Special Report

These Are the Most Lavish Royal Weddings in History

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11. Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller
> Date: July 1, 1995

The Greek prince and his bride chose to hold their wedding at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in London, in a celebration that cost $7 million. Marie-Chantal, whose dowry was about $258 million, wore a $233,000 silk dress encrusted with pearls, with a 13-foot train. The cathedral was decorated with 30,000 pink flowers, and the eight-tier cake was decorated with roses, inspired by a china pattern from the royal collection. There were even 300 smaller cakes, one for every dinner table.

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12. Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones
> Date: June 19, 1999

During the wedding of Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth of England, the drive to Windsor Castle was lined with 8,000 locals chosen to represent the town of Windsor, where the bride arrived in a Rolls Royce wearing a wedding dress decorated with 325,000 hand-sewn pearls and cut glass beads. Dinner included pastries of smoked haddock and mushroom, beef stroganoff, fresh raspberries, and a seven-tier, 10-foot tall devil’s food cake decorated with sugar roses.

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13. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby
> Date: August 25, 2001

Despite rain, over 100,000 people gathered along the route from the Royal Palace to the cathedral to congratulate Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit on their wedding day. Street parties, cannons firing, and fireworks followed the ceremony, while the bride and groom cruised in a 1966 Lincoln convertible to the reception. Mette-Marit’s silk gown was a replica of the dress her husband’s great-grandmother, Queen Maud, wore at her wedding. Mette-Marit also wore a 1910 diamond tiara and carried a woven flower garland instead of a bouquet.

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14. Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson
> Date: May 14, 2004

When Prince Frederik of Denmark married Australian Mary Donaldson, weeks of celebration ensued. Events included a formal reception on April 20, a military parade, a concert, a sailing race, a dinner hosted by the Queen in Christiansborg Palace, a private night club party, and a gala performance at the Royal Theatre. For the ceremony, Mary wore a simple off-the-shoulder satin gown with a 19-foot train and an antique lace veil previously worn by Princess Margareta of Sweden. Her bouquet featured Australian eucalyptus flown in for the wedding.

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15. Felipe, Prince of Asturias, and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano
> Date: May 22, 2004

Taking place two months after a terrorist attack in Madrid, the wedding of Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano required 20,000 police officers for security. It was attended by over 1,700 guests, including 30 heads of state. Letizia wore a Prussian diamond tiara, a silk gown woven with silver and gold threads, and a hand-embroidered 10-foot veil. The dinner included seafood pastry tartlets on a bed of scallops and roast capon.