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Around the World in 25 Royal Weddings

As the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle approaches, we are reminded of the curiosity, anticipation and excitement that a royal wedding instils in us all. A grand occasion filled with extravagance and luxury, the marriage of a royal often mirrors a wedding straight out of your favourite Disney princess movie! So it's no wonder we all swoon at the thought of such a spectacular occasion.

In light of the upcoming royal matrimony, we've put together a of some of the most glamorous royal weddings from around the world! Take a look below!

Netherlands: Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima Zorreguieta of the Netherlands

On February 2nd 2002, Just a little under a year after their engagement, Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and Maxima Zorreguieta tied the knot. The prince truly looked charming dressed in the Royal Netherlands Navy uniform alongside the stunning bride, princess Maxima, who wore an elegant Valentino dress made of ivory silk. In perfect fairytale form, the newlyweds left the royal palace in Amsterdam in a golden horse drawn carriage.

Sweden: Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden

A serendipitous love story, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia met through mutual friends and fell in love at first sight! The fun-loving couple played some of their favourite tunes including Coldplay's 'Fix You' and Rhianna's pop hit 'Umbrella.' In line with tradition, the two made their way to the Sweden's Royal Palace balcony to wave to the crowd of well-wishers.

South Africa: Prince Mweli Mzizi of the Zulu Royal household and Debora Patta

South African broadcast journalist and television producer, Debora Patta tied the knot with Prince Mweli Mzizi, a successful filmmaker and Zulu prince. The wedding took place in Johannesburg with hundreds of guests in attendance including Nelson Mandela, one of the many VIP guests invited to the ceremony!

Indonesia: Kanjeng Pangeran Haryo Notonegoro and Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hayu of Indonesia

High school sweethearts, Kanjeng and Gusti celebrated their nuptials after a 10-year romance with a three day celebration. In line with traditional Indonesian cultural practices, the couple started the ceremony with a purification ritual where they would bathe separately to cleanse the aura and purify karma from past lives.

Jordan: Prince Ali and Reem Ibrahimi of Jordan
CNN war reporter, Reem Ibramimi, who was widely known for her work coverig the Iraq war in 2003, wed Prince Ali in September 2004. The couple married in a private ceremony with only close family in attendance at the Royal Palace of Amman.

United Kingdom: Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales
The beloved Princess Diana captured the hearts of millions around the globe, so it's no wonder her wedding was the talk of the town. Dubbed 'the wedding of the centaury,' the marriage of Lady Diana to Prince Charles was filled with glamour and extravagance from the trendsetting wedding bouquet to her 25ft train.

Luxembourg: Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg

With just 350 guests, a relatively small guestlist compared to most royal weddings, the beautiful couple took their nuptials at a civil ceremony in Konigstein, Germany. The festivities were followed with a religious wedding days later under the summer sun in the South of France at the Basilique Sainte Marie-Madeleine. Prince Felix kept the honeymoon as surprise for Princess Claire until the end of the wedding celebration in line with a long running family tradition.
A picture-perfect princess bride wore a dazzling floral tiara and diamond earrings along with a silk ivory gown.

Bhutan: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Ashi Jetsun Pema

The young monarch, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, known as the 'prince charming of the Himalayas,' met Ashi Jetsun Pema in his teens at a family picnic. That day he got down on one knee and made a promise to his future wife saying: 'when you grow up, if I am single and not married and if you are single and not married, I would like you to be my wife, provided we still feel the same.' If that's not the most romantic gesture, then we don't know what is!

Japan: Hisanaga Shimazu and (former) Princess Suga of Japan

Love prevailed over title in the beautiful romance. Princess Suga of Japan gave up her royal title and left the Japanese Imperial Family as required by law to marry her soulmate, Hisanaga Shimazu, who was a commoner working as a bank clerk.

Monaco: Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly of Monaco

Before the Duchess of Cambridge or even Princess Diana, there was Grace Kelly, movie star turned Princess of Monaco. The ultimate fairytale princess! The couple met at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and a year later they made things official. Grace Kelly boarded the famous ocean liner SS Constitution and was greeted with tens of thousands of loyal subjects and media, all hoping for a glimpse of the iconic bride-to-be.

Her wedding dress is of course one of the most referenced gowns in wedding history. High-necked, long-sleeved with a 10-and-a-half-foot-long train, the dress was designed by Helen Rose, who also designed Elizabeth Taylor's first wedding gown.

Greece: King Constantine and Princess Anne Marie of Greece

First meeting at a state visit to Denmark, the two fell madly in love with each other on their second encounter. Anne-Marie was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Constantine's sister. The two danced the night away and the prince proposed later down the line. Despite initial hesitation from the Danish King, their love for each other was so apparent that he eventually consented.

Belgium: Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme and Princess Annemarie Gualtherie van Weezel of Belgium

The beautiful bride, Annemarie, was a Brussels-based journalist from a distinguished political family in the Netherlands. She arrived in a vintage Bentley and wore a mermaid-style gown with a clavicle-baring neckline. The couple wed in La Cambre Abbey and had a lighthearted family centric ceremony!

Denmark: Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark

This love story began at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The charming story is surprisingly down-to-earth and authentic with their first meeting at a pub, the Slip Inn in Sydney. Frederik was catching up with close friends and the two were immediately infatuated with each other. They began to date despite long distance between Australia and Denmark. Mary decided to move from to Denmark to be with Frederik and the couple made it official in 2003 Copenhagen Cathedral. The bride donned an antique veil and a traditional silk ivory gown by designer Uffe Frank. Being that Mary's father is of Scottish decent, he walked her down the aisle in a Scottish kilt in honor of her roots.

Sweden: Christopher O'Neill and Princess Madeleine of Sweden

Princess Madeleine wed Manhattan banker Christopher O´┐ŻNeill in Stockholm with around 500 European royals and family friends as guests. The ceremony was held the royal palace church along with a horse-and-carriage procession.

Japan: Yoshiki Kuroda and Sayako Kuroda of Japan

Sayako is the only daughter of Japan's Imperial Family so the news that she was to wed brought much joy to the country. Yoshiki, a town planner who works for the Tokyo Metropolitan government was courting princess Sayako for two years before they tied the knot. The wedding was an extremely small and modern affair with a guestlist of only 30 people. Arriving by limousine, the couple had their reception at the legendary Tokyo Hotel. The bride wore an understated and elegant silk dress with a pearl necklace and the groom wore a traditional morning suit.

Brunei: Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah and Sarah Salleh of Brunei

The ceremony of oil-rich sultanate of Brunei to teenage bride Sarah Salleh caused much controversy however the extravagant wedding gained even more attention. Once named the richest man in the world it's no wonder the wedding took every element to the next level. Filled with gold, diamonds and dozens of chandeliers, the wedding was one that would not be forgotten by the 2000 guests invited. The bride wore a diamond tiara, gemstone-encrusted headscarf and dress and diamond-studded shoes. This was also accessories with a bouquet of gold and diamond ornaments rather than traditional flowers.

Spain: Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz of Spain

The Spanish couple met at a dinner party at the home of a mutual friend and dated in secret for a year which is why the engagement came as a surprise to many. The Spanish news anchor, Letizia was widely known around the country and beloved by all. The couple wed at Cathedral Santa Mar'a la Real de la Almudena in Madrid, Spain. the stunning silk-woven dress and 15-foot train designed by couturier Manuel Pertegaz was simply stunning and the particularly striking high-standing collar began a wedding trend around the country.

Venice: Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice, and Clotilde Courau, Princess of Venice

The couple tied the knot at the Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome. Among the 1200 guests were the Prince of Monaco and the Duke and Duchess of Castro. The newly crowned Princess of Venice , previously a French actress, wore a custom Valentino gown with a lace veil along with a Savoy Pink Tourmaline Tiara and Earrings. The prince was heir to the defunct throne of Italy so never had the opportunity to fully embrace his royal roots however the couple are symbolically recognized as royalty around the world.

Norway: Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise of Norway

Princess Martha Louise, only daughter of King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, wed author Ari Behn in a fairytale wedding in 2002. The dress was a unique ensemble composed of two pieces: a Swarovski crystal-embellished coat and an off-white satin dress underneath created by Norwegian designer Wenche Lyche.

Belgium: Prince Laurent and Claire Coombs of Belgium

Prince Laurent married British-born land surveyor Claire Coombs in Brussels in 2003. The couple had first met in 2000 at the home of a mutual friend. The couple were married civilly at Brussels' gothic Town Hall, before being religiously married that same morning at the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula by Cardinal Godfried Daneels. A fun fact about the dress worn by Claire Coombes on her big day is that it's rumored to have been the inspiration for the fictional Princess Mia's wedding dress (portrayed by Anne Hathaway) in the movie, Princess Diaries 2, A Royal Engagement!

Morocco: King Mohamed VI and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco

Another love-at-first-sight romance, King Mohamed fell head over heels for Salma, a school teacher and Computer Science graduate. The royal couple held a private marriage ceremony in. March 2002 and celebrated extravagantly in July with days of celebrations. Princess Lalla Salma wore a stunning traditional Moroccan gown and veil for a portion of the function.

Lesotho: King Letsie III and Karabo Motsoeneng of Lesotho

Nelson Mandela was in attendance of one of the first royal weddings of the new millennium in the marriage of King Letsie and Motsoeneng. The couple had a traditional Catholic ceremony with the princess bride dressed all in white. The couple met while Motsoeneng was studying for a Bachelor of Science degree at a South African university.

Liechtenstein: Philipp von Lattorff and Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein

Princess Tatjana of Liechtenstein married German businessman Philipp von Lattorff in the cathedral of Vaduz on June 5, 1999. The princess wore a traditional white dress and veil along with a family heirloom royal-jeweled tiara.

United Kingdom: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Certainly one of the most publicized weddings to date, the wedding of Will and Kate had a million people lining the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the couple. The now duchess of Cambridge wore a stunning Alexander McQueen dress, designed by Sarah Burton while the prince wore a red tunic of an Irish Guards colonel. The ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey with a grand carriage procession in an open-top 1902 Imperial State Landau carriage.

If you're in the planning phases of your own wedding, we offer a range of stunning venues on our directory, order a brochure or enquire with us today at sue@forbetterforworse.co.uk

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