Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married on this day 40 years ago
The marriage of Charles and Diana, (later the Prince and Princess of Wales), took place on 29 July 1981, marking a high point in the popularity of the Royal Family.
It was seen by a global television audience of 750 million in 74 countries. In Britain, where a public holiday had been declared, 28.4 million watched on BBC and ITV - the majority on the BBC - while 600,000 lined the streets of London.
The event was one of the first of its kind and marked a change in how the Royal Family was viewed all over the world.
The concept of 'celebrity' was taking a foothold in the United Kingdom and Charles and Diana were two of the first true celebrities to emerge from the Royal Family.
Forty years ago today, Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s cathedral.
The ceremony was widely-billed as the “fairytale wedding of the century”. pic.twitter.com/z0t19u3slZ— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) July 29, 2021
The wedding was broadcast on television, making it one of the most-watched television events of that era.
Television coverage of the 11am ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral began at 7.45am, presented by Angela Rippon and Peter Woods.
Commentary on the carriage processions and marriage service was given by Tom Fleming. Simultaneous coverage on BBC Two provided live subtitles for hearing-impaired viewers, the first big outing for the Palantype system.
Radio coverage was also extensive, with commentators as varied as Wynford Vaughan-Thomas and Rolf Harris along the processional route, and Terry Wogan on Radio 2, capturing the mood on the streets.
While perhaps it is fair to say that Charles and Diana's actual marriage was less successful than their wedding ceremony, there is no doubt that it was a landmark occasion in British history.