Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Digital Cover brides

Palace feared Prince William and groomsman Prince Harry would 'pass out' at royal wedding

The Prince and Princess of Wales are approaching their 13th wedding anniversary

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
26 April 2024
Share this:

Weather is a point of contention at any wedding thanks to its unpredictability wreaking havoc on plans set in place months or even years in advance.

But with the meticulous detail that goes into a royal wedding, it should come as no surprise that there were contingency plans for Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding. While they knew their guests would be sheltered from the rain during the ceremony inside Westminster Abbey and the reception at Buckingham Palace, they did not know how hot the spring of 2011 would turn out to be. 

Prince Harry as William's best man at royal wedding© Getty
Prince William wore his red Irish Guards uniform while Prince Harry wore his black Blues and Royals uniform

April is a typically unreliable month, with showers one minute and soaring temperatures the next. The Prince and Princess of Wales' nuptials on 29 April 2011 turned out to be bright sunshine, casting bright rays on all of the radiant wedding pictures. But how did the royal groom and his groomsmen prepare for the weather in their heavy wool suits?

According to Guides For Brides, William's red Irish Guards uniform and Prince Harry's black Blues and Royals uniform – which reflected their most senior military positions at the time – were both sweatproof.

Prince William and Princess Kate in front of Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton on their wedding day© WPA Pool
The royals had sweat pads inside their uniforms to combat the warm April weather

"Fearing that the warm weather combined with the heavy woollen military attire would leave him and Harry sweaty or even at risk of passing out, Prince William's military tailors Kashket and Partners confirmed that they added sweat pads to the arms and material to absorb heat," they said.


Despite the clever design, the Duke of Sussex revealed his brother asked to wear the cavalry uniform and frock coat of the Royal Guard and was "frustrated" when his request was dismissed by their late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

In his memoir, Spare, Harry wrote: "He’d asked Granny if he could wear his Household Cavalry kit and she’d turned him down. As the Heir, he must wear the Number One Ceremonial, she decreed.

The Prince and Princess of Wales with their bridesmaids on the Buckingham Palace balcony© George Pimentel
The Prince and Princess of Wales got married in April 2011

"Willy was glum at having so little say in what he wore to get married, at having his autonomy taken from him on such an occasion. He’d told me several times that he felt frustrated.

"I assured him that he looked bloody smart in the Harp of Ireland, with the Crown Imperial and the forage cap with the regimental motto: 'Quis Separabit? Who shall separate us?' It didn’t seem to make an impression."

It was no secret that William was overruled when it came to his wedding outfit, having previously told journalist Robert Hardman in the MailOnline: "I wanted to decide what to wear for the wedding.

"I was given a categorical: 'No, you’ll wear this!' he said. "So you don't always get what you want, put it that way…But I knew perfectly well that it was for the best. That 'no' is a very good 'no'. So you just do as you’re told!"

Regardless, there wasn't any sign of overheating or embarrassing sweat patches in the Prince's heavy crimson coat. 

Pippa Middleton holds Kate Middleton's dress as she prepares to walk down the aisle© Getty
Princess Kate's Alexander McQueen dress had a nine-foot train

Kate's lace wedding dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen was also not lightweight, thanks to its Victorian-inspired corset, padded hips and swathes of material in the skirt falling into a nine-foot-long train.

The wedding directory website continued: "Inspired by corsetry and a signature look of Alexander McQueen, the waist of the dress was narrowed and the hips and bottom were padded out to create more of a dramatic shape."

Kate's dress was thought to have cost her parents Carole and Michael Middleton (who footed the bill) £250,000. Opening up about the design, the Palace said: "Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen’s work."

RELATED: Heavily pregnant Duchess Sophie models retro bump-skimming wedding guest dress and blonde bob

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Weddings

See more