Relive the Fairy Tale Wedding
of Prince Charles and Lady Diana
This stamp booklet from Dominica commemorates the 1981 Royal wedding of Great Britain’s future king to Diana Spencer.
The Buckingham Palace Press Office announced the engagement of Charles and Diana on February 24, 1981, as the Coldstream Guards played “Congratulations” outside. In the House of Commons, the members of Parliament expressed their happiness over the good news by cheering.
The evening before the July 29, 1981 wedding, 101 celebratory bonfires were lit throughout the United Kingdom. In Hyde Park, a giant fireworks display marked the coming event. London’s distinctive red buses were painted with festive bows. The route of the wedding procession was decorated with Prince Charles’ royal crest created out of 4,500 pots of flowers. A national holiday was declared and 600,000 people lined the streets of London to witness the events.
St. Paul’s Cathedral was chosen for the wedding because it could hold several hundred more people than Westminster Abbey (the usual site of royal marriages). Lady Diana made the journey to the Cathedral in a glass coach, and traveled in an open carriage to Buckingham Palace after the service. Security was tight, with policemen posted every six feet along the wedding route.
Diana wore a fabulous designer gown made of 40 yards of silk and 100 yards of crinoline decorated with thousands of mother-of-pearl sequins and heirloom lace that had belonged to Queen Mary. The dashing bridegroom wore his Royal Navy Commander’s uniform. The ceremony was attended by 2,500 guests, including members of Europe’s royal families and more than twenty-seven presidents and heads of state. The televised wedding was watched by 700 million people worldwide.