At the beginning of This Whole Covid Shitshow, I said that I was saving the Chuck and Di Royal Wedding Rewind for “when we really need it.” I’m not sure if now is technically “when we really need it,” but now is the actual day upon which they were wed, way back in 1981, and so this seemed quite apt. I was six years old when this wedding happened, so I did not watch it live — there is no way my mother got up for this wedding, and she DEFINITELY wouldn’t have gotten me up at 3 a.m. — and yet I feel as if I remember it very clearly, probably because it was all over the news, and also because I had a set of Princess Diana paper dolls of which I was quite enamoured.

The internet is a nightmare in MYRIAD ways, but one of the ways in which it is great is that you can watch this entire wedding on YouTube:

This is, of course, by equal turns fascinating and bittersweet to watch knowing what we know now.

Some fun facts via my best friend and mentor Dr. Wikipedia and this fantastic piece at Vanity Fair that is just chock-a-block with goss:

  • This whole thing cost  — allegedly –forty-eight million dollars!!
  • It took Diana three and a half minutes to make her way up that long aisle at St. Paul’s — chosen because it had a more dramatic aisle than Westminster Abbey, and could hold more people, and they had 3500 guests. (I’ve never actually been inside St Paul’s, but the outside of it is huge.) Apparently, Diana wanted to have the longest train in royal wedding history — and by god, she did, as it was 25 feet long — and that train required a long-ass aisle for maximum drama. I respect this.
  • Diana messed up the order of Charles’s many names, famously. And also did not promise to obey him, which apparently was a mini scandale at the time.
  • They also apparently started the tradition of the balcony kiss, so if you ever feel snappish towards Chaz, at least know that he’s given us that.

Let us dive into the many MANY photos I’ve downloaded from this extremely famous event.

[Photos: Getty, Shutterstock]