Today marks The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding anniversary! To mark the occasion, we decided to share some interesting facts about the Royal Wedding of 2011.
1 – Prince William wanted to wear his Irish Guards frock coat for his wedding day, complete with ruffles to the front, but The Queen persuaded him to choose the standard red uniform.
2 – The flowers and foliage in Westminster Abbey were a gift from The Queen, cut from Windsor and Sandringham, including euphorbias, rhododendron, wisteria, azaleas and lilacs. Six of the maples were replanted at The Prince of Wales’s home in Wales (Llwynywermod) after the wedding.
3 – Someone placed a £6,000 bet in Ascot that Catherine would wear the Russian fringe tiara, the same worn by Princess Elizabeth on her wedding day. She instead chose the Halo tiara, made by Cartier.
4 – More than 5,500 street parties were held on 29th April 2011 to celebrate the union of William and Catherine.
5 – The bridesmaids wore flower crowns modelled on the one Carole Middleton wore in her own wedding in 1980.
6 – In the week following the couple’s nuptials, Westminster Abbey offered royal wedding tours, where visitors could see the wedding flowers still in place, whilst touring the historic church.
7 – Prince Harry was his brother’s best man; quite unusual for a Royal Wedding, where they usually have ‘supporters’ instead.
8 – Kate had a blue ribbon sewn inside her dress to stick to the old adage: ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’.
9 – Wedding gifts to William and Catherine included a tandem “Boris bike” from the Mayor of London (then, Johnson); a cocker spaniel from James Middleton (Lupo!); a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 ballad “You and I” from George Michael; and a Land Rover from an anonymous donor. The couple gave it to the Patterdale team in the Lake District, who then gifted the wheels to the Glossop Mountain Rescue Team.
10 – The couple spent the night at Buckingham Palace, partying into the early hours after their wedding breakfast, before jetting off on their honeymoon to the Seychelles the following day.
11 – Details of the Duchess’ dress were a heavily guarded secret; it was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The lace featured the floral emblems of the UK (roses, thistles, shamrocks and daffodils), and was made by the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court, where seamstresses had to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the dress pristine.
12 – Prince William drove the couple down the Mall to Clarence House in his father’s Aston Martin, decorated it with balloons, ribbons, and a “JU5T WED” license plate. He left the handbrake on during the journey…!
13 – There were four bridesmaids and two pageboys. Lady Louise Windsor, William’s cousin; Margarita Armstrong-Jones, William’s third cousin through Princess Margaret’s son, Viscount Linley (now Lord Snowdon); Grace van Cutsem, the couple’s friend, Hugh van Cutsem’s daughter; Eliza Lopes, granddaughter of The Duchess of Cornwall; and William Lowther-Pinkerton, son of William’s private secretary; and Tom Pettifer, the Duke’s former nanny, “Tiggy” Pettifer’s son.
14 – Kate’s wedding ring followed tradition and was made from gold mined in Wales. The Duke of Cambridge chose not to have a ring, also traditional in royal circles.
15 – Prince Charles helped choose the music for the ceremony, including ‘Guide me, O thou great redeemer’ and ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’, performed at Charles and Camilla’s wedding.