A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

15 Bizarre Royal Wedding Mishaps That Are Totally True

Updated: Jan. 13, 2023

From drunken kings to runaway horses, even royal weddings have their share of flubs.

1 / 15
Sky News Coverage of the Royal Wedding from Buckingham Palace
British Sky Broadcasting Ltd/Shutterstock

No shut-eye for the groom

Wedding day jitters weren’t the only thing that kept Prince William up all night before he tied the knot with the lovely former Kate Middleton—the ruckus and hubbub from all his supportive yet noisy well-wishers were also to blame. “They were singing and cheering all night long, so the excitement of that, the nervousness of me and everyone singing—I slept for about half an hour,” William said, according to The Daily Mail.

2 / 15
Princess Elizabeth (queen Elizabeth Ii) and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh (formerly Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten) Pose Together For an Official Photograph Following Their Marriage at Westminster Abbey On 20 November 1947 1947

Something borrowed, something blue, and something broken?

Even the unflappable Queen Elizabeth II had to deal with a wedding mishap: her broken tiara. “The Fringe Tiara was given to Queen Elizabeth on her wedding day, and the hairdresser broke it,” royal jeweler House of Garrard told Marie Claire in an interview. “On that day, they had police escort it to the House of Garrard workshops. We fixed the tiara that morning, had it sent back to Queen Elizabeth, and then she got married in it. You don’t expect the royals to have those sorts of mix-ups, but they do!”

3 / 15
Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, London, Britain - 29 Jul 1981


In hindsight, it was an ominous sign about the future of her marriage when Princess Diana flip-flopped the first and middle name of her groom referring to him as “Philip Charles” rather than “Charles Philip.” Barbara Walters made this comment about the flub, “All it did was endear her more to her people because it was human and understandable.” Check out more secrets you might not know about Princess Di.

4 / 15
The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Westminster Abbey, London, Britain - 29 Apr 2011
David Hartley/Shutterstock

Horsing around

You may be familiar with the term runaway bride, but what about runaway horse? That’s exactly what happened as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s procession left Westminster Abbey after they got hitched. According to ABC News, one of the horses in the procession got spooked from the revelry of the crowd and tossed the cavalry guardsman riding him to the tarmac below. Neither the horse nor the guardsman was harmed.

5 / 15
Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, London, Britain - 29 Jul 1981

Tripped up

It wouldn’t be a wedding unless someone… tripped? Although Princess Diana’s train was 25 feet long, she managed it flawlessly. Her 5-year-old bridesmaid Clementine Hambro, Winston Churchill’s granddaughter and Diana’s former student, however, tripped on it. Diana gently asked little Clementine if she had “bumped her bottom.” Don’t miss these other 15 secrets you never knew about Charles and Diana’s wedding.

6 / 15
Prince Charles, Princess Diana Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer are shown on their wedding day at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on

Don’t cry over… spilled perfume

When Princess Diana walked down the aisle in her now iconic wedding dress, little did the crowd know it had been stained from her favorite perfume, Quelques Fleurs. Her makeup artist Barbara Daly spilled the beans about the spilled perfume, explaining it was Diana that got it on the dress by mistake, reports People. According to the magazine, Daly told the soon-to-be princess “to simply hold that spot on her dress as she was walking to make it seem like she was lifting the front of her dress so she didn’t step on it. She was even spotted trying to cover the spot where the perfume spilled with her hand as she approached the altar.”

7 / 15
Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, London, Britain - 29 Jul 1981

Got the goods

Prince Charles flubbed his wedding vows when reciting them to Diana. Rather than promise to share “all his worldly goods” he inadvertently omitted the word “worldly” and only mentioned “goods.”

8 / 15
Royal Mail commorative stamps of Prince William and Catherine Middleton taken by Mario Testino

Stamp collecting faux pas

If you lived in New Zealand in 2011, you may have been the recipient of a postage stamp created to celebrate the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Although the stamp was meant to commemorate the lovely couple tying the knot, ABC News reports that when users went to put the stamp on a letter to mail they ended up having to “tear apart the happy couple.” Wedding stamp fail.

9 / 15
Prince Charles, Princess Diana With a 25-foot (7.6 meter) 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

A wrinkle in time

The train of Diana’s wedding dress was truly one for the record books. At 25 feet in length, dress designer David Emanuel accommodated Diana’s wishes when she kept asking for a longer and longer train. Of course, all that extra fabric had to get to St. Paul’s Cathedral with the bride-to-be in it. Unfortunately, shoving large amounts of taffeta into a glass coach can result in one wrinkled train. Don’t miss these 18 iconic royal wedding photos throughout history.

10 / 15
Prince William and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey during their wedding service

The ring was too small

Slipping the wedding ring on the bride’s finger is a ritual not even a royal prince would dare challenge, but what if the ring doesn’t fit? That’s what happened to Prince William during his exchange of vows with Kate Middleton. Turns out Kate had earlier had Diana’s famous engagement ring resized to fit her finger because it was slipping off. So she also had her wedding band sized smaller—a little too small—and it got stuck as William tried to put it on. But after a bit of a struggle, Prince William finally managed to slip the ring on his bride’s finger. “It has now become a subject of amusement to her and William,” notes The Daily Mail. 

11 / 15
Wedding of Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Alexander Johannsmann, Bad Berleburg, Germany - 18 Jun 2011
Norbert Kesten/Shutterstock

Forgotten bouquet

Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg of Denmark’s wedding ceremony was delayed because she forgot to bring her bouquet with her to the church. Good thing it only took ten minutes for them to get there because that delay no doubt made Alexander Johannsmann a very nervous groom. Find out the flower every British royal bride carries in her bouquet.

12 / 15
George IV 1762-1830, King of Great Britain 1820-1830. Portrait as prince Regent by Thomas Lawrence 1822
Universal History Archive/Shutterstock

Drunken antics

There’s nothing surprising about guests getting drunk at a wedding, but when it’s the groom who is smashed, who also happens to be king, it’s another story entirely. Way back in 1795, King George IV was so drunk that after his nuptials his bride Catherine of Brunswick left him under a grate. Perhaps Catherine already knew what she was getting herself into based on meeting her betrothed for the first time at St. James Palace. “She very properly…attempted to kneel to him,” said onlooker Lord Malmesbury in his diary. “He raised her (gracefully enough) and embraced her, said barely one word, turned around, retired to a distant part of the apartment, calling me to him and said, ‘Harris, I am not well, pray get me a glass of brandy.'” These are the etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.

13 / 15
Frederick Louis Prince of Wales Son of George Ii Father of George Iii 1707 - 1751

Nerves on overdrive

Back in 1736, Princess Augusta was just sick about having to marry Prince Frederick, so much so that she actually vomited right after the ceremony. Prince Frederick, the eldest son and heir of King George II, wasn’t much of a charmer, and he supposedly yelled in Princess Augusta’s ear when she messed up her vows. Not to mention, the princess was said to have begged her mother, Queen Caroline, “Please don’t leave me.” The poor Danish princess was only a mere 17 years old, plus, she’d never even met her much older groom before, according to the book Royal Babylon: The Alarming History of European Royalty.

14 / 15
According to the Anglo-saxon Chronicle Hardecanute Died Due to Drinking Abuse; the Rather Unpopular Ruler Was Probably not Mourned by Many Britons 1042

A wedding and a funeral

Til death do us part isn’t meant for the guests at a wedding. But according to the book A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales, when King Harthacnut, King of England from 1040 to 1042, got drunk at his pal Tovi the Proud’s wedding, he had a stroke and died right then and there. You’ll want to check out these 15 obscure royal wedding facts.

15 / 15
Princess Diana and Prince Charles wedding
Graham Harrison/Shutterstock

Headache woes

Although Diana looked lovely in the Spencer family tiara, the hairpiece gave the bride a pounding headache. ”In the evening [after the wedding] we all went to a sort of semi-private party,” Charles Spencer, Princess Di’s brother, told Elle. “And she was there and she seemed incredibly relaxed and happy and I just remember she had a cracking headache too, because she wasn’t used to wearing a tiara all morning.”