Princess Diana and Prince Charles didn’t live happily ever, but that doesn’t mean people didn’t see their fairytale unfold during their wedding that happened on July 29, 1981.
They fell out of love and had soon thrown scathing words that brought out accusations of infidelity, which was far from royal-sounding. But who could ever forget that moment when they exchanged “I do’s” at St. Paul’s Cathedral as the whole world witnesses the next in line to the throne marry the then-love of his life?
Meaning of a Kiss
Perhaps, it was one of the most memorable weddings among the British royal family. After all, Princess Diana and Prince Charles have created a tradition that may or may not be intentional. We are talking about the famed kiss on the balcony – a spontaneous action that carried on till the present times.
You may say that it is just a kiss and there’s nothing extraordinary about it because anyone who gets married receives or gives a smooch for the other half once the officiator instructs him or her.
However, note royal families tend to be reserved in public displays of affection – but weddings should be an exception, right? The thing is, a peck rarely happens during a British royal wedding because it is prohibited in sacred places like the Westminster Abbey.
In other, more familiar settings, marrying the one you love would always be sealed with a kiss during the ceremony, but it is banned to lock lips in the royal’s traditions.
Creating a Tradition
Prior to the tying of the knot of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, other members of the influential clan had never had the guts to show to the world their first kiss.
Here’s what happened: the newlyweds arrived at the Buckingham Palace after the ceremony for the photos along with their entourage and to greet excited spectators outside the place.
While at the balcony waving at the sea of people below, the groom gave her bride’s hand a peck, which prompted the crowd to chant, asking him to kiss his wife.
Suddenly, he leaned forward and gave her a smooch. It is worth noting that Prince Charles, as an obedient child as he is, first sought approval from her mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who nodded – seemingly a signal that she was giving permission for her son to break the royal protocol.
According to Barbara Walters of ABC, it was a short and awkward peck probably because Princess Diana had only met him 13 times before the event.
Princess Charles and Princess Diana didn’t just break traditions but they made a new one – one that made it acceptable for the newlyweds to somehow show their affection to their better half in front of millions of people watching. This trend was followed by their son, Prince William when he got married to Kate Middleton in 2011.
Just like Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Kate and Prince William didn’t share a smooch during the ceremony at the Westminster Abbey, but did so at the balcony of the Buckingham Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge actually kissed twice at the spot – the first one was a short one, which others say was more natural than what the world saw with the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the second was a liplock that prompted the groom to blush.
Prior to Kate and Prince William, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson also shared a kiss at the famous balcony in front of fans on July 23, 1986. They exchanged vows at the Westminster Abbey as the world gushed over.
However, it seemed that not all love stories end happily as they, too, decided to call it quits. By 1992 they announced their divorce, which was finalized in 1996.
What’s with the Balcony of the Buckingham Palace?
As established, it is more than just a balcony. It has become a renowned stage where people expect happy newlyweds would appear and give long waves to the crowd. The place was first used in 1840 by Queen Victoria after getting married to Prince Albert to address the public.
Then by 1858, it was the wedding of Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, to Prince Friedrich Wilhelm that started the custom that the bride and groom would greet onlookers at the Victoria Memorial.