prince edward sophie wessex

Why Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex didn't kiss publicly on their wedding day

The royal couple are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary

Sharnaz Shahid

It's been 20 years since Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex exchanged vows in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Their wedding day was watched by 200 million viewers across the world, making it one of the most-viewed TV events in history. And while it has become a royal tradition to kiss in front of the adoring crowds, Prince Edward and Sophie opted against embracing in public. Edward, who was bestowed with the title of Earl of Wessex on his wedding day, declined photographers' requests to kiss Sophie as they left the chapel. Instead, the newlyweds happily waved to well-wishers.

Prince Edward married Sophie on 19 June, 1999

The royal couple, who had met at a tennis match in 1993, had a relatively simple royal wedding at St George's Chapel, with no ceremonial state or military involvement. After the ceremony, a procession of open-topped, horse-drawn carriages carried Edward and Sophie to the reception at St George's Hall in Windsor. The royal family, including Edward's proud parents the Queen and Prince Philip, waved off the happy couple from the church steps. Although they didn't seal their union with a public kiss, a friend revealed the newlyweds shared one at reception. "When they left the main room, they gave each other a kiss," one guest said at the time. "It was a great private moment."

MORE: A look back at Prince Edward and Sophie's wedding day

Ahead of his big day, Prince Edward remarked: "We manage to have a good laugh about things most of the time, and we happen to love each other, which is the most important thing of all." Since their gorgeous Windsor nuptials, Edward and Sophie welcomed two children; James, Viscount Severn, born in 2007, and Lady Louise Windsor, born in 2003. Their path to parenthood wasn't the smoothest as Louise was born prematurely via an emergency Caesarean section. She also suffered from exotropia - a condition which turns the eyes outwards. Fortunately, Louise can now see normally following various operations.

GALLERY: The most beautiful royal weddings

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