Fewer people attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in person in 2018 than attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s in 2011 or Prince Charles and Diana’s in 1981. The difference may simply be a result of where the weddings were held, and because Prince William’s was the first royal wedding to gain worldwide attention since Prince Charles and Diana. Here is what you need to know about how the crowd sizes of the weddings compared.
About 100,000 Greeted Harry & Meghan’s Procession & 2,640 Were Invited to the Castle Grounds
Windsor Council estimated that 100,000 spectators came to watch the carriage procession in person at the Windsor grounds. The open carriage procession started right after they said their vows, leaving Windsor Castle and driving along Castle Hill, then to the High Street, and into the Windsor Town Centre, Telegraph reported. They then returned along a tree-lined Long Walk to the gates of Windsor Palace for their reception.
About 2,640 people, including 1,200 nominated by nine regional Lord Lieutenent officers, were invited to the Windsor Castle grounds, Telegraph reported. About 600 people were invited to the wedding. The number was much smaller than Kate and William’s 1,900 invitees, because Harry and Meghan’s venue could not hold as many people.
Meghan and Harry’s 25-minute procession left St. George’s Chapel where they were married, traveled around Windsor, and then returned to Windsor Castle. Here are more photos from the procession:
Nearly a Million Viewed Kate & William’s Wedding in Person in 2011
Westminster City Council reported in 2011 that the Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding was watched by nearly a million people on the streets of London, and only 52 people were arrested despite the massive crowd. It was a huge affair, celebrating the wedding of the man who was second in line to the throne. Their procession took them from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, and they shared a balcony kiss that delighted the crowd.
Here are more photos of the crowd at the wedding:
About 660,000 People Watched Charles and Diana’s Procession
The 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Diana drew 660,000 spectators lining the procession from Clarence House. They had 3,500 guests at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Part of the reason they chose the Cathedral over Westminster Abbey was to have a longer procession through London.
Why Was There Such a Big Crowd Size Difference Between the Two Weddings?
Prince William and Kate’s wedding was the first royal wedding to capture the public’s attention since Charles and Diana in 1981. As the second in line to the throne, William’s wedding naturally attracted more attention than Harry’s. But his wedding also had more requirement and responsibilities than Harry’s. Because William’s wedding was on a weekday, it also became an official bank holiday and many got the day off work.
In addition, Meghan and Harry’s wedding took place on the same day as the FA Cup tournament.
The difference in numbers might also lie in how the processions were done. William and Kate’s processional rode through central London around Buckingham Palace, and they were married at Westminster Abbey.
Harry and Meghan’s procession was just as beautiful and just as happy, but it was also quite different. They rode in their own Ascot Landau carriage around Windsor castle and were married at St. George’s Chapel, a smaller but beautiful venue. Windsor’s council advised that camping was forbidden for this procession, and tents were also banned. Their procession was 25 minutes long, vs William and Kate’s 15-minute procession.