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British Royal Family

A brief history of televised royal weddings

Harry and Meghan's big day has got us looking back on other royal wedding broadcasts.

Last weekend, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said 'I do' at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Chances are you caught the whole thing (or at least the highlights) on the TV with Sunrise and Today reporting live from the UK.
Ahead of the nuptials, UKTV announced that they would be screening BBC's live, uninterrupted coverage of the Royal Wedding and channel Nine revealed they'd be airing a 'Royal Wedding Week' ahead of Georgie Gardner and Karl Stefanovic's live coverage on the day of the wedding from key locations across the UK.
It was the perfect excuse to invite some friends over and throw a Royal wedding viewing party (tiaras compulsory) to rival Windsor Castle's soiree. Ours was complete with British-inspired bunting, all things lemon and elderflower in an attempt to emulate the royal wedding cake and, of course, a cheese platter to delight our guests, with our favourite Tasmanian Heritage Double Brie cheese and, that British essential, a pot of tea.
Now, fans of The Crown will remember that televised royal weddings are a fairly modern luxury that kick-started with everyone's favourite royal rebel, Princess Margaret. Here, the most iconic royal nuptials ever broadcast before Harry and Meghan's big day made history.

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones

When Princess Margaret married fashion photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 1960, the Queen's younger sister once again made headlines — and history. Their wedding was the first royal wedding to be televised with over 20 million Brits and a staggering 300 million globally tuning in for the broadcast.

Princess Anne and Mark Phillips

It was another 13 years before we were treated to the next royal wedding in our living rooms. Princess Anne and Mark Phillips married at Westminster Abbey on 14 November 1973 with over 500 million people worldwide getting a front row seat via the small screen. Fun fact: Prince Charles celebrated his 25th birthday on the same day.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

All (750 million pairs of) eyes were on Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer as they exchanged vows at St. Paul's Cathedral on 29 July 1981. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the nervous bride accidentally got her groom's name wrong, reversing his two first names and calling him "Philip Charles" Arthur George, instead of "Charles Philip" Arthur George. The slip-up reportedly endeared Diana to the British public with many choosing to talk about that record-breaking 25-metre train instead.
Prince Charles agreed to broadcasting the blessing of his second marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles at Windsor Guildhall on 8 April 2005, a move some speculated was to win public approval for his new marriage.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson

On 4 May 2004, Frederik Crown Prince of Denmark and Mary Donaldson, exchanged vows in the Copenhagen Cathedral. By the time of the wedding, there were very few who weren't familiar with their fairytale love story — the two met in a Sydney bar during the Olympics — and a whopping 180 million tuned in live to see the happy couple say 'I do' — or should that be 'jeg gør'? — with 376 million viewers globally watching the royal wedding coverage in the lead up and post-wedding broadcasts. And you can bet your bottom dollar the Aussies enjoyed some Tasmanian Heritage cheese while seeing their girl from Tassie tie the knot.

Prince William and Catherine Middleton

More than 24 million Brits and three billion viewers worldwide were witness to Prince William and Catherine 'Kate' Middleton's wedding at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011. That's over one billion more than experts predicted. That was seven years ago and it's safe to say that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship has captivated the world just as much, if not more, than his brother's romantic life. No one's come out with exact figures as yet, but taking into account that 27 million Brits and 23 million Americans watched the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton live, it's safe to predict that those numbers will be higher Stateside taking into account the former Suits star's popularity. One thing's for sure, it's set to be the wedding of the year.
We know we'll be tuning in.
Brought to you by Tasmanian Heritage, the pure taste from Tasmania and the go-to cheese for your royal wedding viewing parties.

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