Wedding Photographer

The secrets of Prince Charles and Diana’s “fairy tale” marriage revealed



It was the most spectacular wedding the world has ever seen.

Forty years ago, Prince Charles and Princess Diana married in front of a worldwide audience of 750 million people.

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Behind-the-Scenes Experts Share How They Created Prince Charles and Diana’s ‘Wedding of the Century’Credit: Getty

The blushing bride was only 20 when she walked down the aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral, followed by her record-breaking 25-foot train, on July 29, 1981.

We all know the misery and pain that would follow. But on this magical day, it looked like a fairy tale come true.

Now, a television documentary, The Wedding Of The Century, narrated by Angela Rippon and due for release tomorrow, includes newly restored footage of the event.

It also features interviews with some of the key players involved in making Charles and Di’s big day, whose stories we tell here, and Sun photographer Arthur Edwards shares his own memories.

The famous kiss from the balcony of Diana and Charles

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The famous kiss from the balcony of Diana and CharlesCredit: Getty

Flowers

ROYAL florist David Longman was commissioned to decorate the cathedral and arrange the bouquets.

He was aware of creating something that worked with Diana’s personality and her wedding dress.

Florist David Longman was commissioned to decorate the cathedral and arrange the bouquets

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Florist David Longman was commissioned to decorate the cathedral and arrange the bouquets

David, whose father had made the wedding flowers for the Queen and Prince Philip, said: “It’s a combination of what you know about the dress, the bride’s layout, her hair, her height and what that she thinks.

“She’s the one to please.” But clothing designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel haven’t revealed much.

“They gave me a piece of fabric and an outline sketch, so I knew it would be a really voluminous dress.

“Diana was excited, intrigued, she wanted to be guided. She was a very normal person. She wasn’t particularly demanding. Still charming.

In the documentary, David gives an overview of his book of drawings for the royal wedding. Diana chose a bouquet with lily of the valley, stephanotis and orchids.

David, who had a team of 20 working on the arrangements, said: “The prince made a request, and it was a latte rose in memory of his uncle, to whom he was very attached.

David Longman on BritBox's Wedding of the Century

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David Longman on BritBox’s Wedding of the Century

“There was only one grower and that was the only color – it’s a golden rose – in the center of the bouquet.”

David created two identical bouquets, one of which was placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, a tradition started by the Queen Mother when she married Prince Albert, later King George VI, in 1923 .

There was a heartbreaking moment, however.

David said: “I had a terrible shock because I saw Diana get out of the car, and there was no bouquet. I thought, ‘My God, what happened this time?’

“They brought her out, got her dress okay, then a footman returned to the car for the bouquet.”

“I have to admit that for 30 seconds I had a really bad time.”

The music

The chapel master of ST PAUL cathedral, Barry Rose, was shocked one day while listening to the radio.

He said, “I was sitting at home with my wife, having lunch and listening to the hour-long news. The headline said the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer would get married in St Paul’s Cathedral.

St Paul's Cathedral Chapel Master Barry Rose pictured in the memorable ceremony

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St Paul’s Cathedral Chapel Master Barry Rose pictured in the memorable ceremony

“I thought, ‘This can’t be right. It’s Westminster Abbey, they always go to Westminster Abbey ”.

In fact, Prince Charles chose St Paul’s because of its open layout, which allowed all guests to attend the ceremony, while the view into the abbey is limited by the positioning of the organ at halfway up.

The clergy at St Paul’s were in on it – but no one had said anything to Barry.

By the time he arrived at St Paul’s that afternoon, it was swarming with photographers, reporters and film crews who wanted all the details on the place.

Barry, now 87, who lives in London, recalls: “They even followed us into the bathroom. “

The conductor said he got a shock when he listened to the radio one day

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The conductor said he got a shock when he listened to the radio one day

Conductor Sir David Willcocks conducted the music for the ceremony, which included Elgar’s Pomp And Circumstance March No4, I Vow To Thee My Country and a new composition written by William Mathias, professor of music at the University of North Wales , Let The People Praise Thee, Oh my god. Barry, who led a choir of 40 boys and 24 men, recalls: “The kids had hardly slept, but the adrenaline was building in them.

“One of the boys told me recently that they had been given sick bags. In fact, it was Barry himself who suffered the only almost embarrassing moment.

If you look closely at the photos of the day, you might notice that a lampshade in the choir was missing.

He said: “I was very excited at one point, like you do when you are leading, and the lampshade next to me flew off and the clergyman next to me has it. caught. “

The cake

DAVE AVERY was the head baker of the Navy and created Charles and Di’s spectacular five-tier cake, based on a family recipe.

He recalls: “For 14 weeks I ate, slept and drank the royal wedding cake. I spent every night thinking about what to do the next day.

Dave Avery was the head baker of the Navy and created Charles and Di's spectacular five-tier cake, based on a family recipe

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Dave Avery was the head baker of the Navy and created Charles and Di’s spectacular five-tier cake, based on a family recipeCredit: Getty

“I only met Diana once, at the palace. She was beautiful, absolutely gorgeous, and very polite. All she said was she didn’t want a monument, she wanted a wedding cake.

“Prince Charles made a request, which was to have the red dragon crest in the front.

“I was also asked if I could use marinated rum, because Diana had never tasted it. It took us days to sort all the dried fruit.

“Three of us checked every cherry, sultana, and raisin for pieces of stalk and stalk.”

Dave, of Surfleet, Lincs, now 78 and great-grandfather, continued, “The lower level took 12 hours to cook.

He recalled: “For 14 weeks I ate, slept and drank the Royal Wedding Cake.  I spent every night thinking about what to do the next day '

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He recalled: “For 14 weeks I ate, slept and drank the Royal Wedding Cake. I spent every night thinking about what to do the next day ‘

“I used a set square to make sure all the angles were perfect, because if they had been an inch down, by the time you got to the top, it would have been noticeably out.

“We had to drive 60 miles from the Royal Navy Cooking School in Chatham, Kent, to Buckingham Palace in the trunk of two cars.

“It was a worry. I had baked two cakes so if something was wrong we had a spare but it all went superbly.

“We put the second cake on display at the cooking school and cut it into 2,840 pieces, which we gave to all the trainees – one slice for them and one for their mothers.

“It was an honor for me, my family and the Royal Navy that we were able to do something perfect.”

Its place in history

It took Diana three and a half minutes to walk down the aisle, after which her life was changed forever.

Historian professor Kate Williams said: “Even the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of the fairy tale.

“It was all about the ‘happy forever’ vision. It was such a huge responsibility to rest on Charles’s shoulders, and Diana in particular, that for the rest of her life she would have to live out our fairytale fantasies.

“Diana chose not to ‘obey’ Charles in her wedding vows, and it was a real break with tradition.

“She was showing that even though she was only 20, she wasn’t going to be the malleable puppet, she was going to be his own wife, a modern, independent wife.

“Diana’s beauty, her freshness, her innocence, her kind heart and emotional warmth, it all came through at the wedding.

“The woman who became the most famous woman of the 20th century, it all starts in marriage itself.”

Images

Of course, the legendary Royal Sun photographer Arthur Edwards was also present.

He recalls: “At 6 am on the wedding day, I walked along the Strand, past the Sun’s office on Fleet Street, stepping over everyone who had camped overnight to get the best views.

Sun snapper Arthur Edwards snapped Charles and Diana at wedding rehearsal

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Sun snapper Arthur Edwards snapped Charles and Diana at wedding rehearsalCredit: Le Soleil

“The day before I was lucky enough to spot Charles’s car outside the abbey and had some lovely photos of the couple as they left after their wedding rehearsal.

“It was wonderful to see all the guests arriving. Comedian Spike Milligan entertained the crowd.

“Camilla was there with her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles – she was a big supporter of Diana at the time.

“I thought the pic of the day would be the dress – that’s all everyone wanted to see. As Diana got out of her car, the crowd went mad, screaming and cheering.

“The dress kept coming and going. It seemed endless with this train. We used the title ‘The train now standing at St Paul’s’ with my photo, which I found funny.

The legendary Sunman remembers:

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The legendary Sun Man recalls: “As Diana got out of her car, the crowd went mad, screaming and cheering”Credit: Getty Images – Getty

“The dress was wrinkled and you could see people trying to smooth it out. I later found out that there were two seamstresses ready to make any adjustments if needed before she walked down the aisle.

Arthur continued, “Diana made her lines swell when she took her vows and confused Prince Charles’ middle names.

“And although I didn’t know it at the time, it turned out I was in the wrong position.

“No royal bride and groom has ever kissed in public before, so when Charles and Diana did, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, it was another Sun photographer, Arthur Steele, who did it. captured.

“It was of course the photo on the front page, and rightly so. It was a good shot. For every royal wedding since then, I’ve been outside the palace, not the ceremony. .

  • The Wedding of the Century airs tomorrow on BritBox.
Princess Diana arrives at St. Paul’s Cathedral in her incredible wedding dress for her wedding to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981



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