From ill-fitting rings to pre-wedding jitters, Express.co.uk takes a look at five things that went wrong during the Prince and Princess of Wales’ big day.
Prince William and Princess Kate are settling into their most senior roles yet in the Royal Family. The pair have been travelling around and meeting well-wishers, with William now believed to be preparing for a key role in his father, King Charles III’s coronation, due to take place next year. William and Kate have for years risen through the ranks of the Firm, ever since they wedded in a lavish ceremony 11 years ago. It came on April 29th, 2011, when the pair finally said I do at Westminster Abbey, a decade after first meeting at the University of St Andrews. An estimated 162million people around the world tuned in to watch the momentous event. Although it looked every bit like a fairytale wedding, there were a number of hiccups on the big day.
The future King was understandably brimming with nerves leading up to the wedding and had trouble sleeping, only managing “about 30 minutes” shut-eye the night before the big day. Prior to his saying “I do”, William had admitted to reporters he was not nervous about one thing in particular, but “the whole thing”. He added: “I was telling everyone I did the rehearsal the other day and my knees started tapping quite nervously. It’s quite a daunting prospect but very exciting and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it but there’s still a lot of planning to be done in the last four weeks.”
Before Kate arrived in her dress, designed by Alexander McQueen, William went to compose himself in Poet’s Corner, an area of Westminster Abbey, accompanied by his younger brother and best man, Prince Harry. He was spotted by Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor of The Sun who attended the wedding. He told Elle magazine in 2017: “We were sat near there, so they both walked straight past us and William looked absolutely terrified. They came out afterward and gave a deep breath.”
William’s nerves evidently got to him as when the newlywed couple were about to jet off in King Charles’ Aston Martin — they had a false start because the heir to the throne had forgotten to release the handbrake.The car had been a present from Queen Elizabeth II on the new Monarch’s 21st birthday in 1969. Arthur Edwards, a royal photographer for the Sun, told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in 2011 that William had asked his father whether he could borrow his precious vehicle, and that Charles had explained to him how to pull-off without stalling.
After exchanging their vows, for a few hairraising moments, the ring would not slide onto Kate’s finger. William had a short struggle, eventually using two hands to get the gold Warski band on. This was not, however, down to nerves as some may have thought. In fact, Kate had deliberately had the ring altered as she had lost weight in the build-up to the wedding, so had it changed to ensure it did not slip off at any point during the ceremony. However, she had mistakenly made it too small. Kate also had her sapphire engagement ring – which was previously given to Princess Diana by King Charles – resized too.
Katie Nicholl, Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent, said in 2011 that an insider had told her: “Kate asked Wartski, who made the ring, to make it a size smaller so it didn’t slip off… “She had her engagement ring resized because she’d lost weight and didn’t want the same problem with her wedding ring slipping off. It has now become a subject of amusement to her and William.”