Long in tradition and with a huge fan following, British royal weddings have been popular with the British and with Americans for centuries. Whether you share a love for all things royal with your mum or you just want to know what details you can pick up for your own nuptials, read on for tidbits of history and what the future brings for current royalty looking to wed during the pandemic (Spoiler Alert: even royals have to stop for COVID-19).
TRADITIONS IN BRITISH ROYAL WEDDINGS
British royal weddings follow the traditions and customs of Great Britain. Among the many popular traditions in these celebrations are wedding parties that consist only of children, and guests wearing hats. You might remember when the world was covering Kate and William’s wedding or Megan and Harry’s wedding. Even our American reporters covering the events donned hats. These are British customs. There are also several royal-specific traditions such as brides carrying a sprig of myrtle because Queen Victoria did. Another tradition includes laying the bride’s bouquet on the tomb of the unknown soldier at Westminster.
ORDER OF PROCESSIONAL IN BRITISH ROYAL WEDDINGS
As far as protocol, the members of the royal family arrive in a specific order based on the hierarchy. The Queen is the last member of the family to arrive before the bride and her escort, usually her father. (You might remember Meghan Markle did not walk down the aisle with her father. Instead, she was escorted by her mother and then walked into the church on her own and was met by Prince Charles halfway.)
FORMAT AND TIME OF DAY
Unlike some American weddings, royal weddings are held in the morning and are followed by a wedding breakfast, usually including a luncheon menu. Inspired by American weddings, today’s royal brides and grooms have added an evening reception with an intimate list of guests.
MODERN DAY ROYAL WEDDINGS
Contemporary royal couples have done a lot in the past 20 years to add more personalized details to their weddings. This follows the trend American brides have been doing, in trying to make their weddings reflect their own personal touches. Some of these personal details include Meghan Markle’s veil adorned with flowers from across the British Commonwealth, or choosing to carry flowers with special meaning. For example, Kate Middleton’s veil had Sweet William in it as a nod to her groom. Other details that royal couples might include in their receptions are those that any couple could have. Examples include a groom’s cake made from the groom’s favorite dessert or flavor, a wedding cake with their married monogram, or jewelry that has special meaning to them (a family heirloom or gift from a fiancé or parents).
CURRENT ROYALTY GETTING MARRIED
And just like many of us, COVID-19 even caused the postponement of a royal wedding.
The granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Beatrice—her parents are the Queen’s son, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and Sarah, Duchess of York—had her late May wedding to Eduardo Mapelli Mozzi postponed due to the pandemic. A new wedding date has yet to be confirmed, but details for the original wedding included that it was going to be a small ceremony at Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace, with a reception at Buckingham Palace. It is expected the couple will marry in 2021. People Magazine published details on the couple’s original plans.