From Princess Diana saying the wrong name at the altar to Princess Charlene of Monaco's tears.
Who doesn't love
a royal wedding? From regal gowns to idyllic venues, the royal family knows how to pull off the most stunning nuptials. But just like anyone's wedding day, the potential for disaster is always very real. Royal family members have their weddings publicized by worldwide media, so if something does go wrong, it's almost always caught on camera. Here, we take a look at some of the biggest wedding scandals to rock royal families from all over the world, both current and historical, with a few cheeky Prince George moments thrown in for good measure.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, tied the knot on April 9, 2005, Queen Elizabeth turned up at The Guildhall at Windsor Castle for the Service of Prayer and Dedication. However, she didn't make it to her son's actual ceremony, with reporting at the time, "She is putting her duties as the head of the Church of England before family feelings." As such, the queen allegedly didn't feel that she could attend a civil wedding ceremony and didn't "want to set a precedent that could damage the Church of England." The Telegraph
Princess Diana had her very own Ross Geller moment at the altar, and said the wrong name. In a video clip of the couple's vows, shared by
CBS News, Diana can be heard saying, "take thee Philip Charles Arthur George." The minor mistake simply switched Charles's first and middle names. And considering the fact that the ceremony was being watched by "a global television audience of 750 million in 74 countries," per the BBC, it's perhaps unsurprising that nerves came into play. See the original post on Youtube
One of the most famous royal wedding scandals of all time has already been covered by
and involves Edward VIII. When the king fell in love with The Crown Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, scandal ensued. Their relationship began as an affair, while Simpson was still married to her second husband, who she later divorced to be with Edward. At the time, divorce was frowned upon, and the thought of a monarch marrying a divorcee was unheard of. Per , "Edward's reign lasted just 324 days before he abdicated to marry the woman he loved." The couple was married in France on June 3, 1937. History Extra
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has made a spectacular return to the public eye thanks to her appearance at daughter Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank. But less than a decade before, Ferguson was disappointed when she didn't receive an invite to Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding on April 29, 2011. During an appearance on
The Oprah Winfrey Show (per ), Fergie called the snub "so difficult." She explained, "Because I wanted to be there with my girls … to be getting them dressed and to go as a family." Us Weekly
Prince Ernst-August V, brother-in-law to Prince Albert of Monaco and stepson of Princess Caroline of Monaco, took umbrage at his son's choice of a bride. When Prince Ernst-August Jr. of Hanover
got married to Ekaterina Malysheva in 2017, his father wasn't in attendance. Of his decision to skip the nuptials, which allegedly boiled down to an argument over castle ownership, Prince Ernst-August V said (via ), "The decision was not easy for me because it concerns my son. ... But I am constrained to preserve the interests of the House of Hanover and the property, including cultural property, which has been its property for centuries." Okay, then. People
While brides often shed tears of joy on their wedding days, all eyes were on Princess Charlene of Monaco (born Charlene Wittstock) at her wedding to Prince Albert II.
Video footage shows the bride repeatedly crying during the wedding ceremony on July 1, 2011. Per , "Days before the wedding, it was reported that the future bride had attempted to flee Monaco after discovering that Albert, already the father of two illegitimate children, had fathered a Vanity Fair third love child during their five-year courtship." However, it's unclear if there is any truth to these rumors as the couple remains married and is raising twins together.
When Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands got engaged to German diplomat Claus von Amsberg, his background as a member of the Hitler Youth caused outrage. According to
, the Dutch people sent "a petition to parliament to not grant permission for the marriage, which earned 65,000 signatures." However, Beatrix went through with the marriage, and the couple remained married until People Prince Claus's death in 2002.
The royal family had previously announced that
Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, would walk his daughter down the aisle. However, two days before the wedding, Meghan released a statement that revealed, "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health." In a TV interview after the big day, Thomas said, "The unfortunate thing for me now is that I'm a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history rather than the dad walking her down the aisle. So that upsets me somewhat."
While it's far from a major scandal, Prince George was caught on camera looking exceedingly cheeky at
Princess Eugenie's wedding. Snapped next to known troublemaker Savannah Phillips, George couldn't stop giggling right before the service, especially when his partner in crime pretended to play the trumpet. These two are too much.
Grace Kelly's daughter, Princess Stéphanie, tied the knot with Daniel Ducruet, who had previously been assigned as her bodyguard. When the couple wed, they already had two children together. At the time,
described Ducruet as "a former pet shop salesman and fishmonger known to have a hot temper," and noted that Stéphanie's father, Rainier III, opposed the love connection. The The Associated Press wedding took place on July 1, 1995, at Monaco Town Hall. However, little more than a year later, the marriage ended in divorce when, per the , Ducruet "was caught by paparazzi in a poolside romp with a Belgian stripper." AP
In 2011, per the
BBC, Spain's Duchess of Alba got remarried for the third time when she was 85 "to a civil servant 24 years her junior" called Alfonso Diez Carabantes. However, the duchess's children objected to their mother remarrying. According to , she told The Telegraph Hola! in 2008, "They don't want me to marry, but they change partners more often than I do." The marriage lasted until the Duchess of Alba passed away in 2014.
Henry VIII was still married to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, when he fell for Anne Boleyn. As a Catholic, the king wasn't allowed to divorce. His solution? To become
Supreme Head of the Church of England, dissolve the country's monasteries, and marry his mistress who was already pregnant with his child. Basically, his desire to divorce and remarry led to major religious reform in England.
Proving that he's still on good terms with his
ex-girlfriends, Prince Harry invited both Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy to attend his nuptials to Meghan Markle in May 2018. Even more miraculously, both actually turned up and watched their former lover tie the knot.
While royal weddings are typically aired on the BBC in the United Kingdom, Princess Eugenie's was shown on rival network ITV instead. At the time, a source allegedly told the
that the BBC "turned it down because they don't think enough people will tune in." The source continued, "The feeling at the palace is that the BBC has dropped the ball." Mail on Sunday
Much like her sister's wedding, when Princess Beatrice walks down the aisle with
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, the BBC won't be screening it. reported that the BBC would not broadcast the whole wedding, instead offering news coverage of the event at intervals throughout the day. It's unclear whether ITV will nab the rights instead. The Mirror
In 2015, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden married
Sofia Hellqvist, now Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland. However, according to , not everyone was a fan of Hellqvist, "a tattooed former waitress who had appeared on the country’s reality show Vanity Fair Paradise Hotel—about singles stuffed into a luxury-hotel resort and plied with alcohol in hopes of sparks flying." The couple has since welcomed two children together, Princes Alexander and Gabriel.
Princess Eugenie officially announced her engagement to Jack Brooksbank in January 2018, and their wedding followed later that year. But according to a
source, "It’s my understanding that Eugenie and Jack decided some time ago that they wanted to get married, and there was some talk about a wedding in 2017, but they had to wait for Harry to go first." Basically, Prince Harry Vanity Fair outranked his cousin, so his engagement to Meghan Markle was announced first, and their wedding took place before Eugenie's.
When she was 36, Princess Nori of Japan left the hereditary monarchy behind when she married a commoner, businessman Yoshiki Kuroda. Per
, "Emperor Akihito's only daughter took with her a chest of drawers and a table from Tokyo's Imperial Palace, and a £700,000 one-off state payment to help smooth the passage to her new life." Meanwhile, The Independent reported, "One possible reason for Princess Sayako's late marriage is that under Japanese law she will lose her royal status on marriage and become a commoner." The Telegraph
While it's hardly a crime, Princess Charlotte looked less than regal when she cheekily
stuck her tongue out at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding in May 2018. Still, we can't help but stan a mischievous princess.
As part of the bridal party, little Savannah Phillips got to pose for
official wedding photos alongside Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in October 2018. However, the royal was caught on camera with a glint in her eye as she subtly stood on the bride's wedding dress train. Naughty!
Definitely less of a scandal, and more of a royal wedding mystery, Internet sleuths took it upon themselves to discover what Mia Tindall was photographed holding in
Princess Eugenie's wedding portraits. The conclusion? An inhaler. Case closed.
When Princess Diana walked down the aisle at her wedding to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, she was looking for Camilla Parker Bowles. The princess revealed to
biographer Andrew Morton in 1991 (via ), "I knew she was in there, of course. I looked for her. ... So walking down the aisle, I spotted Camilla, pale gray, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day you know—vivid memory." Good Housekeeping
600 people attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding inside St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the bride had just one family member present. Her mother, Doria Ragland, was the only person from Meghan's clan to make it to the royal wedding, but she looked seriously stunning throughout the day. Ragland was all Meghan needed by her side anyway.
Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding would have been perfect, especially the moment they shared a kiss on the balcony in front of crowds of people. However,
flower girl Grace van Cutsem was less than impressed by the scene, covered her ears, and looked exceedingly moody to boot. Maybe not an actual scandal, but an unforgettable naughty moment for sure!
The now late Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau gave up his right to the Dutch throne in 2004. His marriage to Mabel Wisse Smit (who would become Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau) was met with disapproval due to his bride's connections to "Klaas Bruinsma, a gangster and drug baron who had been executed, gangland style, in 1991," per
. The couple remained married until Prince Friso's death in August 2013. The New York Times
While it's probably just a coincidence, Kate Middleton and Prince William share their wedding date with an infamous couple. While Kate and William tied the knot on April 29, 2011,
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun married on April 29, 1945, as pointed out by . Spectator Life
When David Beckham attended Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding in 2011, he apparently "entered the abbey wearing his OBE on the wrong lapel (that is, the right)," per
. According to the publication, "someone must have had a word, because he left the abbey with it on the left lapel." Easy mistake to make. Spectator Life
Duchess Camilla remains close to
ex-husband Andrew Parker Bowles, with whom she shares two children. In fact, the former couple is so close that Parker Bowles attended the Service of Prayer and Dedication to celebrate Camilla's marriage to Prince Charles on April 9, 2005. He's pictured [left] at the ceremony with son Tom Parker Bowles.
Queen Elizabeth looked absolutely stunning at her wedding to Prince Philip on November 20, 1947. And according to the
royal family's official website, "Due to rationing measures in place following World War Two, Princess Elizabeth had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her dress." The site also noted, "Hundreds of people from across the UK sent The Princess their coupons to help with the dress, although they had to be returned as it would be illegal to use them."
George IV appears to have had quite the scandalous life. According to the
BBC, the royal "secretly and illegally married a Catholic who he had to abandon for an approved match with his cousin Caroline of Brunswick." The cousins did not hit it off, and upon seeing his new bride, George IV reportedly said, "I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy." reported that Caroline gave as good as she got and called her new husband, "nothing like as handsome as his portrait." Spectator Life
History, Henry VIII chose his fourth wife from a painting; "Upon meeting her in person, however, the king expressed dismay at her appearance, lack of sophistication, and body odor." The publication noted that the marriage was soon annulled, and after just one night, Henry is alleged to have said, "I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse." At least she wasn't beheaded.
Betrothed to King George II's oldest son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha was just 17 when she arrived in England. According to
History, at her wedding, "the petrified princess vomited down her dress and on the skirt of her new mother-in-law, Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach." Now, that's one way to deal with a mother-in-law.
As revealed by the
royal family's website, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth "traveled by train to Hampshire, departing from Waterloo Station. Princess Elizabeth's Corgi, Susan, came with them." This tidbit is less a scandal and more a seriously sweet anecdote from the queen's honeymoon. But we wonder if Philip minded having extra company on his romantic vacation.
When Louis XVI married 14-year-old Marie Antoinette, he didn't even do so in person. According to
, the nuptials "took place by proxy in the bride’s native Vienna; her older brother Ferdinand stood in as the groom at the altar." Not your usual royal wedding. And per History, "In what was seen as a bad omen at the time, his wife let a large blot of ink fall onto the marriage contract, covering half her name." History
Puyi, the Last Emperor of China, married Empress Wanrong "on December 1, 1922, the date and time having been chosen by imperial astronomers," per
. The publication cited several sources suggested that Puyi, "overwhelmed by the long night's merrymaking and distracted by the red decorations adorning the bed, panicked and fled the scene." Perhaps not the best indicator of marital bliss. History