30 of the Largest Royal Weddings

March 22, 2018 by Cheyenne Buckingham

Source: Dave Thompson- WPA Pool / Getty Images
Receiving an invitation to a wedding is a big deal, especially if those getting married are near and dear to you. On average, 120 people get the save the date card to a typical American wedding. Imagine, though, if you had to invite the heads of state of nearly every monarchy, members of your nation’s government, and all of your extended family. When you hail from royal blood, the guest list must not disappoint.

24/7 Wall St. sifted through a wealth of news sites to identify the largest royal weddings by attendance in the past century.

It’s important to note that our compilation of largely attended weddings, while impressive, is not comprehensive. Of the hundreds of royal weddings of the past century, some have not made their guest list and attendance numbers available to the public.

Click here to see the largest royal weddings. 

Among the largest royal weddings, several nations and monarchies are represented, including smaller civilizations like the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga and the southeast Asia nation of Brunei. The range of attendees at each of these weddings spans from a couple hundred to tens of thousands.

Interestingly enough, quite a few of these glamorous weddings did not proceed to have a sustainable marriage. Several of the these marriages ended in divorce just a few years after the wedding. Other large weddings were downright controversial. Take the Prince of Tonga, for example, who denounced familial disapproval and took his cousin’s hand in marriage in the summer of 2012, claiming, “Love before protocol.”

The most publicized royal weddings are those of British royalty. The marriage of Prince Charles of Wales to the late Diana Spencer is perhaps the most famous royal wedding of all time. Not only did 3,500 people attend the wedding at Westminster Abbey, but also more than half a million people lined the streets of London that same day in an attempt to spot the newlywed royal couple. And a reported 750 million people had tuned in to watch the couple’s apprehensive kiss atop the balcony of the Buckingham Palace.

The next royal wedding of interest that has everyone talking is the marriage between Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle. Markle will be the first woman of color in the modern era to marry into the overwhelmingly white royal British family. This will be the American actress’ second marriage. The first, to film producer Trevor Engelson, only lasted two years.

The groundbreaking wedding will take place at Kensington Palace on May 19. It will be interesting to see if the wedding’s attendance numbers will top that of WIlliam and Kate’s, whose wedding also made this list.

 
Source: IAEA Imagebank / Wikimedia Commons

> Date: Feb. 18, 2000
> Attendance: 40,000

King Letsie III of Lesotho married Karabo Motsoeneng at a soccer stadium in the nation’s capital of Maseru.

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Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

> Date: 1981
> Attendance: 20,000

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi and Princess Salama were married in an arena built for the event. With a price tag of roughly $100 million, their wedding remains one of the most expensive ceremonies to date.

Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office / Flickr

> Date: July 12, 2012
> Attendance: 4,000

Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala of Tonga and Sinaitakala Tu’imatamoana ‘i Fanakavakilangi Fakafanua were married at Centenary Church in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

Source: Patrick Riviere / Getty Images

> Date: July 29, 1981
> Attendance: 3,500

Princess Diana and Prince Charles of the United Kingdom were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in a televised ceremony viewed by 750 million people worldwide.

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Source: WildTheSmellnice / YouTube

> Date: Sept. 23, 2012
> Attendance: 3,000

Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah of Brunei and Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini were married at the sultan of Brunei’s 1,700-room palace.

 
Source: Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

> Date: Nov. 14, 1973
> Attendance: 2,000

Princess Anne of the United Kingdom and Captain Mark Phillips were married at Westminster Abbey in a televised ceremony viewed by 500 million people worldwide.

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Source: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

> Date: Sept. 9, 2004
> Attendance: 2,000

Crown Prince al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah of Brunei married Princess Dayangku Sarah at the Sultan of Brunei’s 1,700-room palace.

Source: Fox Photos /Hulton Archive / Getty Images

> Date: Nov. 20, 1947
> Attendance: 2,000

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony broadcast on radio to 200 million people.

Source: Getty Images

> Date: May 6, 1960
> Attendance: 2,000

Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom and Antony Armstrong-Jones were married at Westminster Abbey, the first British royal wedding broadcast on television.

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Source: John Stillwell - WPA / Getty Images

> Date: April 29, 2011
> Attendance: 1,900

Prince William of the United Kingdom married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The wedding cost about $34 million.

 
Source: Michel Porro / Getty Images

> Date: May 24, 2002
> Attendance: 1,800

Princess Martha Louise of Norway married Ari Behn at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway.

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Source: Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

> Date: Feb. 2, 2002
> Attendance: 1,700

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Máxima Zorreguieta were married at the 600-year-old Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

Source: Ballesteros-Pool / Getty Images

> Date: May 22, 2004
> Attendance: 1,700

King Felipe VI of Spain married Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano at the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid.

Source: Max Koot / Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

> Date: March 10, 1966
> Attendance: 1,600

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus von Amsberg were married in a civil ceremony at Amsterdam city hall and the marriage was then blessed in the Westerkerk.

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Source: Mark Renders / Getty Images

> Date: April 12, 2003
> Attendance: 1,500

Prince Laurent of Belgium and Claire Coombs were married in a civil ceremony at the town hall in Brussels that was officiated by the mayor. This was followed by a ceremony at Saint Michael and Gudula Cathedral.

 
Source: Royal Palace / Getty Images

> Date: March 21, 2002
> Attendance: 1,500

King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Lallas Salma Bennani were married in a ceremony described as low key at the royal palace in Rabat.

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Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

> Date: April 24, 2004
> Attendance: 1,400

Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands and Mabel Wisse Smit were married in a civil ceremony at the town hall of Delft.

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

> Date: March 18, 1995
> Attendance: 1,300

Princess Elena of Spain and Jaime de Marichalar were married at the cathedral in Seville, Spain.

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

> Date: June 19, 1976
> Attendance: 1,200

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden married Silvia Sommerlath at Stockholm Cathedral.

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Source: Chris Jackson / Getty Images

> Date: July 1, 1995
> Attendance: 1,200

Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller were married in a Greek Orthodox ceremony at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London.

 
Source: Wikimedia Commons

> Date: Aug. 14, 2017
> Attendance: 1,200

Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah of Malaysia married Dennis Muhammad Abdullah at Istana Besar, the royal palace of the Sultanate of Johor.

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Source: Jonas Ekstromer - Pool / Getty Images

> Date: June 19, 2010
> Attendance: 1,100

Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling were married at Stockholm Cathedral.

Source: Paul Blank / Wikimedia Commons

> Date: May 17, 2001
> Attendance: 1,000

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands married Laurentien Brinkhorst in a civil ceremony at the Oude Raadzaal, Javastraat, in The Hague. The church wedding was held at the Grote of St Jacobskerk, also in The Hague.

Source: Nagaraj Gargya / Wikimedia Commons

> Date: June 27, 2016
> Attendance: 1,000

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore, and Trishika Kumari Singh were married at the city palace in Mysore.

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Source: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

> Date: July 2, 2011
> Attendance: 850

Prince Albert of Monaco married Charlene Wittstock at the prince’s palace.

 
Source: Glorvigen, Bjørn / Wikimedia Commons

> Date: Aug. 29, 1968
> Attendance: 850

Prince Harald of Norway married Sonja Haraldsen at Oslo Cathedral.

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Source: Royal Fashion Channel / YouTube

> Date: July 9, 2016
> Attendance: 800

Prince Franz Albrecht of Oettingen-Spielberg noble family in Germany and Baroness Cleopatra von Adelsheim von Ernest were married at St. Jacob Church in Oettingen, Bavaria.

Source: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

> Date: May 14, 2004
> Attendance: 800

Frederik, crown prince of Denmark, and Mary Donaldson were married at Copenhagen Cathedral.

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

> Date: Aug. 25, 2001
> Attendance: 750

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway married Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby at Oslo Cathedral.

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Source: Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images

> Date: Dec. 4, 1999
> Attendance: 750

Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and Princess Mathilde were married at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels.