Royal Wedding Photographer Reveals the Most Important Picture from Diana & Charles's Nuptials

diana charles kissing

Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s wedding may feel like it was just yesterday, however, it was actually 40 years ago.

In honor of the major milestone, BritBox, the streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV, is releasing its new film, The Wedding of the Century. The documentary features beautifully restored archival footage from the nuptials, which took place at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981, as well as never-before-heard anecdotes from the day and interviews with key insiders involved in planning the record-breaking event.

PureWow recently got the opportunity to speak with royal photographer Kent Gavin, who was one of the main photographers shooting the nuptials. During the chat, Gavin opened up about the most important snap taken that day.

“The major picture of the day was on the Buckingham Palace balcony when Charles kissed Diana,” Gavin revealed. “Because that had never been done before. The Mirror ran about 20 pages on that day but the page one picture was that one because they had never seen anything like that.” See the image below.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t one of the photographers who captured the shot, because he “wanted to be a witness to what was going on inside.” However, at the time, Gavin didn’t realize the real story that was unfolding before his very eyes. 

“I wish I would have known then that all of Charles's exes were sitting in the front row [of the wedding]. That would have been quite a story on the day but that didn’t come out until afterward,” he continued. 

“There are so many things I wish I had known then that I know now. What I remember on the day was the sadness on Diana's face when I first saw her walking down the aisle with her veil on and the difference from when she walked back with Charles and how happy and smiling she was. [The wedding] brought a great deal of happiness to everybody. Because at that time, England or the U.K. was in a terrible state—rats in the streets, recession—and the wedding brought a lot of happiness to hundreds and hundreds of people.”

Forty years later, and it’s still bringing us happiness. 

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