The Wedding of the Century

Royal weddings seem like a fairy tale to the ordinary person. The pomp and circumstance, exorbitant cost, and media frenzy surrounding them allow people to believe that fairy tales do come true. 

On July 29, 1981, I remember being a seven-year-old and watching the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer with my mom in front of the TV on our family room floor. It’s hard to believe, but this year marks 40 years since the wedding extravaganza.

Newspaper coverage before, during, and after the highly anticipated union can be found in historical newspapers worldwide. To relive the “Wedding of the Century,” read on to immerse yourself in the royal wedding headlines from July 1981.

In an effort to feed the ravenous readers, a “Tap on Door to Launch Wedding Day” gave a timed plan for the day, starting with a tap on Diana’s door at 6:30 AM to get the festivities started. It is very specific – even down to what the 20-year-old would have for breakfast and her scented bath!

“The Royal Wedding – A Fairy Tale Come True” contained specifics about the St. Paul’s Cathedral ceremony with pictures of the couple after solemnizing their vows in front of a crowd of 2,700 in the congregation. Reports indicated up to 2 million people lined the streets from Buckingham Palace to the cathedral to catch a glimpse of the soon-to-be princess in her gown.

Each detail of the wedding was printed for readers. The Jacksonville Daily Journal featured a picture of the wedding cake with facts about its creation. It was massive, weighing in at 255 pounds! Because of the public excitement and interest, “Security Tightened for Royal Wedding” explained the security measures put in place, especially after Lady Diana had a bit of a moment with the press at one of Prince Charles’ polo matches right before the wedding.

The Sandusky Register ran two articles and included a fabulous picture of the wedding party. “New Princess is Even Richer Now” gave an account of Diana’s wealth – before and after the royal wedding. “The Royal Fairy Tale Continues” gave readers a front-row seat with detailed plans of the royal couple’s post-wedding trip to the Broadlands and then Gibraltar.

Both Prince William and Prince Harry, the two boys of the famous royal couple, have been married with equally impressive coverage.

Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in 2011 in an April ceremony. “Fairy Tale Wedding” included a picture of the happy couple with an in-depth article about the momentous occasion.

Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in a May 2018 ceremony. “A Royal Wedding Bridges the Atlantic and Breaks Old Molds” featured nuptial details and fabulous pictures to capture the royal event.

There is no lack of coverage of the “Wedding of the Century” and the subsequent weddings of the royal sons. If you are interested in learning more about these spectacular royal weddings, visit for your 7-Day Free Trial.

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