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The Best Royal Weddings

29/07/2011 11:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

Now that Kate Middleton and Prince William have tied the knot and Zara Phillips is set to marry Mike Tindall this weekend, 2011 is the big wedding year for the royals. What better way to celebrate the nuptials than taking a look back at the honourable brides and grooms who have come before. From Prince Williams' parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, to his great-grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (The Queen Mother), check out the gallery below to see the best frocks in royal wedding history.

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Royal Weddings

In order to marry Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark gave up his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and took the surname of his mother's British family; Mountbatten.

For her part, the future Queen of England purchased her wedding dress with ration coupons from designer Norman Hartnell. The happy couple were wed on 20 November, 1947, just over six years before Elizabeth would become Queen.

Royal Weddings

Being "afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to", the future Queen Mother turned down her husband Prince Albert twice before finally agreeing to marry him. The determined suitor wed his chosen bride on the 25 April 1923.

On her way into Westminster Abbey, she placed her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. The gestured has been copied by every royal bride since, although most have left it on their way out instead.

Royal Weddings

Of all the royal weddings it is safe to say Charles and Di had the biggest do. On the 29 July 1981 the ceremony was watch by 750 million people on television and over 600,000 lined the streets to catch a glimpse of her on her way into St Paul's Cathedral.

The bride wore a dress by David and Elizabeth Emanuel that reportedly cost £9,000 and controversially did not vow to obey her husband.

Royal Weddings

Prince Charles met Camilla Shand in 1970 at a polo match, but the pair did not marry until 09 April 2005. When Charles was finally allowed to marry his former mistress, he presented her with an engagement ring that once belonged to his grandmother, the Queen Mother. As opposed to the military garb he wore to his first wedding, Charles opted for a morning suite while Camilla wore a dress by Robinson Valentine and a hat by Philip Treacy.

Royal Weddings

Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz divorced her first husband in 1977. In May of 1978 her marriage was formally annulled by the Roman Catholic Church.

One month later she married Prince Michael of Kent in a civil ceremony at Vienna Town Hall on 30 June 1978 (shown here). After receiving the Pope's permission the couple married again in a Roman Catholic ceremony on 29 June 1983.

Royal Weddings

When Sarah Ferguson wed Prince Andrew on 23 July 1986 at Westminster Abbey, she wore a dress by Lindka Cierach with a 17-foot-long train emblazoned with an 'A' for Andrew. Despite the show of devotion the marriage didn't last and the couple divorced in 1996.

Royal Weddings

Princess Margaret became engaged to Peter Townsend in 1953 but was not allowed to marry him because he was a divorcée. After two years of hoping and waiting, Margaret issued a public statement that she would be ending her relationship with Townsend on 31 October 1955.

Five years later she agreed to marry Antony Amstrong-Jones. When the couple was wed on 6 May 1960 the bride wore a dress by Norman Hartnell. The ceremony was the first royal wedding to be broadcast attracting an audience of 300 million people worldwide.

Royal Weddings

King Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication on 10 December 1936 in order to marry the twice divorced American Wallis Simpson. The couple was wed at Chateau de Cande in France on 3 June 1937 without any members of the royal family in attendance.

Royal Weddings

Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward on 19 June 1999 at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The bride wore a silk and organza gown by Samantha Shaw with over 325,000 cut-glass and pearl beads sown into the frock.

Royal Weddings

Princess Anne married Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey on 14 November 1973. Phillips was offered an earldom by the Queen when they married but he declined. As a result his daughter (and bride-to-be), Zara Phillips, was the first grandchild of a Sovereign to carry no title.

Royal Weddings

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