x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Royal weddings from around the world

Matt Hryciw takes a look back at Royal Weddings from around the globe and over the years, as Britain prepares for Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day.

King Farouk and Safinaz Zulficar, 1938.
King Farouk and Safinaz Zulficar, 1938.

With Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton set to tie the knot, Matt Hryciw looks back at other royal weddings around the globe. From the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson in 1937 to Sweden's Crown Princess and her personal trainer last year, the grandeur, pomp and regality of the nuptials shine through

 

Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly, 1956

The bombshell American film star Grace Kelly places the ring on the finger of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, during the church wedding ceremony at the principality's St Nicholas Cathedral. Six hundred guests attended the wedding and the couple remained together until Princess Grace died in a car crash in 1982 at the age of 52.

 

The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson, 1937

After famously abdicating the British throne in 1936 "to marry the woman I love", the former King Edward VIII wed the American divorcee at a French château the following year. Not a single member of the British Royal Family attended, but the pair went on to enjoy a glamorous cafe-society life and stayed married until the Duke's death 35 years later.

 

King Hussein and Lisa Halaby, 1978

Hussein bin Talal, King of Jordan, married four times, the last in a Muslim ceremony in Amman to Halaby, an American Christian. The bride gave up her US citizenship and, while not constitutionally required, converted to Islam to become Queen Noor on their wedding day. The couple remained together until the king's death in 1999, and Queen Noor remains active promoting dialogue, peace and development across the Middle East.

 

Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, 1947

Before ascending to the UK throne in 1952, Britain's future queen married the Duke of Edinburgh in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey that was broadcast to 200 million people around the world. Nearly 65 years later, Prince Philip is Britain's longest-serving consort and is widely known for his support of Queen Elizabeth's nearly six-decade reign as well as his famous faux pas.

 

Crown Prince Naruhito and Masako Owada, 1993

The heir to Japan's centuries-old Chrysanthemum Throne met his future wife in 1986. The pair were married in an elaborate Shinto ceremony broadcast to an estimated 500 million people, although the couple now maintain a private relationship. While the Crown Prince makes regular public appearances, the country's most famous and reclusive princess continues to suffer from emotional disorders widely reported to be caused by the pressure to produce a male heir.

 

Crown Prince Abdullah and Rania al Yassin, 1993

Jordan's King met his stunning Palestinian wife at a dinner party in January 1993 and, as he put it, "It was love at first sight". Just two months later the pair were engaged and in June that year the Crown Prince and Rania wed. The Crown Prince became King Abdullah II in 1999 following the death of his father, King Hussein, and in 2009 Queen Rania was named No. 76 on Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women list for her advocacy of human rights and women's issues.

 

Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofia, 1962

The future King of Spain wed a radiant Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark in Athens in both Catholic and Greek Orthodox ceremonies. The event was attended by more than 150 European Royals and the Greek capital was decked out in the flags of both Mediterranean nations.

 

King Ronald Mwenda Mutebi II and Sylvia Nagginda Luswata, 1999

The King of Buganda, a kingdom within Uganda, married his 35-year-old journalist wife at St Paul's Cathedral in Kampala. The event marked the restoration of relations between the monarchy, based in the fertile southern part of Uganda, and the modern Ugandan state.

 

Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling, 2010

More than half a million Swedes packed Stockholm's streets to cheer the union of the heiress apparent to her former personal trainer, now known as Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. The ceremony took place at Storkyrkan cathedral in the capital before the newlyweds greeted throngs of spectators from the balcony of Stockholm Palace. Sweden has practised equal primogeniture, or the right of the firstborn to inherit the throne regardless of gender, since 1980.

 

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, 1981

Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, married Diana in the "wedding of the century" at London's St Paul's Cathedral. Six hundred thousand well-wishers lined the streets of the city hoping to catch a glimpse of Diana's extravagant puffball dress complete with 11-metre train. The pair divorced in 1996 after years of trouble, and in 1997, Diana, the "Queen of Hearts", was killed in a car crash, prompting an unprecedented public outpouring of grief.

 

King Farouk and Safinaz Zulficar, 1938

Effectively Egypt's final king, Farouk wed his wife when she was just 16, making the newly named Farida the youngest queen the modern state had ever known. But, in line with custom, the bride was absent from the ceremony, as her father signed the nuptials with the King instead. The couple divorced in 1948 before Farouk was overthrown four years later, and he died in obscurity in Rome in 1965. She died in 1988.