Heritage

Take a Look Back at Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's 1986 Wedding

Before Princess Eugenie ties the knot, we're reliving her parents' big day.
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Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's romantic relationships sparked in 1985 after the two met at one of the Queen's "dine and sleep" events at Windsor Castle. After only a year of dating, the couple got engaged in February of 1986 and were married that July. They tied the knot at Westminster Abbey, and everything from the dress to the cake was rather big. Although they officially separated in 1992 after having two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, they have reportedly remained quite close. In honor of Eugenie's upcoming October wedding, we're taking a look back at their royal nuptials.

INSIDE THE VENUE


Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's wedding reception was held on July 23, 1986 at 11:30 a.m. Their venue choice, Westminster Abbey, has also held the weddings of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and Prince William and Kate Middleton.

THE FIRST LADY MADE THE GUEST LIST


Unlike Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May nuptials, this royal wedding did have an American political figure in attendance. Nancy Reagan landed a spot on the 2,000 person guest list, and stepped out of her car in this bright blue ensemble.

THE QUEEN MOTHER AND PRINCESS MARGARET


The groom's grandmother, The Queen Mother, and his aunt, Princess Margaret arrived in a carriage wearing shades of blue and matching feathered hats.

PRINCE WILLIAM'S ROLE


Prince William, who was only four years old at the time, was a page boy at the wedding and arrived in a royal carriage while waving to fans who lined the route to the church.

PRINCESS DIANA AND PRINCE CHARLES


Princess Diana is partially credited with introducing Prince Andrew and Sarah. After Diana had recommended that Sarah should receive an invitation to a special dinner held by the Queen, the soon-to-be Duchess found herself chatting with Prince Andrew who was seated next to her throughout the night.

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QUEEN ELIZABETH AND PRINCE PHILLIP'S GRAND ENTRANCE


The parents of the groom made a rather regal entrance to the wedding ceremony.

THE BEST MAN


For his special day, Prince Andrew turned to his younger brother to serve as his best man and also asked Prince Charles to give a reading during the ceremony. Arriving at Westminster Abbey, Prince Edward was sitting right by his sibling's side.

PRINCE WILLIAM SERVED AS A PAGE BOY AND LAURA FELLOWES AS A BRIDESMAID


Prince William served as a page boy on the special day along with Princess Diana's niece, Laura Fellowes. In an effort to honor Prince Andrew's career in the navy, the page boys wore sailor outfits while the bridesmaids wore poufy peach dresses.

THE REST OF THE WEDDING PARTY


The rest of the wedding party was made up of four bridesmaids and four page boys, which included Prince Andrew's niece, Zara and his nephew Peter.

THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE


Sarah Ferguson was walked down the aisle by her father, Major Ronald Ferguson, to the song Imperial March which was composed by Edward Elgar.

THE CUSTOM-MADE DRESS


The ivory duchesse satin bridal gown was designed by Lindka Cierach and featured beautiful detailing throughout. Shapes of hearts, anchors, and waves were embroidered and beaded all over the dress and little thistles and bumblebees were taken from the Ferguson family crest and embellished on the gown.

THE VEIL


Veils seem to be the perfect place for bride's to put a hidden message. Much like Meghan Markle's veil was designed to represent all 53 countries of the Commonwealth, Sarah's featured the couple's initials intertwined in silver beads.

THE TIARA REVEAL


When Sarah first made her way down the aisle, she wore an overgrown flower crown full of Andrew's favorite flower, Gardenias. After the ceremony, she removed the floral headpiece to reveal a new tiara that was given to her by the Queen. Many speculate that the tiara, now known as the York Tiara, will be worn by Princess Eugenie on her wedding day.

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THE TOWERING CAKE


This royal wedding certainly wasn't short on tasty treats. For dessert, Andrew and Sarah chose a delicious marzipan and rum-soaked cake that was over five feet tall. According to People, it was prepared by navy supply school HMS Raleigh and was large enough to be cut into 2,000 slices.

THE REPORTERS


Reporters from Vanity Fair and NBC News gathered to cover the events of the Royal Wedding outside of Buckingham Palace in London. An estimated 500 million people tuned in to watch the wedding festivities.

THE CARRIAGE RIDE THROUGH LONDON


After the ceremony, which lasted about 45 minutes, the happy couple rode through the streets of London in the 1902 State Landau carriage before returning to the palace for their balcony appearance.

FANS WAITING TO SEE THE NEWLYWEDS


A crowd of nearly 100,000 people looked on as the Royal Family waved from the balcony of Buckingham Palace shortly after Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson returned from their carriage ride.

THE ICONIC BALCONY KISS


The newly minted Duke and Duchess of York shared a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, which is a tradition that many royal couples adopted after Princess Diana and Prince Charles kissed each other in the same spot during their 1981 wedding. Prince William and Kate Middleton recreated the iconic moment on the balcony in 2011 and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opted for a kiss in front of St. George's Chapel at their 2018 wedding.

THE OFFICIAL WEDDING PORTRAIT


Family of the bride and groom as well as the page boys and bridesmaids posed for a big group photo on the Duke and Duchess of York's wedding day.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS CHEERING FOR THE COUPLE


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Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and other family and friends bid farewell to the Duke and Duchess of York as they set off after the wedding.

HEADING FOR THEIR HONEYMOON


After their party at the Claridges Hotel, the happy couple rode in an open horse-drawn carriage to Heathrow Airport before boarding a plane for their honeymoon.

OFF TO AZORES


The newlyweds jetted off to the Azores Islands where they spent some of their time aboard the royal yacht Britannia before returning back home to enjoy their married lives.

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

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