Princess Diana was definitely a trailblazer in the royal family, but did you know she was shaking up the monarchy from the very beginning? Diana made a change to her wedding vows that both her daughters-in-law included in their own ceremonies.
Diana’s ‘Fairytale’ Wedding To Charles
Diana and Prince Charles tied the knot in a fairytale ceremony on July 29, 1981 after getting engaged earlier that year. The couple first met in 1977, when Charles was dating one of Diana’s older sisters. They struck up a relationship of their own in 1980.
The marriage was called the “wedding of the century” by people around the world. The ceremony was attended by 3,500 guests, as well as 2 million spectators in the streets. While many focused on Diana’s fairytale wedding dress, others were excited by a different detail.
The Two Words Diana Left Out Of Her Vows
When reciting her wedding vows during the ceremony, Diana and Charles agreed that she would omit one word. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer states the marriage vows are “to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part.”
The royal couple both decided that Diana would leave out “to obey” when repeating her vows. The princess wasn’t the first British bride to do so, but she was the first royal bride to leave out a promise to obey her new husband.
Diana’s decision to omit “to obey” from her vows started a tradition among new royal brides. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle both left the words out of their own marriage vows. Princess Eugenie also removed “to obey” from her wedding vows.
Other New Royal Precedents Diana Set
Diana continued to break rules and set new royal precedents for the family for the rest of her life. For example, she was the first royal to give birth in a hospital instead of at home—another tradition Middleton and Markle followed.
The princess was also the first royal mother to send a future monarch, Prince William, to public school. Middleton and William have also sent their children to public schools, and when Archie and Lilibet get old enough, it’s fair to assume Markle and Prince Harry will as well.
The marriage between Diana and Charles didn’t last, but the late princess had a permanent impact on the British royal family, bringing a sense of normalcy and independence to the sometimes-stuffy monarchy.