Royal Weddings

Royal Weddings

Weddings have featured among the most elaborate royal occasions of the 20th century. At each one, London became the focus of national celebration and pride, particularly when radio and television began to broadcast the sounds and sights of the day to a national and international audience.

The five major royal weddings of the century were:

Albert and Elizabeth, 1923

Prince Albert, Duke of York, married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on 26 April 1923. Albert would later become George VI. Lady Elizabeth was the first commoner to marry into the Royal Family in some 200 years.

In a break with tradition, their wedding was a magnificent public event. The ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey instead of in one of the small Royal chapels.

The newly formed B.B.C. wished to broadcast the ceremony on radio. However, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Thomas Davidson, vetoed the idea because he thought that 'men in public houses may listen to the ceremony with their hats on'.

Elizabeth and Philip, 1947

Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, married at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947.

The congregation comprised 2,000 guests. The day's events, including the service, were broadcast on radio to 42 countries. A small number of people in Britain were able to watch some of the ceremony on television that evening.

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