BBC to Re-Air ‘Charles and Diana’s Wedding: You Had to Be There’

Prince Charles and Princess Diana leaving St Paul's Cathedral in London after the wedding ceremony on July 29th, 1981
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While obviously, a lot has happened in the Royal family since the wedding of Charles and Diana, it still remains one of the most historic weddings of all time. They wed on July 29, 1981, and over 750 million people in 74 countries watched the gorgeous couple say “I do.” We know that eventually they divorced, which became a huge scandal in the royal history and Princess Diana tragically died in 1997, it is still incredibly nostalgic to look back on their nuptials.

BBC is re-airing Charles and Diana’s Wedding: You Had to Be There airs on Friday, May 5, 2023, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The special takes a look back at their wedding, which seemed like a real-life fairy tale at the time. There was tons of media coverage of the event of Charles, who has now become King Charles, and his bride, the irreplaceable Diana Spencer. While millions watched on television, there were around 3,500 guests lucky enough to be invited.

Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer, TV GUIDE cover, July 25-31, 1981

Richard Amsel/TV Guide/Everett Collection

The wedding took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral instead of the traditional site of royal weddings, Westminster Abbey, due to the number of guests. It was a traditional wedding service with a reception at Buckingham’s Palace with a much smaller guest list of around 120 people. They kissed on the balcony, a royal tradition, and reportedly offered 27 cakes.

The wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer in St Paul's Cathedral, London, on July 29th, 1981

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Her dress was also something to remember. It was valued at £9,000 ($11233.93 USD) (equivalent to £36,700 or $45809.49 in 2021). It was made of ivory silk taffeta and featured lace, sequins, and 10,000 pearls including a 25-foot train. Diana reportedly wanted to have the longest train in royal wedding history.

If you’d like to reminisce about their special day or just remark on how much has changed since 1981, watch Charles and Diana’s Wedding: You Had to Be There on Friday, May 5, 2023, on BBC at 8 p.m. or 11 p.m.

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TV Weddings

February 2023

This issue brings you the jitters and joys of the most beloved betrothals in TV and movie history.

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