The past decade has witnessed two grand royal weddings—Prince William and Kate's wedding on April 29, 2011, and Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding on May 19, 2018. Though both were held with regal splendor, the future king's ceremony reveals these interesting differences from the former royal's.
1. Engagement Rings
Prince William proposed to Kate an iconic ring featuring an 18-carat oval sapphire with cut faces and a whopping 14 diamonds. This iconic ring was valued at $400,000 and belonged to Lady Diana. Prince Harry designed an engagement ring with a center diamond from Botswana and two from his late mother's collection. It's estimated at $350,000.
2. Walking Down The Aisles
The Duchess of Cambridge was all smiles when she walked with her father by her side down the aisle at Westminster Abbey. It was a pity that the Duchess of Sussex's father was suffering from health issues in the US at the time of her wedding, so she had to walk down the aisle alone at St. George's Chapel before Prince Charles met her halfway. Look closer at their contrasting dresses on their big days.
3. Wedding Reception Dresses
After their royal wedding, the duchesses changed dresses and went to the wedding reception held by Prince Charles in the evening. Kate wore a graceful Alexander McQueen dress. Meghan donned a Stella McCartney gown of a similar color but different style. Their wedding dresses are simply more stunning.
4. Wedding Dresses
Kate's handmade lace dress from Alexander McQueen will leave you speechless. The $450,000 gown boasts a nine-foot train, about 58 organza-covered buttons, and Rouleau loops. Meghan selected a minimalist silk dress from Givenchy, consistent with her evening reception gown. Rumor had it that Kate went to Meghan's wedding in white, but actually, her coat was a primrose yellow.
5. Kate's Maid Of Honor And Meghan's Page Boys
Kate invited her beloved younger sister Pippa to serve as her Maid of Honor and carry her train down the aisle. Meghan was not as close with her siblings and didn't have any Maid of Honor, but instead, two page boys carried her train. We can see that the sisters-in-law had quite different fashion tastes from the picture, so no wonder Meghan said that Kate made her cry over a bridesmaid dress's fitting in Oprah's interview.
6. Wedded Kisses
When Prince William and his bride kissed on Buckingham Palace's balcony, millions of people tuned in to see the rare royal PDA. Prince Harry and Meghan also showed off their first wedded kiss outside of St. George's Chapel. Both of the couples exuded romance. That's why William was "very protective of Kate and can get very angry" after Meghan had disparaged his wife in the recent interview, according to a source of People magazine.
One key piece of jewelry that a royal bride must wear is delicate headwear. Kate donned a Cartier tiara that Queen Elizabeth II received on her 18th birthday. Meghan wore the Diamond Bandeau Tiara that belonged to Queen Mary in 1932, and she replaced the sapphire center stone with a diamond. Let's zoom in to see their earrings.
8. Brides' Earrings
Princess Katherine wore a pair of Robinson Pelham diamond earrings shaped like a teardrop and worth $20,000. The Queen lent Meghan a pair of diamond and white gold Cartier earrings.
9. Royal Wedding Veils
Kate's veil was a masterpiece of the Royal School of Needlework, just like her wedding gown. However, Meghan's 16.5-foot veil designed by Clare Waight Keller was even more gorgeous. She requested that all the wildflowers of the Commonwealth's nations should be presented on her veil.
10. Waving To The Crowd
After the official ceremony, royal brides should wave to the crowds during the carriage ride to show their appreciation for all that came to celebrate the grand event. Kate kept her fingers closed when she waved, while Meghan relaxed her fingers and gave a relatively casual wave.
11. Evening Wedding Receptions
After the royal wedding, Prince William and Kate held their evening reception at Buckingham Palace, while Prince Harry and Meghan held theirs at St. George's Hall in Windsor Castle. The two receptions hold onto tradition from speeches, toasts, and well wishes to the new couple and even the exclusivity. For example, Prince Harry's ex Chelsy Davy was present at his wedding but was not invited to his evening reception.
12. Grooms' Uniforms
Traditionally, Grooms should wear their military suits. William wore a red Irish Guards Colonel uniform. He was the first royal groom to wear red since Captain Mark Phillips in 1973. Prince Harry wore a Blues and Royals Major's uniform on his wedding day even though he was Captain-General of the Royal Marines.
13. Royal Wedding Cakes
Fiona Cairns made the eight-tier fruitcake for Prince William and Kate's Wedding. The couple also provided a chocolate cake for those who were not into fruitcakes. The two cakes amounted to $160,000. Prince Harry invited Claire Ptak to make a lemon sponge wedding cake with elderflower syrup and Amalfi lemon curd, which cost between $60,000 and $75,000.
Both Kate and Meghan held white flowers, a symbol of dedication and loyalty. However, they were designed in different ways. Shane Connolly made Middleton's a more refined bouquet, but Meghan's bouquet flowers were handpicked by her royal husband and then designed by Philippa Craddock.
15. Wedding Expenses
No expense was spared to show off the regal magnificence of a royal wedding. In 2011, 2,500 guests were present at Prince William and Kate's wedding, which cost $34 million. In 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan only invited 600 guests to their wedding but were said to have spent $55 million in total.
16. Queen Always In Bright Colours
Besides the aforementioned exquisite details, royal guests' outfits are also worthy of our attention. Queen Elizabeth II once disclosed her fashion philosophy, "I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am." The stylist grandmother wore a primrose yellow long sleeve dress to Prince William and Kate's wedding and a green coat over a purple dress to Harry and Meghan's ceremony.
17. Prince Philip In Different Suits
Prince Philip appeared to be more formal in a red Grenadier Guards Uniform on William's big day, and that was the same hue as the groom. However, his black suit with a blue tie made him seem more like an average grandfather who had attended his grandson's wedding.
18. Prince Charles And Camila
Prince Charles followed his father's dressing style: he wore his royal uniform with all his regalia in his elder son's wedding, while he donned a simple grey suit for Harry's. Camila was in a soft and graceful shade for both grand events.
19. Proud Mothers
Never forget the two proud mothers of the royal brides. Carole Middleton chose a pale blue dress designed by Catherine Walker for the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding. Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother, wore a light green Oscar de la Renta dress.
20. The Crowds
Prince William and Kate's wedding received many more guests and bigger crowds than Prince Harry's. About 2,000 people flocked into Westminster Abbey to see the ceremony of the possible future king and a woman not from a noble family. Not many people could go to the smaller St. George's Chapel to see Harry and Meghan walking down the aisle.