19 surprising royal wedding facts: Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Prince William and Kate Middleton and more

From the hidden message in Princess Diana’s shoes, to the cake they all serve and why.

Bridie Wilkins

Royal weddings are usually a public affair (1.9billion people watched Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot on TV in 2018, although Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi made history when they married in private on 17 July) but, either way, it turns out there’s a lot going on behind-the-scenes that we aren’t aware of. Here’s everything you didn’t know.

SEE: Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's wedding guestlist revealed

1. Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were the first royals to marry in secret in over 200 years

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WATCH: Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi marry in secret

They kept all details private until after the ceremony.

2. Princess Beatrice's wedding outfit paid homage to her full name

She wore one of Queen Elizabeth's vintage Norman Hartnell dresses and accessorised with Queen Mary's diamond fringe tiara, forming her complete name: Beatrice Elizabeth Mary.

MORE: Two surprising guests that attended Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's wedding

3. Princess Beatrice broke tradition with her wedding band

Almost all royal brides over the last century wore gold wedding bands, while Beatrice opted for a silver design. 

4. Queen Victoria set the white wedding dress trend


Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840

When Queen Victoria married her cousin Albert in 1840, she wore a white satin design and inspired millions of others to do the same. 

5. Princess Diana said the wrong name during her vows

Wedding day nerves got the better of Diana when she mistakenly said Philip and Charles in the wrong order and vowed to love ‘Philip Charles Arthur George’.


Then Princess Elizabeth paid for her wedding dress with ration coupons

6. Queen Elizabeth used ration coupons to buy her dress

The then-Princess Elizabeth used clothing ration coupons to buy her wedding dress fabric from Norman Hartnell to wear on her big day with the Duke of Edinburgh. She was granted an extra 200 coupons from the government. 

7. Every royal wedding serves fruitcake

Every British royal wedding since Queen Victoria’s 1840 ceremony has served fruitcake. Why? It’s a symbol of wealth and prosperity, while the variety of ingredients is said to represent the vastness of the British empire.

SEE: 15 of the most amazing royal wedding cakes


Princess Diana married the Prince of Wales in 1981

8. Princess Diana spilled perfume on her gown

Instead of spraying it on her wrists, Diana reportedly spilled perfume all over gown en route to the ceremony. Apparently, her make-up artist showed her how to hold the dress to cover up the stain.

SEE: 19 memorable royal weddings from the past decade

9. Every royal bride has a sprig of myrtle in their bouquet

Queen Victoria carried myrtle – the herb of love – in her wedding bouquet and went on to plant a shrub in her garden at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight afterwards. Every royal bride since has carried a sprig from her shrub in their wedding bouquet.


Princess Diana's wedding shoes paid tribute to her husband-to-be with his initial on the sole

10. Princess Diana’s wedding shoes had a hidden message

Besides being covered in 542 sequins and 132 pearls, Diana’s heels had the initials C and D for Charles and Diana, painted on the soles of her wedding shoes.


The Duchess of Cambridge did her own wedding make-up

11. The Duchess of Cambridge did her own make up

Kate had lessons from make-up artist Arabella Preston but opted to do it herself on the big day.

SEE: Royal bridal beauty secrets


Princess Diana had the longest wedding dress train of all royal brides

12. Princess Diana had the longest train in royal history

It was 25 feet long.

13. Queen Elizabeth’s tiara snapped on her wedding day

The court jeweler was rushed by police escort to repair it before the bride left for Westminster Abbey.

14. They receive thousands of gifts

Elizabeth and Philip received 2,500 wedding presents and 10,000 congratulatory telegrams.


The Duchess of Cambridge now wears Princess Diana's former engagement ring

15. Diana’s engagement ring was not custom-made

The iconic £28,000 sapphire and diamond design was not custom-made; Diana picked it out of a Garrarrd’s catalogue. The ring is now worn by her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge.

SEE: How the royals inspire engagement ring trends

16. They cater to potential wardrobe malfunctions too

William and Harry wore built-in sweat guards during William and Kate’s wedding, so that they didn’t sweat under the bright television lights in the cathedral.

17. Not everyone follows tradition

William doesn’t wear a wedding ring, but his father does.

18. The family doesn’t always exchange traditional wedding gifts

Kate Middleton’s brother, James Middleton, gave his sister and brother-in-law their cocker spaniel, Lupo, as a wedding present.


Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in 2018

19. Meghan Markle was the oldest royal bride

She was 36 on her big day.  

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