Westminster Abbey is a truly prestigious and beautiful place, which is why it is so perfect for weddings. However, it is only possible to be married at Westminster Abbey if you are any of the following; A part of The Royal Family, a member of the Order of Bath (or a children of someone in the Order) or anyone who lives within the Abbey’s precincts. This means that, unfortunately, weddings at the Abbey are off limits to anyone who doesn’t fall into those categories. Westminster Abbey is a truly stunning place, which is why we thought that we would write a short but informative blog about weddings that have taken place at Westminster Abbey, and how they came to take place. There have been as many as 16 royal weddings at Westminster Abbey, but we thought that we’d focus on the more ‘modern’ weddings, if you will.
26th April 1923
Prince Albert, Duke of York was the second son of King George V, and successor to King Edward VIII. The Duke of York married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at the Westminster Abbey on the 26th April 1923. He initially proposed to Elizabeth in 1921, but she turned him down as she was “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act” as she felt she ought to. When he declared that he would marry no one else, his mother Queen Mary went to see Elizabeth for herself, and concluded that she was the only girl who could make Prince Albert happy (although she chose not to interfere). The Duke of York proposed again in the March of 1922, but Lady Elizabeth turned him down once more. Finally, in January 1923, Elizabeth agreed to marry Albert, despite her reservations about royal life.
20th November 1947
On the 20th November 1947, the stunning Westminster Abbey played host to the wedding of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II). The couple first met in 1934 at the wedding of Philip’s cousin, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, and again in 1937. After their third meeting in the July of 1939, when Elizabeth was just 13 years old, she fell in love with Philip and they began exchanging letters. A few years later in 1946, the couple became secretly engaged, after Philip asked King George VI for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. Their engagement was officially announced on 9th July 1947. Princess Elizabeth and Philip were married at 11:30 GMT on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, and the rest is history.
24th April 1963
Princess Alexandra of Kent married Angus Ogilvy at Westminster Abbey on 24th April 1963. The wedding ceremony was attended by the royal family and was broadcast worldwide on television, watched by approximately 200 million people! Sir Angus respectively declined the Queen’s offer to be created an early upon marriage, meaning that their children would carry no titles at all. Years later, 1988 to be exact, Angus Ogilvy was knighted and had two children with Alexandra, James and Marina. One of the first weddings at the Abbey to be televised, we’re sure it was a joyous occasion for all.
14th November 1973
On the 14th November 1973, Princess Anne (the only daughter of Elizabeth II) married Captain Mark Anthony Peter Phillips at the glorious Westminster Abbey. Princess Anne and Mark Phillips originally met at the Munich Olympics in 1972, where he won an equestrian gold medal. Anne has been a keen fan of horses for most of her life, which allowed them to bond. Their engagement was announced in the May of 1973 and were married in November of the same year. The wedding day, which was the 25th birthday of her older brother Charles, was officially declared a bank holiday. It is estimated that a global audience of 500 million watched the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, whilst large crowds lined the streets on the day of the wedding.
23 July 1986
On 23 July 1986, Prince Andrew, who is the second son of Elizabeth II, married Sarah Ferguson at the simply stunning Westminster Abbey. The couple first met when they were children, but were not romantically involved until they met again 1985. They then began their relationship that same year, after a party held at Windsor Castle because of the Royal Ascot races. Andrew then proposed to Sarah on 19th February 1986, which was his 26th birthday. Four months after their engagement, the happy couple married at Westminster Abbey on 23 July 1986.
29 April 2011
Lastly (and probably the most televised), Prince William of Wales, second grandson of Elizabeth II and second in line to the throne, married Catherine Elizabeth Middleton at the glorious Westminster Abbey, which was a truly joyous occasion for all involved. On 16th November 2010, Clarence house stated that Prince William was to marry Catherine Middleton. They were engaged in October 2010, while on a private holiday in Kenya. He gave Catherine the same engagement ring that his father had given to William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Everyone was absolutely delighted for the couple, it is estimated that 24.5 million people in the United Kingdom watched the wedding on television, with the BBC’s live royal wedding website having approximately 9 million hits itself. This means that over half of the British population watched the wedding take place.
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A.T. Beauford are truly inspired by the royal weddings that have taken place at Westminster Abbey. We are passionate about each and every wedding that we provide our chauffeur driven wedding transport services for, and we grasp every opportunity possible to see the beautiful Abbey in all of its glory. Westminster Abbey is not the only place to get married in London, however. If you are getting married and you are looking for amazing wedding transport such as the stunning Beauford range, why not give us a call today? We would love to hear from you.