Heritage

46 of the Most Extravagant Royal Weddings From Around the World

From British Princes to Bhutanese Kings here's how royalty says "I do."
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The year 2018 was one of royal weddings, but the fairytale atmosphere has yet to wear off. It's no wonder the public's imagination is captured when royal nuptials are celebrated with grand ceremonies, elaborate gowns, and dazzling tiaras. From deposed princes to reigning kings, each royal family has its own distinct customs and traditions all of which are teeming with grandeur. Here are the best royal weddings from around the world:

QUEEN ELIZABETH AND PRINCE PHILLIP


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The future Queen of England married Prince Phillip in Westminster Abbey more than 70 years ago.

SHAH MOHAMMAD REZA PAHLAVI AND QUEEN SORAYA OF IRAN


Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari became Queen of Iran when she married Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in a 44-pound Christian Dior wedding dress embroidered with pearls, diamonds, and feathers. The couple divorced seven years after their 1951 nuptials.

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More: 32 Iconic Royal Wedding Dresses

PRINCE RAINIER AND GRACE KELLY


It was a fairytale come to life when American movie star, Grace Kelly, married Prince Rainier and became the Princess of Monaco in 1956. Although Grace died in a tragic car accident in 1982 and Prince Rainier died in 2005, their three children and eleven grandchildren carry on the Grimaldi bloodline.

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SHAH MOHAMMAD REZA PAHLAVI AND EMPRESS FARAH PAHLAVI OF IRAN


The Shah of Iran married his third wife, Farah Diba at the Golestan Placae in Tehran in 1959. The bride wore an Yves Saint Laurent gown and the Noor-ol-Ain tiara, featuring one of the world's largest pink diamonds in the world. Farah was named Empress before the couple was forced to flee the country during the Iran revolution.

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PRINCESS MARGARET AND ANTONY ARMSTRONG-JONES


Princess Margaret and photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones married at Westminster Abbey in 1960, making him the first "commoner" to marry a King's daughter in 400 years. The two were married for nearly 20 years until their scandalous divorce in 1978.

PRINCESS ANNE AND MARK PHILLIPS


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Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips wed in 1973 at the Westminster Abbey. The two would later have two children together, but eventually divorced after 19 years of marriage.

PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA


In what was dubbed the wedding of the century, Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in 1981.

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PRINCE ANDREW AND SARAH FERGUSON


The queen's third child, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, who he was introduced to through Princess Diana, at Westminster Abbey in 1986.

LADY HELEN OF WINDSOR AND TIM TAYLOR


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In 1992 the Duke and Duchess of Kent's daughter Lady Helen Windsor married respected art dealer Tim Taylor in a Catherine Walker wedding dress at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

KING ABDULLAH II AND QUEEN RANIA OF JORDAN


After meeting at a dinner party, King Abdulah II of Jordan and Rania married at the Zahran Palace in 1993.

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PRINCE NARUHITO AND PRINCESS MASAKO OF JAPAN


This year marks the Crown Prince Naruhito and Princess Masako of Japan's 25th wedding anniversary, as the couple prepares to ascend to the throne as Japan's Emperor and Empress next year.

CROWN PRINCE PAVLOS OF GREECE AND MARIE-CHANTAL MILLER


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The wedding of the exiled-Crown Prince of Greece and heiress Marie-Chantal Miller drew nobility from all around Europe to London's Greek Orthodox church, St. Sophia's Cathedral.

PRINCE EDWARD AND SOPHIE RHYS-JONES


Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Edward, married public-relations executive, Sophie Rhys-Jones at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in 1999, bestowing upon them the titles of Earl and Countess of Wessex.

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PRINCE HAAKON OF NORWAY AND PRINCESS METTE-MARIT


The Crown Prince of Norway married Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in August 2001 at Oslo's Cathedral. After a scandalous engagement, due to Mette-Marit's party girl past, the Prince decided to walk his bride down the aisle as a sign of support.

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PRINCESS MARTHA-LOUISE AND ARI BEHN OF NORWAY


In 2002, the only daughter of King Harald V of Norway, Princess Martha-Louise married longtime friend and writer Ari Behn at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. After a 14 year-marriage, the couple divorced in 2016.

PRINCE FRISO OF ORANGE-NASSAU AND MABEL WISSE SMIT


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The younger brother of Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince Friso married Mabel in 2004 after renouncing his title of Prince of the Netherlands. The couple had two daughters together but sadly after a skiing accident in 2012 the Prince passed away.

BRUNEIAN CROWN PRINCE AL-MUHTADEE BILLAH AND BOLKIAH SARAH SALLEH


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The Crown Prince of Brunei married Sarah Salleh in 2004 after a series of traditional ceremonies in Bandar Seri Begawan.

LADY DAVINA WINDSOR AND GARY LEWIS


The daughter of Prince Richard Duke of Gloucester married Gary Lewis at Kensington Palace in 2004.

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KING FELIPE AND QUEEN LETIZIA OF SPAIN


The couple, who have since been crowned as King and Queen of Spain, were married in 2004 at the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena in Madrid. They have two daughters.

CROWN PRINCE FREDERIK AND MARY DONALDSON OF DENMARK


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Crown Prince Frederik, married Tasmanian-born Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2004.

PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA PARKER-BOWLES


Prince Charles married his second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005. The couple was legally married in a small civil ceremony at the Windsor Guildhall followed by a marriage blessing at St. George's Chapel and reception inside Windsor Castle.

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PETER PHILLIPS AND AUTUMN KELLY


Queen Elizabeth's grandson, Peter Phillips married Canadian-born Autumn Kelly in 2008 at St. George's Chapel. The couple has two daughters together and although they are not considered 'working royals', they attend events with their extended family such as the Trooping the Colour Parade and Christmas at Sandringham each year.

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PRINCE JOACHIM AND PRINCESS MARIE OF DENMARK


In 2008, Prince Joachim of Denmark married his second wife, Marie Cavallier (now Princess Marie of Denmark). The couple held the ceremony at Møgeltønder church followed by a reception at Schackenborg Castle.

PRINCE NIKOLAOS OF GREECE AND TATIANA BLATNIK


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The third son of deposed King Constantine of Greece, Prince Nikolaos, married Tatiana Blatnik, a former events planner for Diane von Furstenberg, on the Greek island of Spetses in 2010.

PRINCESS VICTORIA AND PRINCE DANIEL OF SWEDEN


In 2010, Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria married Daniel Westling in Stockholm. The couple is now the proud parents of Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar.

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PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON


Prince William tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton at the Westminster Abbey in a grand ceremony, fit for the future King of England, followed by a reception at Buckingham Palace. The Prince donned a military uniform while Kate's wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.

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KING JIGME KHESAR NAMGYEL WANGCHUCK AND QUEEN JETSUN PEMA OF BHUTAN


The King of Bhutan married the 21-year old student Jetsun Pema in a lavish ceremony at a 17th-century fortress in the nation's capital, Thimpu's Changlimithang.

PRINCE ALBERT AND PRINCESS CHARLENE OF MONACO


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In 2011, the notorious playboy and son of the late Grace Kelly, Prince Albert of Monaco married South-African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock in Monte Carlo. Upon tradition, the couple was married in a civil service followed by a church service the next day.

ZARA PHILLIPS AND MIKE TINDALL


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Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips married former Rugby player Mike Tindall in a private ceremony in Edinburgh back in 2011. Zara wore a wedding dress by Stewart Parvin accompanied by Princess Andrew's Meander Tiara from Princess Anne's collection.

PRINCE GUILLAUME AND PRINCESS STEPHANIE OF LUXEMBOURG


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The wedding of the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Countess Stéphanie Marie Claudine Christine de Lannoy took place in Luxembourg City in 2012.

PRINCESS MARIA CAROLINA CHRISTINA OF BOURBON-PARMA AND ALBERT ALPHONS LUDGERUS BRENNINKMEIJER


Princess Carolina, the daughter of Princess Irene of the Netherlands and the late Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma married Albert Brenninkmeijer in 2012. The couple had already been married legally in the Netherlands a few months prior, but were joined together in a religious ceremony at San Miniato al Monte in Florence, Italy.

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PRINCE FÉLIX AND PRINCESS CLAIRE OF LUXEMBOURG


In 2013 Prince Félix of Luxembourg and Claire Lademacher, the daughter of a German telecom millionaire, were married in a private civil ceremony at the Villa Rothschild Kempinksi in Königstein im Taunus, Germany. Four days later the couple wed in a religious ceremony in the South of France.

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PRINCESS MADELEINE AND CHRISTOPHER O'NEILL OF SWEDEN


After meeting in New York City, Princess Madeleine of Sweden married American-British financier Christopher O'Neill at the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace in 2013.

PIERRE CASIRAGHI OF MONACO AND BEATRICE BORROMEO


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The grandson of Grace Kelly, Pierre Casiraghi wed his longtime girlfriend, Italian aristocrat Beatrice Borromeo in a civil service in Monaco followed by a private religious ceremony and reception on the bride's family-owned Italian island. The couple has since had two sons, Stefano and Francesco.

PRINCE CARL PHILLIP AND PRINCESS SOFIA OF SWEDEN


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Swedish prince, Carl Phillip married former reality star, Sofia Hellqvist at Stockholm's Royal Palace in 2015.

LADY CHARLOTTE WELLESLEY AND ALEJANDRO SANTO DOMINGO


Lady Charlotte Wellesley, the daughter of the Duke of Wellington, married billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo wearing an Emilia Wickstead dress in Íllora, Spain.

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PRINCE ERNST AUGUST JR. OF HANOVER AND EKATERINA MALYSHEVA


Prince Ernst August Jr. of Hanover married Russian fashion designer, Ekaterina Malysheva in a royal ceremony at Hanover Market Church followed by a reception at Marienburg Castle. The prince's father opposed the wedding and neither he nor his wife Princess Caroline of Hanover attended the event. The couple welcomed a baby girl, Princess Elisabeth, in 2018.

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PIPPA MIDDLETON AND JAMES MATTHEWS


Prince William's sister-in-law, Pippa Middleton married her longtime beau, James Matthews in 2017 during a private ceremony at St. Mark's church in Englefield, Berkshire. Of course her adorable niece and nephew, Princess Charlotte and Prince George served as a bridesmaid and page boy for the nuptials. Although Pippa's royal connections stem from her brother-in-law, Prince William, through her own marriage she will inherit a title of her own: Lady of Glen Affric.

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PRINCE CHRISTIAN OF HANOVER AND ALESSANDRA DE OSMA


In 2018, Prince Christian of Hanover and Alessandra de Osma were married at the Basilica San Pedro in Lima, Peru, the bride's native country and where the couple met in 2005.

PRINCESS EUGENIE AND JACK BROOKSBANK


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In October of 2018, the Queen's granddaughter Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The bride looked beautiful walking down the aisle wearing a Peter Pilotto wedding dress–which will now be on display at Windsor Castle–and the Greville Tiara as a host of celebrity and aristocratic guests, as well as the entire royal family looked on.

DUCHESS SOPHIE OF WÜRTTEMBERG OF GERMANY AND COUNT MAXIMILIAN OF ANDIGNÉ


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In 2018 Duchess Sophie of Württemberg, the daughter of Prince Philip of Württemberg, married French aristocrat Maximilien of Andigné in a small ceremony at the Castle of Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps of Germany.

CELIA MCCORQUODALE AND GEORGE WOODHOUSE


Princess Diana's niece, Celia Mccorquodale wore the famous Spencer Tiara for her 2018 nuptials to George Woodhouse in Stoke Rochfod, Lincolnshire in 2018.

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PRINCESS AYAKO OF JAPAN AND KEI MORIYA


In 2018, Princess Ayako of Japan renounced her royal title in order to marry commoner Kei Moriya. The couple married in a private and traditional ceremony in Tokyo.

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE


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Prince Harry captured the world's attention when he married American actress, Meghan Markle in May, 2018. From the bride's elegant Givency wedding gown and Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara to her bouquet honoring the late Princess Diana– it was a historic day for Great Britain. With even more excitement, the royal newlyweds are expecting a baby this spring.

IVAR MOUNBATTEN AND JAMES COYLE


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The Queen's third cousin once removed, Ivar Mounbatten made history in 2018 as the first member of the British royal family to marry a same-sex partner. He married his longtime partner, James Coyle in a small ceremony in Devon.

PRINCE KONSTANTIN OF BAVARIA AND PRINCESS DENIZ


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In 2018, Prince Konstantin of Bavaria married Deniz Kaya at the Eglise au Bois church in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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