Royal Weddings Around the World

Royal Weddings Around the World

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3. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

When: May 19, 2018
Where: St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
The Bride: Meghan Markle
The Groom: Prince Harry, sixth in line to the British throne

Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle were introduced by a mutual friend. After a transatlantic courtship, the two announced their engagement in November 2018. Their springtime wedding at Windsor Castle enraptured millions with its pomp, circumstance, and grandeur. Nearly a year after their fairytale nuptials, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.


The story sees brother and sister Tom and Ellen Bowen as stars of a show Every Night at Seven, a Broadway success. They are persuaded to take the show to London, capitalizing on the imminent royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten.

On the ship, Ellen meets and quickly falls in love with the impoverished but well-connected Lord John Brindale. Whilst casting the show in London, Tom falls in love with a newly engaged dancer, Anne Ashmond. Tom assists Anne in reconciling her estranged parents and also asks his agent to locate Anne's supposed fiancé in Chicago – only to discover that he's married and therefore Anne is free to do what she likes.

Carried away by the emotion of the wedding, the two couples decide that they will also be married that day. Thanks to the resourcefulness of Tom's London agent, Edgar Klinger, who knows someone in the Archbishop's office who can cut through the official red tape and also has a cooperative minister in his pocket, Anne and Tom, and Ellen and John, are in fact married on the royal wedding day.

    as Tom Bowen as Ellen Bowen as Lord John Brindale as Anne Ashmond as Irving Klinger / Edgar Klinger as James Ashmond as Sarah Ashmond (uncredited)
  • John R. Reilly as Pete Cumberly (uncredited)

Stanley Donen and Jane Powell were not part of the film's original crew and cast former dancer Charles Walters was the film's original director, with June Allyson as Astaire's co-star. [1] Judy Garland was then signed as Ellen due to Allyson's pregnancy, over the objection of Walters who had spent a year-and-a-half nurturing her through her previous film, Summer Stock. Instead of listening to Walters' objection, Arthur Freed brought in Donen as director Garland, who during rehearsal worked only half-days, started calling in sick as principal photography was to begin. That prompted Freed to replace her with Jane Powell, which in turn caused MGM to cancel Garland's contract with the studio, one that had lasted 14 years. [1]

Principal photography took place in 1950, from July 6-August 24 retakes took place in mid-October. [1]

The scene featuring the song "You're All the World to Me" was filmed by building a set inside a revolving barrel and mounting the camera and its operator to an ironing board which could be rotated along with the room. [1] Astaire danced in the barrel set as if he really danced on the wall and ceiling. It inspired the Lionel Richie song Dancing on the Ceiling with the music video featuring Richie doing the same room dance as a tribute to Astaire.

The songs in Royal Wedding were written by Burton Lane (music) and Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics). The dances were choreographed by Nick Castle. [5]

  • "Ev'ry Night At Seven": The film's opening number has Astaire and Powell perform from the "play within a play" Broadway musical that their characters are taking to London.
  • "Sunday Jumps": Astaire parodies himself by dancing with a hatrack. The fame of the dance rests on Astaire's ability to animate the inanimate. The solo takes place in a ship's gym, where Astaire is waiting to rehearse with his partner Powell, who doesn't turn up, echoing Adele Astaire's attitude toward her brother's obsessive rehearsal habits to which the lyrics (unused and unpublished) also made reference. [citation needed] In 1997, Astaire's widow Robyn authorized Dirt Devil to use a digitally altered version of the scene where Astaire dances with their product in a commercial Astaire's daughter Ava objected publicly to the commercial, implying they had "tarnish[ed] his image" and saying it was "the antithesis of everything my lovely, gentle father represented" [6]
  • "Open Your Eyes": This waltz is sung by Powell at the beginning of a romantic routine danced by Powell and Astaire in front of an audience in the ballroom of a transatlantic liner. Soon, a storm rocks the ship and the duet is transformed into a comic routine with the dancers sliding about to the ship's motions. This number is based on a real-life incident which happened to Fred and Adele Astaire as they traveled by ship to London in 1923. [citation needed]
  • "The Happiest Days of My Life": Powell's character sings this ballad to Lawford, with Astaire sitting at the piano.
  • "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life" has what is considered the longest title of any song in MGM musical history. For the first time in his career, [7] Astaire casts aside all pretension to elegance and indulges in a comic song and dance vaudeville-style with Powell. The routine recalls the "A Couple Of Swells" number with Judy Garland in Easter Parade. [citation needed] Here, for the second time in the film, he seems to parody Gene Kelly by wearing the latter's trademark straw boater and employing the stomps and splayed strides that originated with George M. Cohan and were much favored in Kelly's choreography. [citation needed]
  • "Too Late Now": Powell sings her third ballad, this time an open declaration of love, to Lawford.
  • "You're All the World to Me": In one of his best-known solos, Astaire dances on the walls and ceilings of his room because he has fallen in love with a beautiful woman who also loves to dance. The idea occurred to Astaire back in the 1920s and was first mentioned by him in the MGM publicity publication Lion's Roar in 1945. [citation needed]
  • "I Left My Hat in Haiti": This number, essentially the work of dance director Nick Castle, involves Powell, Astaire, and chorus in a song and dance routine with a Caribbean theme.

According to MGM's records, the film earned $2,548,000 in the US and Canada and $1,354,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit to the studio of $584,000. [2] The film was listed by Variety as one of the top box office hits of 1951. [8]

Upon its release, Bosley Crowther in The New York Times wrote that the film had "a lively lot of dancing and some pleasantly handled songs" according to Crowther, "Mr. Astaire has fared better in his lifetime - and he has also fared much worse." [9]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Royal Wedding had a 91% approval rating based on 23 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Vintage MGM musical stuff, characterized by Stanley Donen's fleet direction and some amazing dance performances from star Fred Astaire." [10]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

In 2007, Warner Home Video released Royal Wedding in a DVD set as part of its "Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory" series, along with "three fine-but-unexceptional films directed by Norman Taurog" and two other films: The Belle of New York and The Pirate. [13]

The film was later featured in an episode of Cinema Insomnia. [14] It is also distributed through Corinth Films. [15]

The songs listed above were published by MGM on an early 10 inch long play record recorded at 33⅓ rpm (MGM E-543).

The song "Sunday Jumps" was referenced by Mel Gibson in What Women Want and by David Byrne in the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. "Sunday Jumps" was also parodied by Kermit the Frog in The Great Muppet Caper. [ citation needed ]

Wedding Traditions From Around The World

Everyone is familiar with wedding staples like tossing the bouquet and the first dance. But what about traditions from other countries and cultures? Have you ever imagined slaughtering a chicken or marrying a banana tree? Check out these wild wedding traditions from around the globe.

The Blackening of the Bride: Scotland The bride and groom are slathered from head to toe in every disgusting substance their friends can get their hands on. Curdled milk, rotten eggs, spoiled curry, fish sauces, mud, flour, sausages, every nasty thing you can imagine. As if that weren’t enough, the couple is then paraded about, with well-wishers making as much noise as possible. Depending on the region, sometimes it’s just the bride or groom alone who is the victim of this particular pre-wedding tradition.

Crying Ritual of the Tujia People: Sichaun Province, China Starting 30 days before the wedding, the bride spends an hour a day crying. Ten days later, she is joined by her mother, and then ten days after that, her grandmother. I know what you’re thinking, but this is actually meant as an expression of joy and deep love.

Daur Chick Liver Tradition: Inner Mongolia, China Time to get mystical. To select a wedding date, the young couple must take a knife and together slaughter a chick. The date is then divined by the appearance of the chick’s liver. If the liver has an unfortunate appearance, they must keep killing chicks until they find a good one.

Kumbh Vivah: India Indian men and women born as Mangliks -- meaning Mars is situated in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th or 12th house of a person's Rashi (Indian astrological moon sign) -- are believed to be cursed. It is believed that Mangalik Dosha negatively impacts married life, causing tension and sometimes the untimely death of one of the partners. To cancel these effects, a Kumbh Vivah can be performed before the wedding. This is a wedding between a Mangalik and either a statue of Vishnu or a Peepal tree or banana tree. The celebrated Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai had one such marriage with a tree before marrying her husband, Abhishek.

Bathroom Moratorium: Tidong community, Indonesia/Malaysia After the wedding, the bride and groom are not allowed to use the bathroom for three whole days. They cannot leave the house, clear their bowels or urinate. The couple is watched over and are allowed minimal amounts of food and drink. If the custom is not practiced, they believe it will bring bad luck to the couple, with consequences such as a broken marriage, infidelity or death of their children. After three days, the couple is allowed to return to normal life and begin their marriage.

Spitting on the Bride: Massai nation, Kenya At a wedding ceremony held by the Massai people, the father of the bride blesses his daughter by spitting on her head and breasts. She then leaves with her husband and does not look back for fear of turning into stone.

The Kissing Tradition: Sweden If the groom leaves the room for any reason, all the other men at the wedding are allowed to kiss the bride. The same goes for the groom and female guests if the bride should leave the room.

La Soupe: France After the reception, the couple would be sent to their bed while the bridal party cleaned up the mess. This was done by dumping all the leftover food, drink and trash into a chamber pot. They would then barge into the couple's room with a toilet full of garbage and would not leave until the couple drank it. Today, the soup is more commonly made up of chocolate and champagne, but it's still served out of a toilet. The reasoning behind the tradition was to give the couple fuel to have sex. (Okay, a French wedding is officially out for me).

Shooting the Bride: China The Yugur people (an ethnic minority group in China) have a custom of the groom shooting three arrows (that don't have arrowheads) at his bride. He then breaks the arrows and the bow during the wedding ceremony, symbolizing that they will love and live with each other forever.

No Smiling: Congo Weddings are considered a thoughtful affair in this part of Africa, and for everything to be taken seriously, the couple cannot smile during or after the ceremony. Nor are they allowed to smile in any wedding day photos.

Falaka, or Beating of the Groom’s Feet: South Korea After the wedding, before he can leave with his bride, the groom must endure a beating of his feet. It can be painful, but it's over quickly and is intended to be more funny than harsh. The groom has his shoes and socks removed and his ankles bound by his groomsmen or family members. They then take turns beating the soles of his feet with a stick, cane or dried fish (yes, a fish). The reason for beating a groom on his wedding day is to test his knowledge, since he is usually quizzed during the beating.

Polterabend: Germany Guests arrive the night before the wedding, usually at the home of the bride, and break any porcelain object they can get their hands on. This act is thought to bring good luck to the couple. However, they cannot break glass, as it symbolizes happiness. After the porcelain has been broken, the couple cleans it up, which is supposed to teach them that married life will not be easy, but by working together, they can overcome any challenge. Today, the new generation breaks the porcelain on the wedding day rather than the night before.

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Royal weddings from around the world

Associated Press Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, wave from the balcony of London's Buckingham Palace, following their wedding at Westminster Abbey, in this November 20, 1947 file photo.

Keep clicking to take a look at other beautiful royal weddings from around the world.

Martin Meissner/Associated Press Britain's Prince William and his bride Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, leave Westminster Abbey, London, following their wedding in 2011.

xx/Associated Press This July 29, 1981 photo shows Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, in London, England.

Mikael Fritzon/Associated Press

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip sits with his bride, Sofia Hellqvist in a carriage, after their wedding ceremony, in Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday, June 13, 2015.

Prince Amedeo of Belgium and Elisabetta Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein celebrate after their wedding ceremony at Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere on July 5, 2014 in Rome, Italy.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about arranged marriage is that there is still a place for it in our modern world. There has been an increased interest in arranged marriage in the United States, and not only among people who come from a cultural tradition in which it is common. These days, there are some young men and women who are the ones requesting that someone help them arrange a marriage they are not having one thrust upon them by traditional parents. One reason behind this can be the desire to meet a spouse who shares the same culture or religion. Matchmaking is still alive and well in some Jewish communities, and it is also seen among immigrants from countries with a strong tradition in arranged marriage like India.

An example of this is the case of a young man from India who had moved to the United States. When he had completed his education and become established in his career, he decided that he was ready to settle down and start a family. The only problem was that there was a shortage of young Indian women in his community and he wanted to marry someone who shared his heritage. The solution was to turn to his parents back home in India and ask them to locate a suitable wife for him. They did, and she moved to the United States and the young couple was married. It may not sound romantic to those of us raised on fairy tales of princes, princesses, and undying love, but for this couple, it was a reasonable solution to a problem. As the groom said, "Once you are married, it doesn&apost matter how you got together. You have to work to make it work."

This leads us to another reason that some modern couples are turning to arranged marriages to find a mate. There is the belief among some that the high divorce rate in countries such as the United States is due to overly high expectations that a marriage based on love will always be happy and fulfilling. People entering into arranged marriages tend to look first at the practical aspects of forming a solid partnership, with the hope that affection and possibly love will grow over time. It is theorized that a more realistic foundation of what a marriage means results in a commitment to the marriage, through good times and challenging ones. In addition, with the emotionally charged nature of love removed from the equation, a more levelheaded evaluation can be made of the factors which the couple may share in common.

Official Merchandise

Prince William and Catherine personally approved an official range of china including homemade plates, cups, and pillboxes to be made for the Royal Collection. The items were decorated with the intertwined initials of the couple under the Prince’s coronet.

The Lord Chamberlain’s office approved a longer list of memorabilia to be sold. This would include official mugs, plates, biscuit tins, and other items with pictures of the couple. Originally, the Palace refused to sanction official tea towels, aprons, and t-shirts as they were deemed to be “in poor taste.” Eventually, the restriction on tea towels (but not the other items) was lifted. Sales of merchandising were expected to reach £44 million.

The Royal Mint would also produce an official Alderney £5 engagement coin showing the couple in profile. An official £5 coin would also be crafted for the wedding. The Royal Australian Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint also released a series of coins. On 21 April, Royal Mail issued a set of commemorative postage stamps featuring the couple’s official engagement photos.

Norway: The Sound From Little Charms

Katherine Rose Photography

One Norwegian tradition states that the bride will wear an ornate silver and gold crown that has small charms dangling all around it. When she moves, the tinkling sound is supposed to deflect evil spirits.

While many royal weddings don't garner the attention of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's nuptials, it doesn't mean that they lack in lavishness. These couples' weddings are part of a long tradition of elaborate royal weddings around the world. In 2012, Luxembourg treated its Crown Prince Guillaume to an extravagant affair when he married Belgian Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy. The celebration, which reportedly cost around $650,000 and was funded by taxpayers, spanned multiple days and included a guest list packed with kings, queens, and other royals from around the world. In Brunei, Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, the fifth daughter of Brunei's sultan, married Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini at her father's 1,700-room palace in front of 3,000 guests. A state dinner followed, and Queen Elizabeth II even sent her best wishes.

These royals make up some of the lesser-known but just as regal royals of the world. And just like the Brits, they know how to throw opulent weddings for members of their families. From the wedding for the future emperor of Japan in 1924 to Grace Kelly's Monaco spectacular in 1956 to Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day on April 29, 2011, here is a guide to the world's royal weddings over the years.