Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, with their bridesmaids and pageboys. (Hugo Burnand: Clarence House)
As we approach Royal wedding 2.0, there’s never been a better time to look back to when Kate and Will tied the knot in April 2011.
After seven years of dating, give or take a breakup, came a fairy-tale wedding, watched by 300 million around the world, as Britons celebrated at more than 5,000 street parties.
Harry and Meghan will break from tradition — although they’re still being married in a castle (they were hardly going to go full barefoot-on-the-beach). But Kate and Will gave us the real deal, so let’s look back on the highlights of the full shebang.
The souvenir industry got creative
Way before the wedding day, businesses were already trying to turn a buck off the happy couple.
Zero points to Mattel for coming up with the (frankly, predictable) Royal Wedding Barbie Set.
Ten points to Papa John, the visionary who gave us Royal Wedding Pizza. A salami bouquet? A mushroom veil? This is true art, people.
Papa John’s commissioned a “food artist” to create this commemorative Royal Pizza. (Businesswire)
Then there’s royal wedding teabags, which satisfied both royal fans and those who’d prefer to submerge the royals in scalding water.
Souvenir teabags with depictions of Prince William and Kate Middleton sit in a cuppa in London April 7, 2011. (Suzanne Plunkett: Reuters)
Something old, something new
No, Prince William isn’t dressed as a tin soldier from The Nutcracker, he’s wearing his full dress uniform.
A few months before the wedding, he was appointed Colonel of the Irish Guards, so he opted to wear their uniform — except for the bearskin hat, which might’ve been a tad too much.
He also refrained from wearing a sword in the church, presumably leaving it in the umbrella stand instead.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in their official wedding photo. (Hugo Burnand: Clarence House)
Kate looked ravishing in an Alexander McQueen gown and Queen Elizabeth’s “halo scroll” tiara.
Fulfilling the “something borrowed” part of “something old, something new”, the Queen loaned Kate the 1000-diamond Cartier tiara she got for her 18th birthday. It’s been dubbed the “halo scroll” tiara and it’s kind of surprising that no-one made spin-off baked goods.
Refreshingly, Kate did her own makeup for the occasion, which offset the cost of the $800,000 bill for flowers.
Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. (Tony Gentile: Reuters)
Queen Elizabeth kept spirits high in a canary-yellow suit…
… Which may or may not have inspired Royal wedding 2.0’s lemon wedding cake.
Queen Elizabeth in a cheery yellow, with Carole Middleton, mother of the bride, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. (Reuters)
Despite being a glorified babysitter for the day, Pippa Middleton became a sex symbol.
Her slinky dress made Kate’s sister the most talked-about derriere since Kylie Minogue’s gold hotpants in Spinning Around.
Yet Pippa was relegated to the kids’ carriage, much like when you end up at the kids’ table at Christmas because your aunt ran out of space.
Princess Eugenie of York wore an outfit that looked like it was foraged by a bowerbird with its squished bottle-cap headpiece.
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice of York are known for their adventurous hats. (Reuters)
While her sister Beatrice wore the toilet seat that launched a thousand memes.
Still, the memes made the internet’s most famous hat, which sold for a whopping $123,390 in a charity auction.
Meanwhile, David Cameron’s wife wore nothing at all…
…or so you’d think from the Twitter-storm after SamCam showed up without a hat.
Boris Johnson hired a suit from a chain store.
It’s not like the Lord Mayor of London would have an occasion to wear a suit again…
Boris Johnson, then-Lord Mayor of London, rented his tails from a High Street shop. (Reuters)
Posh Spice, with husband/handbag David Beckham arrived to hysterical screams.
Becks dressed as a magician, while the ex-Spice Girl wore a tentacle hat that seemed to be inspired by The Little Mermaid’s Ursula, Queen of the Underworld.
Larry, the Downing St cat, donned a Union Jack bow tie.
Unfortunately, the British Parliament was “too busy” to make him a proper outfit to match Will’s.
His Nutcracker costume was clearly in the same purgatory as Samantha Cameron’s hat.
It’s somewhat disappointing that Larry, the Downing St cat, did not get into full Nutcracker regalia like this cat.
A nun wore Reeboks, which saw her dubbed “the ninja nun”.
A Royal wedding is no reason to ditch your orthotics.
Sister Annaliese Brodgen’s dad clarified that the nun did own some “fancy shoes”, but preferred her “comfy” Reebok Classics.
Crowds of well-wishers wore Kate and Will masks.
There’s nothing like that feeling of gazing out on a sea of cardboard clones of yourself.
A perfect ceremony
Kate’s father and Prince walked her down the aisle, with Pippa carrying her train. The happy couple exchanged vows and Will gave Kate a Welsh gold ring.
Sounds like something from The Hobbit.
Will had pockets specially added into his Nutcracker uniform, so he wouldn’t lose the ring, because that would be awkward.
And this clergyman cartwheeled down the aisle.
The wedding party travelled by horse and cart to Buckingham Palace.
A cool one million spectators lined the route.
They saved their kiss for the cheering crowds beneath the balcony.
Thousands pack The Mall as they wait for Prince William and Catherine to appear on the palace balcony. (Darren Staples: Reuters)
Following in the footsteps of William’s parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
Inspired by the cheers, they stole a second peck and the crowds couldn’t have been happier …
While their Royal Highnesses kiss and crowds cheer, their flower girl has had enough. (Dylan Martinez: Reuters)
Except their young bridesmaid, who won over the internet and became an enduring meme.
The grumpy flower girl became an internet meme; in this iteration she is reacting to Donald Trump.
The 10,000 canape lunch
Queen Elizabeth hosted a luncheon reception for a third of the chapel guests.
For the other two thirds, it was pretty much like being dropped off your mate’s Myspace “Top 5 Friends”.
At the palace, 10,000 canapes were served, sound-tracked by the Prince of Wales’ “official harpist”.
The couple cut the 17-tier fruit cake with a ceremonial sword.
Only plebs use knives.
Will and Kate’s eight-tier fruit cake is, to many, what a “real” Royal Wedding cake looks like. (Reuters)
Plus a second cake that Will requested, made of McVitie’s chocolate biscuits, which is the most British thing ever.
Harry and Meghan, meanwhile, have ditched the fruit cake entirely, which has caused more wedding controversy than the threats to kick homeless people out of Windsor.
Instead, they’ll have an “organic lemon-elderflower cake” — a ballsy, borderline-sacrilegious choice that only millennials would make.
After the cake, the newlyweds drove away in a vintage Aston Martin, while the Royal family threw rice over the couple.
Prince Harry enlisted the team at MTV’s Pimp my Ride to help jazz up his father’s Aston Martin.
The party begins
There was a costume change for the party, where Kate took her style cues from a silkie chicken.
The Queen took herself to bed so guests could let their hair down at the “disco” themed party organised by Prince Harry and Pippa.
Harry won the dance-off with his routine to Earth Wind and Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland”.
Kidding, those are actors. But Haz would’ve done us proud.
The party endured until the wee hours of the morning when fireworks marked the end.
That’s the royal equivalent of switching the lights on when you want everybody to leave, STAT.
Then VIPs took the “booze bus” home, with Prince Harry, then the “party boy prince”, crawling on at 3am without his bowtie — scandalous.
As he walks down the aisle this weekend, some seven years later, will we see a different man?