry proposed to her with a ring carrying a large central diamond from Botswana, plus two smaller diamonds on either side from Diana’s personal collection. Aw.
Princess Diana was the youngest to wed
Princess Diana was just 20 years old when she wed Prince Charles. Queen Elizabeth waited until she was a bit more mature—marrying Prince Philip at the age of 25—whereas Kate, who was 29 when she wed William, and Meghan, who’ll be 36 when she walks down the aisle with Harry, held out even longer.
Queen Elizabeth’s wedding cake was nine feet tall
It also had four tiers—each one was fruitcake covered in royal icing—and weighed 500 pounds. Damn.
Meghan and Harry broke tradition by not having a fruitcake as a wedding dessert
Instead, the royal bride-to-be opted for a lemon elderflower cake with buttercream frosting.
Harry and Meghan’s wedding is not considered a national holiday (but neither was Queen Elizabeth’s)
Fun fact: Typically, the royal wedding constitutes a day off from work—called a bank holiday—for the Brits. Why? It’s mainly so that anyone who wants to has the chance to watch the future King of England get hitched. (Charles and Diana had a bank holiday, so did William and Kate.) That said, both Queen Elizabeth and Meghan didn’t/won’t garner Englanders a day off. Here’s the reason: Apparently, it wasn’t really a thing back when Eliz and Philip said “I do,” and, given the fact that Harry really isn’t in direct line for the throne, his May 19 wedding doesn’t require a day off.