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Royal Weddings Past

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British royal weddings take place about once a generation and are celebrated in lavish tradition. Fans of the royal family gather early, crowding around London's Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral to catch glimpses of royalty and be a part of these rare occasions. Since the beginning of the 20th century, these massive events have been captured by photographers, allowing close-up views of the royals in their finest attire and a providing record of the times. Many thanks to the fine people at the Corbis Archives, the Associated Press, and more, for letting me dive into their collections of images from royal weddings past -- from Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles in 1922 to Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles in 1981. [29 photos]

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Lady Diana Spencer, soon to become the Princess of Wales, shows off her wedding gown for the first time as her bridesmaids set her train on arrival at Saint Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981. (Reuters/Mal Langsdon)
Lady Diana Spencer, soon to become the Princess of Wales, shows off her wedding gown for the first time as her bridesmaids set her train on arrival at Saint Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981 (Reuters/Mal Langsdon)
Police officers restrain a crowd of people who turned out for the wedding of Princess Mary and Henry Charles George, Viscount Lascelles, in February of 1922. (© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)#
Spectators look on as workmen carry large crowns for Princess Mary's marriage to Henry Charles George, Viscount Lascelles, at Westminster Abbey in 1922. (© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)#
The Duchess of York leaves her house for her wedding in April of 1923. (© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)#
Britain's Duke of York and his bride pass crowds of cheering people as they return to Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey, England, on April 26, 1923. (AP Photo) #
The royal wedding party, with the Duke of York and his bride at the center in May of 1923. On the left are Lady Mary Cambridge, Lady Mary Thynne, the Hon. Diamond Hardinge, and the Hon. Elizabeth Elphinstone (front). On the right are Lady May Cambridge, Lady Katherine Hamilton, Miss Betty Cator, and the Hon. Cecilia Bowes-Lyon (front). (© Bettmann/CORBIS)#
From left to right: Lady May Abel Smith, Princess Marie Louise, Princess Beatrice, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. In foreground, Princess Elizabeth (the future queen), Princess Patricia, Alexander Cambridge (the Earl of Athlone), and Master Alex Ramsey. All watching the departure of the Prince Henry, The Duke of Gloucester and his wife Princess Alice, The Duchess of York formerly Lady Alice Scott, in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, London on November 6, 1935. (AP Photo/Staff/Putnam) #
Eager hands reach through the bars of the forecourt at Buckingham Palace, London on November 6, 1935, as watchers try to gather the rose petals that fell from all sides upon Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, and his new wife, Princess Alice. (AP Photo/Staff/Putnam) #
Britain's Duke and Duchess of Gloucester wave to the huge crowd gathered outside Buckingham Palace, London after their wedding on November 6, 1935. (AP Photo) #
Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten in September 1947, two months before they were to be married. (AP Photo) #
Louisa Sorrell, 17-year-old employee of Warner and Sons, Ltd., begins the second stage in the preparation of the silk for Princess Elizabeth's bridal train on Oct. 10, 1947. Here, Sorrell takes up the slack in the thread where necessary. (AP Photo) #
Huddled together on the pavement opposite Westminster Abbey, London on November 20th, 1947, these people made sure of their positions for the Royal procession for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. (AP Photo) #
An elevation shot taken from Buckingham Palace shows thousands of Londoners gathered around the Victoria Memorial at the entrance to Buckingham Palace to cheer the newly married Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and members of the Royal family when they appeared on the palace balcony following the wedding in Westminster Abbey on November 21st, 1947. (© Bettmann/CORBIS) #
An ocean of humanity in London on November 20th, 1947, as people try to get a glimpse of the Royal Wedding procession of Princess Elizabeth, near South Africa House and St. Martin in the Fields Church. (AP Photo) #
The bridal procession carrying Princess Elizabeth and her father King George VI is seen turning into Whitehall in London on November 20th, 1947, with the sovereign's escort of Household Cavalry. (AP Photo) #
A London youngster is handed over the heads of spectators in Trafalgar Square, London, in an effort to prevent her from being crushed in the mass of people trying to witness the Royal Wedding procession of Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten, November 20th, 1947. (AP Photo) #
The bridal procession, with the sovereign's escort of Household Cavalry, is seen leaving Buckingham Palace in London for Westminster Abbey on November 20th, 1947. (AP Photo) #
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh wave to the crowd from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, November 20, 1947. From left to right, King George VI, Princess Margaret, Lady Mary Cambridge, the bride and bridegroom, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. (AP Photo) #
Princess Anne, shown with her father Prince Phillip, during her wedding to Captain Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey in London, England on November 14, 1973. (AP Photo) #
The wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips at the Westminster Abbey in London, England on November 14, 1973. (AP Photo) #
Princes Anne and Capt. Mark Phillips share a laugh on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding. (© Bettmann/CORBIS)#
Crowds sleep out in front of St. Paul's Cathedral in London on July 19, 1981 to be sure of getting a good view of the Royal Wedding procession of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer the next day. (AP Photo) #
A passerby looks at a window display of the royal wedding at the British Airway office on New York's Fifth Avenue on July 27, 1981. The display includes photographs of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and toy soldiers arranged in parade formation. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler) #
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer are shown on their wedding day at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981. (AP Photo) #
With a 7.6 meter (25-foot) sweeping train, the Princess of Wales, former Lady Diana Spencer, leaves St. Paul's Cathedral arm in arm with Prince Charles at the end of their wedding ceremony in London, July 29, 1981. (AP Photo) #
Charles, Prince of Wales, and bride, Lady Diana, wave the crowd in coach as they pass through Fleet Street after their wedding at St Paul's Cathedral, on July 29, 1981. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Flag-waving wedding enthusiasts, including skinheads, dance atop one of the fountains of Trafalgar Square after watching the wedding procession of Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales in London on July 29, 1981. (AP Photo) #
Spectacular effects fill the sky over Hyde Park, London on Tuesday, July 28, 1981, during the fireworks display to mark the Royal Wedding on Wednesday. (AP Photo) #
Britain's Prince Charles kisses his bride, Princess Diana on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, England after their wedding on July 29, 1981. (AP Photo) #

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