Royal weddings are always big, buzzy to-dos—but they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small country affairs, while others are full-blown state events marked by public holidays and thronging crowds. Some happened in the centuries where arranged marriages were the norm, while others are nuptials between two people declaring their love in front of families and friends. Sometimes the brides wear glittering family tiaras, and sometimes they wear circlets of flowers. While Prince William and Kate Middleton got married in a massive affair at Westminster Abbey, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot on May 19 at the smaller but still historic St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, a royal residence just outside London that is a favourite of Queen Elizabeth II.
Here’s a look back at some recent royal marriages, both large and small, complete with details and history behind those big days.
Princess Alice of Albany and Prince Alexander of Teck
The bride was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the groom was the brother of the future Queen Mary and the bride’s second cousin. In February 1904, they married at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. A British military officer during the First World War, he surrendered his German titles in 1917, becoming the first earl of Athlone. In 1940, he and Alice moved to Canada where he spent the war years as governor general. He died in 1957 while Alice, the last surviving grandchild of Victoria, died in 1981, age 97. Her funeral was held at the same venue as her marriage. (W. & D. Downey/Getty Images)