Special Report

These Are the Most Lavish Royal Weddings in History

Source: Michaelsanders / Wikimedia Commons / PD-US-expired, Rogier van der Weyden / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

1. Margaret of York and Charles the Bold of Burgundy
> Date: July 3, 1468

Adjusted to today’s prices, the 1468 wedding of Margaret of York to Charles the Bold cost $200 million. The reception included a four-day jousting competition and a week of parades, pageants, performances, and feasts. Margaret wore a diamond and pearl encrusted tiara, an ermine-lined gown, and was transported in a gold litter drawn by white horses. There were even fountains spewing sweet wine.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip
> Date: November 20, 1947

Before the wedding of Princess Elizabeth, currently the Queen of England, her fiancé Prince Philip was made the Duke of Edinburgh. Their 500-pound cake was nine feet tall, decorated with both families’ seals, and was cut with the duke’s Mountbatten sword. Elizabeth’s dress was decorated with crystals and 10,000 seed pearls. The royal couple received over 2,500 wedding gifts from all over the world.

Source: Express / Getty Images

3. Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly
> Date: April 18, 1956

Grace Kelly, an American actress, retired from her successful career when she wed the Prince of Monaco, Rainier Grimaldi III. Kelly’s dress, a gift from MGM studios featuring antique lace and hundreds of pearls, required six weeks and 30 seamstresses to complete. Her veil was made from 90 yards of tulle, and the dinner included lobster, champagne, caviar, and a 200-pound cake topped with a cage holding a pair of live turtledoves.

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images

4. Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones
> Date: May 6, 1960

Princess Margaret’s was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on TV, and had over 300 million viewers. The princess arrived at Westminster Abbey in a glass coach in the presence of 2,000 congregants, including movie stars, politicians, and royalty. Her silk organza dress took over almost 33 yards of fabric to create, and her massive antique tiara — originally made for Lady Poltimore in the 1870s — was recently auctioned for $1.7 million.

Source: Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

5. King Constantine II and Princess Anne-Marie
> Date: September 18, 1964

When the King of Greece married the Princess of Denmark, the festivities lasted for weeks and spanned both countries. Beginning Septemeber 7 with a private reception in Denmark, a lavish dinner the next night for 1,000 guests, and a carriage procession through Copenhagen to greet the crowds, the party then sailed to Greece where the King hosted three large receptions with 6,000 guests. The couple finally married on September 18 with a guest list that included over 55 princes and princesses, eight reigning monarchs, and royal and government representatives from more than 87 countries.