Last-Minute Changes That Were Made For Royal Weddings

Nothing can cause a media frenzy quite like a royal wedding. People around the world have tuned in for royal weddings ever since technology became advanced enough to do so, and it's become something of a global celebration ever since.

Take Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding — more than 29 million American viewers tuned in to watch this spectacular event in real-time, according to Nielsen data. Globally, the wedding was watched by 1.9 billion people (via Express) effectively making Harry and Meghan's wedding the third most-watched event of all time and the most-watched royal wedding since mass media became a thing. Princess Diana and King Charles III's wedding also drew an impressive amount of attention, with 750 million people tuning in from across the globe to watch them exchange their vows.

Needless to say, royal weddings are a really big deal. We ordinary folks tend to deal with plenty of stress when it comes to our own weddings, and we don't even have to take the media into account or the fact that millions will be watching the event. Royal weddings are by their nature big, public events, which means there's so much more that can go wrong. While almost every royal wedding has seemed picture-perfect to the world so far, there has been a lot of chaos behind the scenes. Let's take a look at some of the last-minute changes that were made at royal weddings and how everyone involved somehow managed to pull it off effortlessly.

Princess Diana had to cover a perfume stain on her dress as she walked down the aisle

Last-minute accidents happen, and anyone who has ever walked down the aisle knows that they have an annoying tendency to occur on your wedding day. If there's one person who knew all about last-minute mishaps, it was Princess Diana.

As she was getting ready to walk down the aisle to marry then-Prince Charles, Diana put on her favorite perfume at the last minute. Smart choice, given that we all want to look (and smell) our best on our special day. Unfortunately, she spilled Quelques Fleurs perfume on her wedding dress as she applied some of it to her wrist!

According to People, Diana's makeup artist, Barbara Daly, later revealed details about this little accident. The spilled perfume left a spot on Diana's dress, but luckily Daly could think on her feet and told the princess to casually cover the spot with her hand and pretend like she was holding up her long dress while walking down the aisle — and it worked. Looking back at pictures of the day now, we can see Diana's hand strategically placed over the perfume spill, but back then, no one had a clue that the princess-to-be was actually hiding a blemish on her dress. That's the definition of handling a mishap with grace.

Princess Diana made some notable changes to her wedding vows

This famous change wasn't as last-minute as covering the perfume spill on her wedding dress, but to spectators who had no idea that Princess Diana made changes to the traditional royal wedding vows, this change did seem pretty last-minute.

Four weeks ahead of Diana and King Charles III's wedding, The New York Times broke the news that Diana decided to make some adjustments to her wedding vows, breaking traditional royal protocol in the process. Royal women before her had all promised to obey their husbands, but times were changing, and Diana set a brand-new precedent when she decided to omit these words from her vows. Instead, she simply promised Charles that she would "love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health."

Charles was on board with this change. In fact, he and Diana discussed it at length with Dr. Robert Runcie who was the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time. In general, the was Church was very receptive to their request. The Dean of Westminster Abbey, Dr. Edward Carpenter, said he was "absolutely delighted" about the change agreeing that it was "much more Christian." This change to the vows was even adopted by future generations — both Princess Catherine and Meghan Markle omitted that infamous phrase from their own vows, following in their mother-in-law's footsteps.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla had to delay their wedding by a day

Having to delay a wedding at the last minute is almost everyone's biggest nightmare, but that's exactly what King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort had to do when they got married in 2005. Yeah, we're shaking in our boots just thinking about the repercussions.

Shortly before Camilla and Charles were set to tie the knot, Pope John Paul II passed away, and Charles was expected to attend the funeral in Rome. Unfortunately, the date of the funeral clashed with that of the royal wedding, so the couple had to postpone it. This was not even the first hiccup Camilla and Charles experienced — they also had to change their venue to the town hall instead of Windsor Castle because of an issue with marriage licenses.

Postponing the wedding caused quite the hubbub, especially for royal florist Simon Lycett, who later told Hello! that it was quite a challenge to keep the floral arrangements fresh. "We always try to have our flowers be on point for the actual day and time of the event. There was a bit of a white-knuckle ride to try and make sure that everybody was keeping everything fresh and perfect," Lycett explained. Luckily, Lycett and his team managed to pull it off, and Charles and Camilla's flower arrangements looked spectacular on the day.

Prince Philip was a last-minute addition to the guest list at two royal weddings

Prince Philip surprised the media and wedding guests on two occasions when it wasn't clear whether he'd be able to attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding. Ahead of their big day in 2018, Prince Philip had to undergo hip replacement surgery. While he made a speedy recovery, The Sun reported that Philip suffered another mishap shortly before the wedding. While bathing, he took a bad fall and reportedly cracked a rib which meant he might not be able to attend the duke and duchess' wedding. But if there's one thing we've learned about the late Prince Philip, it's that he didn't let anything get him down. Not only did he arrive at Harry and Meghan's wedding, but he also refused to walk with a cane, making his way inside the chapel unassisted. That's how you do it! 

Later that same year, when Princess Eugenie was set to marry Jack Brooksbank, there were once again rumors that Prince Philip might not attend the ceremony, but on the day, he showed up. Royal sources told The Telegraph at the time that it was likely Philip would decide on the day whether he felt up to attending the wedding, adding: "He now very much operates on a 'wake up and see how I feel' basis" — We're a fan of that approach! Luckily, he felt up to it on Eugenie's wedding day, surprising guests and journalists alike.

King Charles III walking Meghan Markle down the aisle was a last-minute change

After Meghan Markle's father, Thomas Markle, allegedly suffered a heart attack shortly before the wedding, it became clear that he would not be able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her big day. As heartbreaking as that must have been, the royal family was quick to ensure everything would still go as planned and that Meghan would not make her way down the entire aisle alone.

With Thomas down for the count, Prince Harry turned to his father, King Charles III, to ask if he would walk Meghan down the aisle. In the BBC documentary "Prince, Son and Heir," Harry spoke about the moment he asked Charles if he would step in. "I asked him to and I think he knew it was coming and he immediately said, 'Yes, of course, I'll do whatever Meghan needs and I'm here to support you," Harry revealed (via People). So, on the day, the world watched teary-eyed as Charles accompanied Meghan to the altar. While it was a last-minute change, it became one of the most special moments of the ceremony, and we're so glad Charles agreed to step in.

There were some last-minute changes made to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's seating plan

Let's be honest: Seating plans can be a real nightmare, and as it turns out, the British do things very differently from the Americans. Instead of seating couples together, British tradition dictates that guests be mixed up so they can mingle. While that can be fun, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to follow American tradition on their wedding day and seat couples together at their reception. At least, that was the plan.

In a last-minute change that the couple was unaware of, Princess Catherine and Prince William allegedly switched the place cards at their own table so couples weren't seated together — eek! Harry revealed all this in his memoir "Spare" even though the Prince and Princess of Wales denied that they switched any place cards at their table (via Hello!). Yup, royal weddings (and receptions) really don't run as smoothly as it appears to those of us on the outside. But hey, what's a wedding without a teensy bit of family drama? At least this indicates that the royals, like the rest of us, are only human.

There was a very last-minute change made to Harry and Meghan's reception menu

Speaking of wedding receptions, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's had a last-minute menu change as well — it might have been planned, but it seemed pretty last-minute to the outside world.

The couple hosted a small-ish evening reception at Frogmore Cottage, and it appears something went awry with the catering because a ginormous pizza delivery was made at Windsor Castle before the reception started. A menu had been planned for the event by King Charles III, consisting of an organic "spring meets summer feast" (via Metro). So, either something went wrong with the catering, or the guests didn't find the menu to their liking ... but given previous royal wedding menus, that is highly unlikely. Whatever the reason, two women were seen delivering pizzas to the castle, and the order was so big that the pizzas were packed in a cart. 

The delivery took place right before the party officially kicked off, but we still don't know whether it was an emergency delivery to this day. Our guess? Harry and Meghan decided to switch things up and offer both traditional British dishes and pizza for their American guests. Whether this was actually a last-minute decision is still an utter mystery, but one thing's for sure — Harry and Meghan's guests had more than enough to fuel them for all the late-night dancing they were about to do.

Meghan Markle's wedding dress was adjusted seconds before she walked down the aisle

When your wedding gets broadcasted to the whole world, you better believe you need someone to adjust your dress and veil before you walk into the chapel. You'll want to ensure you look as impeccable as possible while millions of eyeballs follow your every move, so it's no wonder Meghan Markle's designer was on standby on her wedding day.

Meghan's stunning wedding dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller, who also happens to be the first female artistic director fashion house Givenchy has ever had. Keller was waiting on the church steps to ensure Meghan looked flawless before she walked down the aisle and revealed her wedding gown to the world for the first time. Keller adjusted Meghan's dress and veil to ensure it looked exactly the way she pictured it. "I wanted just for her to feel and look amazing," Keller said (via the Mirror), adding that she was more focused on Meghan being happy with how she looked than with what the world would think. "It was just an important moment to get all of that right and I thought she just looked spectacular," Keller added. We wholeheartedly agree.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank only chose a carriage on the day of their wedding

Royal weddings have so many extra arrangements that need to be made, we can't always keep up. One thing we do know is that royals have to choose the carriage they will be riding in after they say their vows.

Britain's weather can be quite unpredictable, and when Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank got married on October 12, 2018, they couldn't decide on a carriage ahead of time since they had no idea what the weather would look like on the day. Instead, they waited until the morning of their wedding to make the decision — talk about last-minute arrangements! It all went off without a hitch, however, as most things at royal weddings do. 

The couple was blessed with a sunny day, but it was quite windy, so they opted for the Scottish State Coach. This spectacular coach is covered, which meant that, should the weather decide to turn at the last minute, the couple would stay dry. The upside is that this carriage has large windows, which meant that spectators could still catch a decent glimpse of them as they rode by.

Princess Beatrice decided to change her wedding dress at the last minute

Princess Beatrice got married in the midst of the pandemic, so naturally, many unforeseen changes occurred before she and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi could tie the knot in 2020. Beatrice, however, embraced all the changes, and even decided to make a major last-minute change: She decided to forgo her original wedding dress and borrow a 1960s evening gown from her grandmother Queen Elizabeth II instead.

Beatrice's surprise decision may have gone against royal protocol but the queen didn't seem to mind. After all, her granddaughter would walk down the aisle wearing one of her own stunning evening gowns designed by Norman Hartnell — the same designer who created the queen's wedding dress back in the day. Personal stylist to the queen, Angela Kelly, worked some magic on the dress to make it wedding-ready, but she only had three weeks to do it. In addition to the gown, Queen Elizabeth also lend Beatrice her wedding tiara. "It was touching for both of them," a friend of Beatrice revealed to People. "Beatrice talks about her grandmother often, and it's clear there's a strong bond there—the dress and the tiara could not have been more perfect," another friend added.

Princess Beatrice's wedding was planned in record time

Like many prospective brides across the globe, Princess Beatrice had to postpone her wedding when the pandemic hit. In the end, she got married at a private ceremony that no one but her family and close friends knew about. However, the media caught wind of it soon enough. Royal reporter for the Daily Mail, Rebecca English, announced on Twitter that not only did the couple secretly get married, but they also changed their original venue. Beatrice was set to marry Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace, but in the end, settled for a ceremony at All Saints Chapel in Windsor Great Park.

Now, planning a royal wedding in the middle of a pandemic and also changing the location is no small feat. It turns out that Beatrice and her fiancé saw an opening to finally tie the knot when the U.K. government lifted the lockdown ban on weddings on July 4, 2020, People reports. Edoardo's mother, Nikki Williams-Ellis, along with Beatrice's mother, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, helped the couple plan their impromptu wedding in record time. "They swung into action and brought it all together in two weeks, which is quite extraordinary," a friend of the couple told People. "Beatrice was so excited about it all, and I think they just jumped at the chance when the ban was removed. They were both desperate for it to happen." We love it when love wins.