One would think that royal weddings would go off without a hitch. Royals are often afforded the most high-end of all luxuries. However, you might be surprised to learn that some of their wedding-day snafus and problems are surprisingly normal! Well, okay, maybe with the exception of the massively expensive tiara issues... although wardrobe mishaps really are super common in all weddings. From pouting five-year-olds to overly-nervous brides to wasted grooms, you’ll find lots of examples of epic royal wedding fails here!
The Broken Tiara
The ruling Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II gives off the air of old royalty as she has been in power for quite some time. She became Queen in 1952 at age 26 and she has since marked her spot as the world’s longest-living head of state at 91 years old. She married Prince Phillip in 1947, several years before she officially gained the crown. However, the royal marriage was not without its issues.
Queen Elizabeth II was to wear “the Fringe Tiara” which is a special piece that was originally made in 1919 for Queen Mary. According to the Royal Jeweler, House of Garrard, the piece was the subject of a major wedding-day issue. The jeweler said "the Fringe Tiara was given to Elizabeth on her wedding day, and the hairdresser broke it. But luckily for the future Queen, the royal jeweler was able to quickly fix the tiara and she was able to wear it during her special day!
The Sleep-Deprived Prince
Prince William was already extremely used to his life in the limelight since he grew up in the international spotlight as the oldest son of the beloved Princess Diana. However, the intensity surrounding his marriage to Kate Middleton was totally out of control.
It continued months before the wedding all the way up to the day of the event when fans camped outside of his house. The commotion came at a price for the Prince, and he ended up totally sleep deprived. Prince William recalled, "They were singing and cheering all night long, so the excitement of that, the nervousness of me and everyone singing, I slept for about half an hour.”
The Horse Incident
A sleepy Prince was not the only royal snafu that occurred during William and Kate’s wedding. There was another issue that occurred during the procession to Buckingham Palace. One of the horses in the Household Calvary was just as taken with the new couple as the rest of the world.
One of the horses totally freaked out and ended up bucking his rider on the procession to the palace. Luckily, the rider and no one else in the path of the horse was injured. However, we bet that was quite a defining moment of the wedding… for that Calvary rider, at least!
Charles’ Vow Snafu
In hindsight, the issues at Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s 1981 wedding were possibly prophetic about the trouble to come. There were multiple troubles throughout the day. Although some might call them minor things to be expected at any wedding, for royals under a microscope such happenings are only magnified. One of the most noticeable issues was when Prince Charles totally flubbed his vows.
Instead of offering up Princess Diana his “worldly goods” he instead offered her “thy goods,” which is pretty funny and makes one wonder if it was intentional. Needless to say, that was not the only mess-up of the day!
Diana suffered from a case of being tongue-tied the day of her wedding to Prince Charles. After he offered her “thy goods” during their vows, she one-upped him by actually messing up her husband-to-be’s name! Although, to be fair, the royals have some long names! Prince Charles’ full name is “Phillip Charles Arthur George”, and she mistakenly called him “Charles Phillip.”
Again, he’s never gone by Phillip (only Charles) so it makes sense that she would call him that. The moment has definitely gone down in epic royal wedding fail history. Perhaps there was a reason for her mess-up after all…
Diana’s Painful Tiara
The day of her very public wedding, Princess Diana was set to wear the Spencer Family Tiara. Unfortunately, the heavy piece ended up giving her a horrible headache. It makes it hard to remember some long vows when your head is throbbing. Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, recalled that ''in the evening [after the wedding] we all went to a sort of semi-private party. And she was there and she seemed incredibly relaxed and happy and I just remember she had a cracking headache too, because she wasn't used to wearing a tiara all morning." Perhaps it was also her nerves on entering into the world as a new royal.
Princess Nathalie’s Flower Mishap
Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg of Denmark had a wedding day blunder that many brides will be able to relate to. On the day of her wedding, Princess Nathalie forgot her bouquet! Like most brides in a similar predicament, she waited for someone to bring it to her.
Luckily for the Princess, she only had to wait an additional 10 minutes so she didn’t keep the crowd waiting for too long. Also, it seems as though the Princess wasn’t particularly upset about the situation, so the Prince is lucky he didn’t have a Bride-zilla on his hands!
Marie Antoinette's Underestimation
“Let them eat cake” is a phrase commonly associated with Marie Antoinette (although, she might not have actually said that). Needless to say if she did utter the phrase, perhaps she meant it more literally than was previously thought. Marie faced a wedding faux pas that many brides over the years have faced, even up into recent times. She couldn’t fit into her wedding dress!
According to the Duchess of Northumberleand, "the corps of her robe was too small and left quite a broad stripe of lacing and shift quite visible, which had a bad effect between two broader stripes of diamonds. She really had quite a load of jewels." Basically, you could see her shift, or slip, underneath her dress which would be considered her endearments. So, was it a mistake on the tailor or did she simply eat too much cake?
Princes Di Needed A Steam
Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ televised nuptials arguably remain the most famous of all royal weddings. So it’s no surprise that both the Prince and Prince were under quite a bit of scrutiny. Of course, Diana, faced the brunt of it, particularly in light of her fashion choices. Designer David Emmanuel was responsible for Diana’s very 1980s wedding ensemble: the puffiness, the sleeves, the material.
Apparently, David did not calculate what the carriage ride what do to the material and it was not good! Diana’s dress, and the accompanying 25-foot train, was extremely wrinkled and made many headlines across the globe when she exited the carriage!
Wasted King George IV
As was common in the older days of European royalty, King George IV married his cousin, Caroline. Apparently, George married her for financial reasons, as he was looking to find a way out of debt. The wedding was arranged, and the two never met before the day they actually wed. Obviously, King George must have been quite nervous about the situation as he got totally wasted. As the tale goes, the King was so drunk that he could not even stand up on his own. When the crowd was asked if there were any objections and there was silence, King George burst out crying. Later, his now-wife Caroline said that George did nothing but pass out in front of the fire that night. We are pretty sure a modern-day bride or two has dealt with a similarly inebriated groom. Guess some things never change over the years…
Diana's Tiny Bridesmaid
Here’s yet another moment from Princess Diana and Prince Charles' wedding. The two had a sprawling wedding party and one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids was a five-year-old little girl. It is worth noting that this little girl just so happened to be the granddaughter of one of England’s greatest leaders ever, Winston Churchill.
The cute little girl accidentally tripped on her dress and fell down. To make matters worse for the child, she started crying. However, in true Diana fashion, the Princess showed only concern and reportedly asked the little girl if she "bumped her bottom.” Of course, all was okay in the end.
The Tiny Bridesmaid’s Dismay
At Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, there were a few snafus but the absolute cutest involved one of Kate’s littlest bridesmaids. As is customary in royal weddings, there are often huge numbers of bridesmaids ranging from young women to little girls. One of Kate’s bridesmaids was a little girl who was caught on camera at the absolute perfect time.
As William and Kate shared a kiss before the public on the balcony, the bridesmaid was caught in a huge pout, photobombing their perfect moment. Of course, as anyone who's been married will tell you, kids are unpredictable.
The Wind’s Revenge
In 2016, Lady Charlotte Wellesley got married and the forces of nature attempted to ruin her big day. Lady Charlotte is the descendant of Queen Victoria and daughter of the Duke of Wellington, thus her high royal status. Anyway, the wind certainly did not care about her status as it caught her massive veil and lifted it super high into the air.
Luckily, Lady Charlotte didn’t mind and was said to laugh off the unpredictable moment. It is also worth mentioning that some wedding photographers go out of their way to get the veil to float so effortlessly into the wind.
The Unlikely Fiancé
Prince Harry has always maintained a bit of a reputation within the royals for bucking the system, from his younger partying days to being extremely down to earth. So it’s no surprise that he did the same when it came to choosing his wife. Prince Harry proposed to American actress Meghan Markle. There are several factors about Meghan that have made the engagement somewhat controversial within British society.
First, she’s an actress and American, meaning she has no ties to royalty or high social status in England. Second, she’s a divorcee which most royal brides are not -- with the exception of Wallis Simpson, whom King Edward ended up abdicating the throne for. Third, Meghan is biracial, the product of a black mother and a white father, which means she will be the first person with African American blood to join the royal family.
Meghan’s Scandalous Engagement Dress
Prince Harry and his fiancé, American actress Meghan Markle recently revealed their beautiful engagement photos for the world to see. Again, in royal tradition, the two released the two customary photographs and then a more casual third portrait. It was Meghan’s dress that drew the most intention. She chose to wear a Ralph and Russo couture gown that consisted of, according to the designer, “a black tulle gown with silk organza skirt, hand appliquéd with silk tulle ruffles and embroidered with gold feather thread-work.”
The top was sheer, although strategically covered in the photos. It also reportedly cost $75,000 American dollars. This is quite scandalous as the royals, including Kate Middleton, have not recently opted to wear expensive gowns like this. However, the royal family also said they were not the ones who paid for the dress.