Today was a historic day for the British monarchy. Millions of bleary-eyed people in North America and elsewhere woke up early to view the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. They revelled in the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding and they engaged in some serious celebrity watching. In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron, he of the severe cutbacks, allowed everyone a day off, a distraction from harsh economic realities. Yes, it was definitely bread and circuses. Nevertheless, after a Great Recession, a nightmarish tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan and unrest in the Arab world, such a distraction was welcomed by many people.
PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON
|Charles and Diana|
William’s father, Prince Charles, married Lady Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981 at Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Diana, born July 1, 1961, was only 19 years old when she wed the 32-year-old Charles. The couple formally separated in December of 1992 and divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.
CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES, AND CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES
QUEEN ELIZABETH AND PRINCE PHILIP
|Elizabeth and Philip|
Queen Elizabeth II (reigning monarch since 1952) was born on April 21, 1926. On November 20, 1947 at the age of 21, she married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark at Westminster Abbey. At the time of her marriage, she was known as Princess Elizabeth. Just before the wedding, 26-year-old Philip was given the title of Duke of Edinburgh.
|Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on wedding day|
Prince Albert, Duke of York (the future George VI) married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey on April 26, 1923. Born August 4, 1900, Lady Elizabeth was 22 years old at the time of her wedding to Albert (known as Bertie.) Upon their marriage, she became the Duchess of York.
|Edward and Alexandra in 1863|
Prince Albert Edward, son of Queen Victoria, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on March 10, 1863. Albert Edward (known as Bertie) was 21 and Princess Alexandra was 18. After their marriage, Alexandra became the Prince and Princess of Wales. When Bertie became king in 1901, he chose to be called Edward rather than Albert Edward as his mother had wanted. After Edward VII’s death in 1910, Queen Alexandra lived another 15 years. She died at Sandringham House on November 20, 1925 at the age of 80.