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Friday, May 6, 2011

How Kate and William' Royal Wedding compares with Charles and Diana's big day

By Lauren Paxman

Leaving the church: Princess Diana and the Princess of Wales looked away from each other as they left St Paul's, the new Duke and Duchess couldn't take their eyes off each other

As Kate Middleton walked up the seemingly endless aisle at Westminster Abbey in her stunning white dress and 2.7 metre train, millions will have remembered another young bride making a very similar journey 30 years ago.

Princess Diana's wedding to Prince Charles also gripped the nation, and many will have recognised similarities in everything from the red carpets the brides walked down to the way the couples waved to their supporters from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

But there were also some notable differences.

Tell-tale signs perhaps showed that there was trouble ahead for Diana and Charles, while Kate and William clearly proved they are meant for each other.

As Charles and Diana left St Paul's Cathedral, they both looked away from each other and towards their crowds of supporters.

In contrast, the newly wed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could not keep their eyes off each other as they stepped out of Westminster Abbey.

The similarities definitely outweighed the differences though and it was touching to see that William and Kate had looked to his parents' wedding for inspiration.

Similarities: Diana and her father Earl Spencer (left), and Kate and her father Michael Middleton looked remarkably similar as they walked towards the altar

Paternal pride: Both fathers looked proud and composed as they led their daughters up the aisle

The bridesmaids at both weddings were dressed in white, wearing crowns of flowers in their hair.

Both fathers looked proud and composed as they led their daughters up the aisle and both couples smiled as they took their first strolls as man and wife back towards the doors of their respective churches.

Diana and Kate's dresses were very, very different - Diana's Eighties number looks very dated - but both featured nipped in waists that showed off the brides' svelte figures, and both women wore impressive tiaras.

Newly-weds: Diana kept her veil on at the alter, but Kate took her veil off almost as soon as she joined her husband

Man and wife: Diana's longer train meant that there was more distance between the couple and their bridesmaids than at William and Kate's wedding - but otherwise, the similarities were startling

Kate looked much more at ease as she led her husband's hand while they walked out of the Abbey. Diana, on the other hand, had her arm limply linked through Charles'.

The photographs of the balcony scenes at Buckingham Palace look as similar as those from the wedding ceremonies.

But when you compare the scenes, telling differences emerge.

Crowd pleaser: Diana leans in for a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

And again: Last Friday, the initiative came from Prince William, with him suggesting both the first and second balcony kisses

Diana clearly leaned in towards Charles when she kissed him in front of crowds of fans.

But last Friday, the initiative came from Prince William, with him suggesting both the first and second kisses - and his wife happily obliging.

As the couple stepped back into the palace they gave a wave to the crowds that was almost identical to the one William's parents gave 30 years before them. Only the newlyweds were standing much closer together the second time around.

Royal wave: Kate and William stood much closer together than Charles and Diana as they gave one last wave to the crowds below them

Perhaps the starkest example of the differences between the two couples, though is in their official engagement photos.

Both the brides to be wore blue - to match the same ring they wore on their wedding ring finger. But Charles and Diana looked much more uneasy than William and Kate who were both grinning for the cameras.

Engagement photo: Both the brides to be wore blue - and the same ring - but Charles and Diana looked much more uneasy than William and Kate

Some similarities between the two wedding were just a result of both couples following age-old traditions. Both wedding cakes, for example, were white, tiered and very elaborate.

But Prince William said as soon as he got engaged that he would find ways to make it feel like his mother was by his side at his wedding - and taking inspiration from the ceremony she chose was a very touching tribute.

Majestic cakes: Both couples had beautiful white tiered wedding cakes that were elaborately decorated



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