Photo Albums Highlight Key Differences Between The British Royal Family Weddings

We may receive compensation from the providers of the services and products featured on this website. Read our Advertising Disclosure.

Two Weddings

In the last ten years, there have been two royal weddings in the British royal family. Back in 2011 Prince William and Kate Middleton got married. Then in 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became husband and wife. The ceremonies for the two weddings were similar in British royal tradition, but they still have their differences.

The key difference between the couples is that William and Kate will most likely become King and Queen consorts one day while Harry and Meghan have decided to leave the royal duties behind them. Here are some more differences between the two royal weddings.

Engagement Rings

Samir Hussein/WireImage

The ring that Kate Middleton was given to by Prince William was his late mother’s – Princess Diana. The ring in question is worth around $400 000. It’s a 12-carat ring with a blue sapphire in the middle. The sapphire is surrounded by diamonds.

Meghan’s engagement ring has two diamonds on either side of one center stone. Harry bought this ring in Botswana where the two fell in love. The ring is valued at around $350 000.

The Big Day

Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Before the day of the wedding, British media portrayed Meghan Markle in a harsh light. They questioned whether or not Meghan was the right fit for the royal family with her background as an American-actress. This spoiled Meghan’s engagement just a tad.

After two years of being together, Prince Harry and Meghan decided to leave their royal duties behind them. Some say the differences in Harry’s and William’s weddings shows an early sign that Meghan would never commit to the royal family.

Waving At The Crowd

In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

After being inducted into the royal family both Kate and Meghan should give a regal wave to the crowd. During their carriage ride, they must obey these traditions to show they appreciate the crowd’s gathering.

Kate keeps her fingers tightly together while Meghan separates them ever so slightly. Both the brides do not use movement when demonstrating the wave to the crowds.

Prince Charle’s Appearance

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Charle’s wife wore very similar outfits for both weddings while he wore drastically different attire for each.

For Kate’s wedding, Charles wore his royal suit with all its bells and whistles. At Meghan’s wedding, he wore a normal grey suit without anything fancy.

Down The Aisle

ANDREW MILLIGAN/AFP via Getty Images/DANNY LAWSON/AFP via Getty Images

One thing the brides have in common is the stress that both had to endure before their weddings. Especially walking down the aisle with so many people staring. Kate had her father walk her down the aisle towards her husband.

Meghan’s father was apparently suffering from health complications and couldn’t attend the ceremony. Meghan still managed to gather enough strength to walk down the aisle by herself to meet her prince.

Wedding Dresses

Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images

After the wedding, both brides changed out of their garments and went to the reception that Prince Charles organized in different attire. Kate had a white Alexander McQueen dress on during her reception.

Meghan had her dress made by Stella McCartney and it was allegedly worth $157 000. She walked with Prince Harry in this beautiful dress as they both got into an old blue Jaguar.

Wedding Kiss


There were millions of people all watching for both the couples when they kissed. Kate and Prince William were on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at Westminster Abbey when they shared their kiss.

Prince Harry and Meghan didn’t wait very long and had their first kiss as a married couple just outside St. George’s Chapel after the wedding ceremony. Both the couples seemed overjoyed.

The Middleton’s Appearance

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images/IAN WEST/AFP via Getty Images

Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, are high up in British society. Being a family of well-educated lawyers means they are familiar with British royalty. The two families have been close for many years.

Michael wore a suit and top hat for his daughter’s wedding while his wife had a light blue dress on. They wore very similar outfits when they attending Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding.

The Tiaras

Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Royal weddings are always extravagant and are a huge occasion for everyone including the public. A British wedding tradition is the adorned tiara that the bride will wear for the huge event.

Kate donned a Cartier tiara that belonged to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen also gave Meghan one of her tiaras for her to wear. It was The Diamond Blue Tiara from 1932. Meghan decided to change out the sapphire in the tiara for diamonds.

The Beckhams

Danny Martindale/FilmMagic/Chris Radburn – WPA Pool/Getty Images

David Beckham is a huge celebrity football player and his wife, Victoria, is a fashion designer. They went to both royal weddings and for Kate’s David had a morning suit and top hat while Victoria wore a sleek navy dress and matching hat.

For Prince Harry’s wedding, the Beckhams wore very similar clothes except for David’s short haircut and beard to match in lieu of a top hat.  The couple donated their outfits to charity after the event.

The Wedding Cakes

Lewis Whyld/WPA Pool/ Getty Images/Steve Parsons

Fiona Cairns created Kate’s wedding cake for her big day. The cake had an amazing eight levels. It was a fruit cake and they had a backup chocolate kate for anyone who didn’t like the fruit. The cake reportedly cost around $160 000.

Meghan’s cake was a lemon sponge with elderflower syrup and Amalfi lemon curd. Claire Ptak created this amazing cake and it was allegedly between $60 000 and $75 0000.

A Closer Look At The Beautiful Bouquets

Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images/Victoria Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The wedding bouquets that Kate and Meghan held at their respective weddings look quite similar but have important differences between the two. Middleton’s delicately small bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and features all-white flowers, each representing something that the couple wishes for their marriage, including happiness and steady love.

Designed by Philippa Craddock, Meghan’s bouquet included flowers that were handpicked by Prince Harry and symbolized hopes for their marriage, including dedication and love.

Kate Had Maids Of Honor While Meghan Had Page Boys

Antony Jones/Julian Parker/Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images/Owen Humphreys – WPA Pool/Getty Images

As expected, Kate Middleton asked her younger sister Pippa to act as her Maid of Honor and carry her train down the aisle at Westminster Abbey. The two sisters are very close and lived together before Kate’s wedding day.

On the other hand, Meghan didn’t select a Maid of Honor, although she had several of her best friends in attendance at her royal wedding. Two page boys carried the train of Meghan’s dress at St. George’s Chapel.

The Grooms

Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images/BRIAN LAWLESS/AFP via Getty Images

Both Prince William and Prince Harry served in the military and wore their uniforms on their wedding days, as it’s tradition for royal grooms to marry in military dress. William, a Colonel, wore a red Irish Guards uniform. He was the first royal groom to wear red since Captain Mark Phillips in 1973.

Prince Harry wore a Blues and Royals military uniform on his wedding day. He opted to wear a Major’s uniform, even though he was appointed as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

Next, let’s compare the two wedding dresses. First, Duchess Kate.

Duchess Catherine Of Cambridge’s Dress

Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images

The world waited with bated breath to see what dress Kate Middleton would wear as she married the future King. The Duchess of Cambridge selected a gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The dress was widely popular as viewers noted the blend of tradition and modern elegance, costing a reported $450,000.

Kate’s dress featured lace that was handcrafted by the Royal School of Needlework and a nine-foot train. The back of the dress was extremely detailed with no less than 58 organza-covered buttons and Rouleau loops.

Some Thought Kate Wore White To Meghan’s Wedding

Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

Traditionally, no one except the bride is supposed to wear white to a wedding. However, at first glance, many thought that the Duchess of Cambridge bent the rules on this one. Looking closer in different lighting, however, Kate’s elegant Alexander McQueen coat was a primrose yellow.

Having just given birth to Prince Louis three weeks prior, Kate looked stunning, pairing the stylish light yellow coat with a Philip Treacy hat.

Mother Of The Bride

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Gareth Fuller – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Carole Middleton didn’t want to take the shine away from her daughter, the Duchess of Cambridge, on her big day. Her pale blue dress, designed by Catherine Walker, was the perfect shade for the spring wedding. The Mother of the Bride looked elated on Kate’s big day.

Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland flew in from Los Angeles to show her support for Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding. She wore a light green Oscar de la Renta dress, looking happy as ever as Meghan married her prince charming.

Duchess Of Sussex’s Dress


Designed by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, the Duchess of Sussex wore a silk dress on her wedding day. The dress featured an open boat neckline with an otherwise simple design, free of lace or any other embellishments.

The Duchess did incorporate a piece of fabric from her blue dress that she wore on her first date with Prince Harry. Although her train was modest, Meghan’s veil was an incredible 16.5 feet long.

Not Everyone Was Invited To The Wedding Reception

Nick Ansell/AFP via Getty Images/DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Following each royal wedding is the evening reception. Not everyone who attends the grandiose weddings is invited to attend the evening receptions. Most guests changed outfits after the wedding for the magical night, which wasn’t shared publicly.

Prince William and Kate Middleton held their evening reception at Buckingham Palace, while Prince Harry and Meghan held their reception at St. George’s Hall in Windsor Castle. Both events followed tradition with speeches, toasts, and well wishes to the newly-wed couples.

There was one guest at Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding that many noticed was not invited to the evening reception…

Price Of Each Wedding

John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images/Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

It’s no secret that both royal weddings cost well above the average wedding for a commoner. Every detail of the event is given proper attention, as the weddings of the British royal family become a part of history. The incredible guest list alone will have the numbers skyrocketing.

In total, Prince William and Kate’s 2011 wedding hosted 2,500 guests and cost $34 million. In 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding had fewer guests (600) yet cost a reported $55 million.

Chelsy Davy’s Royal Wedding Outfits

Martin Fraser/FilmMagic/Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

Before Meghan Markle, Prince Harry had an on-again-off-again relationship with Chelsy Davy, a businesswoman from Zimbabwe, that spanned seven years. Harry and Chelsy dated from 2004 until 2011, and she was invited to both Prince William and Prince Harry’s weddings.

At the time of Prince William’s wedding, Harry and Chelsy had just broken up. Parade magazine reports that the enormity of the event kept Harry and Chelsy apart for good, as Chelsy realized the royal family life wasn’t for her. She wasn’t invited to Prince Harry and Meghan’s evening reception.

The Queen’s Attire

Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images/Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II is known for wearing bright outfits. She’s been quoted as saying, “I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am.” For Prince William and Kate’s wedding, the Queen wore a primrose yellow long sleeve dress with a matching hat.

In 2018, when she attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, the Queen opted for a brighter green coat over a purple dress. She paired it with a matching green hat with purple feather ornamentation.

Wedding Veils

Samir Hussein/WireImage/Ben Birchall – WPA Pool/Getty Images

While Kate’s wedding dress train topped Meghan’s, it was Meghan’s veil that stunned guests and everyone watching from home. Kate’s veil was a top-secret project of the Royal School of Needlework that paired elegantly with the tiara borrowed from the Queen.

Clare Waight Keller designed Meghan’s 16.5-foot-long veil that featured the wildflowers of 53 countries after Meghan made a request that all the Commonwealth’s nations be represented in her veil design.

Pippa Middleton’s Outfit Caught Attention

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

The younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton was the Maid of Honor at her sister’s wedding in 2011. Pippa’s gown featured a design that complemented her sister’s and the bridesmaids’ dresses while also standing apart. Her reputation grew after the event as viewers were captivated with Kate’s younger sister.

Pippa, who got married herself in 2017, attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding wearing a light green floral dress with a price tag of $695.

Brides’ Earrings

BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images/Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

On her wedding day, the Duchess of Cambridge selected a pair of Robinson Pelham diamond earrings. Costing a reported $20,000, the earrings featured a teardrop shape that complemented her diamond tiara.

Meghan wore Cartier earrings when she wed Prince Harry. The diamond and white gold earrings paired well with her tiara, which was borrowed from the Queen who inherited it from Queen Mary in 1953. Meghan also wore a Reflection de Cartier diamond bracelet.

Princess Anne In Purple

Ian Gavan/GP/Getty Images/CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images

We mustn’t forget about Princess Anne. The daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Princess Anne attended both of her nephews’ weddings in style. For Prince William and Kate’s wedding, she wore a purple and green collared coat paired with a bright purple hat, choosing colors similar to her mother’s.

For Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Princess Anne wore a deeper purple coat with a wrap style. She accessorized the look with a purple-hued hairpiece and clutch.

Crowds On The Day

Chris Ison/PA Images via Getty Images/EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William and Kate’s wedding had far more guests and a far larger crowd than Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding. It makes sense, as one day Prince William will most likely be named King. The couple also had the bigger wedding venue, bringing nearly 2,000 people to catch a glimpse of the action at Westminister Abbey.

On the day of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, an unknown number of people flocked to Windsor Castle to be in the presence of the newlyweds. However, not as many people were able to gather at the smaller venue of St. George’s Chapel.

The Phillips’ Attire

Mike Marsland/WireImage/Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

The eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, Peter Phillips attended both royal weddings with his wife Autumn. The couple has two daughters together, Savannah and Isla. Autumn Kelly wore a stunning purple collared dress with a flared skirt to Prince William and Kate’s wedding.

When she and Peter attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Autumn wore an elegant long-sleeved royal blue dress with a teal hat and her hair down.

Lady Spencer’s Dress

Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The absence and memory of Princess Diana was strongly felt at both Prince William and Prince Harry’s weddings. Each of her sons paid tribute to their late mother in their own ways, keeping her memory close on their big days.

Lady Kitty Spencer, the niece of Princess Diana and cousin of Prince William and Prince Harry, attended both of her cousins’ weddings. She wore a light, tightly-fitted beige dress to William’s wedding. For Harry’s, Kitty wore a green square neck dress with a colorful floral design on the skirt.