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Diana Spencer Marries Prince Charles

'The Wedding of the Century' was watched on television by 750 million

spinner image Princess Diana's Life and Legacy


Next: Royal Duties Around the World

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Tell us: Did Diana marry for love or for the fairy tale?

This is the second installment in a series of photos and videos remembering Princess Diana as we approach the 20th anniversary of her shocking death on Aug. 31, 1997. Please share your thoughts and memories of Diana in our Icons community forum.

"The wedding of the century," on Wednesday, July 29, 1981, starred Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales, vowing to love and honor (obey was deleted at the couple's request) each other at St. Paul's Cathedral in London while 750 million watched on TV. In the U.S. fans rose in the middle of the night to tune  in to  the pageantry. Diana and her father arrived in a horse-drawn carriage, she in a voluminous David and Elizabeth Emanuel–designed ivory silk and taffeta gown with a 25-foot train, topped by a Spencer diamond tiara. The breakfast reception, at Buckingham Palace, (with 27 wedding cakes!) included a public balcony kiss — the crowd roared.

On their Mediterranean honeymoon cruise, Di swam in bikinis, Charles painted, and both windsurfed and scuba dived. But trouble may have been brewing even then over Charles' ex-girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles. At a royal family holiday in Scotland soon after, Charles spent days fishing, shooting and riding, but Diana became depressed and alarmingly thin, foreshadowing difficulties to come. 

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