The royals across the world continue to intrigue people within reigned-over countries and beyond, and it’s not hard to understand why. Many royal figures — from crown princes to kings and queens to infants born with titles — live life very different from the way we do. Their lives involve literal crowns, glamorous events, and, of course, the pomp and circumstance — and expense — of royal weddings.
Royal weddings can feel like the event of a decade, or even a century. Some, like the wedding between Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, are broadcast internationally, bringing in millions, if not billions, of viewers. With the flowers and the grand venue and the dress and the color guard and everything in between, royal weddings demand to be watched. They are, after all, completely different from anything that any one of us will ever experience. But are the realities on said wedding day really that wonderful? Not always, and the signs are in the kiss.
We tracked through different royal weddings to see what happened, what went wrong, and what (if any) tension caused the wedding (and marriage) to go awry. Here is every royal wedding kiss ranked from worst to best.
The reality behind Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's royal wedding kiss was far from perfect
Prince Charles and Diana Spencer’s wedding may have looked like it was something out of a fairytale — Diana’s dress was even the favorite royal wedding dress according to our poll — but the facade was far from the actual truth. Of course, we all know that their marriage crumbled, and shortly after their divorce, Diana was tragically killed in a car accident. But let’s get to the actual wedding day and, specifically, the kiss the couple shared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. According to body language expert Patti Wood, the marriage was doomed from the start.
Wood told Reader’s Digest that the tension on Charles’ part during the kiss should have been a major sign that he was not as invested in the marriage. “See how she’s doing all the work?” Wood said, pointing out how Diana literally craned her neck to reach Charles’ lips. In Wood’s words, she was “bending over backward” to maintain his gaze and attention, and that’s just sad. Though the wedding was watched by almost one billion people across 74 countries, the marriage soon went downhill.
Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco shared this awkward royal wedding kiss
A lot can be interpreted by body language, specifically a kiss, and Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco looked less than thrilled during the kiss they shared at their civil wedding ceremony in 2011. As noted by the Daily Mail, the kiss itself was not only incredibly awkward, but behind it was a lot of personal scandal.
It turned out that Prince Albert was the father of an illegitimate child, who was 7 years old at the time, and he had maintained a close relationship with the child’s mother, Nicole Coste. Princess Charlene, who was Charlene Wittstock at the time, was so distressed by the news that she was prepared to board a plane heading for South Africa, even though the wedding plans were in place. Charlene’s passport was confiscated, and she (as you can tell), married Prince Albert. Of course, rumors about Charlene turning into a “runaway bride” were out in full force, but she did make it down the aisle at both the civil ceremony and the lavish royal wedding. But no wonder their kiss looked tense.
Princess Alexia Of Greece and Carlos Morales Quintana's royal wedding kiss was on the cheek
A kiss at a royal wedding says it all, so when there really isn’t a kiss, it’s pretty telling, as was the case with the royal wedding of Princess Alexia of Greece to Carlos Morales Quintana. As noted by Vogue, the wedding took place at the St. Sophia Cathedral, located in London, on July 9, 1999, and, unsurprisingly, it had all the pomp and luxury fit for a royal wedding. Alexia looked beautiful in her gown, an off-white satin dress from the designer Inge Sprawson, and the groom was dapper as ever.
But as the couple came out of the cathedral and addressed the crowd of fans waiting to catch a glimpse of the newly married royals, the two only graced each other’s lips. There was a cheek kiss thrown in there, too, but the dynamic between them didn’t exactly scream “We’re in love.” Of course, wedding day jitters may have gotten in the way, and the couple did have quite notable attendees, including Prince Charles, so it’s understandable if PDA wasn’t on their radar.
The royal wedding kiss between King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima was hardly intimate
The royal wedding day crowds, understandably, can take a bit of the intimate wedding feel away, and that seemed to be the case for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his bride, Máxima, when they married in 2002. The couple looked immensely happy, there’s no doubt about it, but their first public kiss as husband and wife didn’t scream intimacy.
While standing in front of the public, the two shared a kiss, but both of them were in the process of waving to the crowds, as noted by Hello!. They weren’t exactly tuned into each other, which made the kiss a bit more awkward than romantic. But the couple is still going strong, and they’ve had some heartwarming moments. As noted by Honey, Willem recreated his proposal to Máxima more than 20 years after the original in the same place, an icy pond-turned-ice skating rink. With the accompanying photo shared on social media, Willem is on one knee with Máxima’s hand in his. Very cute.
The Danish crown prince, Frederik, and the crown princess shared a decent royal wedding kiss
A cheek kiss is sweet — there’s no question about it — but it’s a little dull for a royal wedding. Frederik, the Danish crown prince, and his bride, Princess Mary, pretty much stuck to cheek kisses during their royal wedding, landing them in the bottom six royal wedding kisses. But they redeemed themselves with this detail, noted by Hello!. During their wedding reception, Frederik got up in front of the 400 guests in attendance and made maybe the most romantic speech known to man. “The joy and the strength you give me is like the sun in the daytime which, with its radiance, melts all doubts and darkness on earth,” he said. Just wait, he kept going. “And like the moon at night, you shine with a watchful and delicate beam of gentleness.”
The couple met back in 2000 during the Olympic games and apparently hit it off from day one. They survived a long-distance relationship, wrote to each other, and finally got engaged in 2003.
So, where do we find ourselves a prince? We want to know.
The king of Bhutan and his bride shared a nice peck for their royal wedding kiss
Known as the “William and Kate of the Himalayas,” Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the king of Bhutan, and his bride, Jetsun Pema, shared a sweet kiss on their wedding day. The kiss was notable for a number of reasons, so let’s dive into it.
The couple’s wedding had about 30,000 spectators, all cheering at the Changlimithang stadium, located in Thimpu. As noted by Hello!, the culture in Bhutan has historically rejected public displays of affection, but with one quick move from the king, that history started to change. The king looked to the crowd and asked them all if he should kiss his new wife, who did look nervous in the situation (who wouldn’t be?). The crowd said yes, and the king kissed his bride on the lips — a very daring move. “I have been waiting for quite some time to get married,” the king said about his wedding, as noted by The Washington Post. “But it doesn’t matter when you get married as long as it is to the right person. I am certain I am married to the right person.”
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's royal wedding kiss on the balcony was sweet
Buckingham Palace’s balcony has been the scene of a number of royal wedding kisses, but not all of those said kisses have been celebrated. Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s wedding kiss was one such peck, as the couple had been told not to kiss on the balcony, but went ahead with it anyway.
As noted by the International Business Times, Fergie and Andrew broke protocols on their wedding day, and the kiss on the balcony was one of them. Fergie revealed to Oprah Winfrey during the documentary Finding Sarah: From Royalty to the Real World that she and Andrew had been “deliberately” asked not to kiss on the balcony. While she didn’t explain the reasoning behind such a demand, it may have had to do with Andrew’s line of succession.
The couple chose to ignore the rules and went ahead with their first public kiss anyway. It was sweet and passionate, and they both seemed to be in love. Fergie and Andrew did divorce, but their royal wedding kiss was one for the books.
Sweden's Princess Victoria and her beau shared a magical royal wedding kiss, like their story
We love a royal wedding kiss under an arch of swords — how medieval and romantic. And the couple, Sweden’s Princess Victoria and her husband, Daniel Westerling, are just as magical. Let’s start with the kiss. As noted by Hello!, the couple were married on June 19, 2010 in Sweden and sweetly pecked each other on the lips in the most grandiose way possible. The crown, the bouquet, the swords, the gorgeous venue — it all created a picturesque moment for the couple. But their story makes their royal wedding kiss that much better.
As noted by the Observer, Victoria met Daniel, a fitness trainer, at a gym. She was visiting the gym as part of her recovery from an eating disorder, and he worked as an instructor. They fell in love, and despite Daniel’s commoner upbringing — he was raised in a small forest town, which in Sweden is at the bottom of the social food chain — they married in a gorgeous royal wedding ceremony. A+ couple, A+ royal wedding kiss.
The prince and princess of Luxembourg were totally present during their royal wedding kiss
Can you imagine getting married in the world’s most gorgeous dress, accompanied with a crown, in a 13th century basilica? Neither can we, but that was the case for Princess Claire of Luxembourg, who married Prince Felix in 2013 at their magical royal wedding.
As noted by Hello!, the couple married in the Sainte Marie-Madeleine basilica in the town of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, located in the South of France. They exited the basilica as husband and wife and were greeted by a number of fans, all fighting to get a glimpse of the couple. And if the day wasn’t already what fairytales are made of, the two shared a very romantic kiss as newlyweds.
The two were totally tuned into each other and focused on their intimate moment, despite the crowds watching them. Unlike other royal wedding kisses, Felix and Claire seemed very present. It may have helped the couple out that they were technically already married. The grand ceremony was the second wedding ceremony for the couple, as they had a civil ceremony in Germany days before. But the kiss, ten out of ten.
Prince William and Kate Middleton shared a sweet royal wedding kiss
It was the kiss seen around the world, but it was the surprise second royal wedding kiss that made it in the headlines. Everyone watched as Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot in 2011 — the occasion really felt like a global event, and their kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace was sweet, tender, and (partially) unexpected.
As noted by ABC News, William and Kate got married and made their way to the palace, with a worldwide audience of about two billion people, so no pressure, right? William kissed his bride, as expected, but it was only about two minutes before he planted another sweet kiss on her lips. This was the unexpected twist on a day that was otherwise planned to a tee, and it did not disappoint. The kiss was then accompanied by the bells of Westminster Abbey and fighter planes, and, of course, the roar of the crown below. And for anyone versed in royal history, it was a full circle moment reminiscent of the kiss shared between William’s parents all those years prior. A very casual wedding, wouldn’t you say?
The crown prince of Norway shared a beautiful royal wedding kiss with his bride
This is, perhaps, one of the most romantic royal wedding kisses on this list, and the story behind the wedding is even more heartwarming. The Crown Prince of Norway, Prince Haakon, married his beautiful bride, Mette-Marit Tjessem, in a gorgeous ceremony, and it was this one gesture on the prince’s part that made the day so special.
As noted by Vogue, Haakon broke with tradition and waited for Mette-Marit to arrive at the church. In a show of support for her, he waited outside and after she arrived, the couple walked down the aisle together. Mette-Marit was reportedly so taken with the prince’s kind gesture that she cried throughout the wedding ceremony, which lasted about an hour.
Not dissimilar to the British royals, Haakon and Mette-Marit made their way to the royal palace’s balcony and were celebrated with music and the firing of cannons. And from the picture alone, you can tell just how much these two love each other.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank shared a wonderful royal wedding kiss
When you think of the British royals, you probably picture Prince William and Queen Elizabeth, but Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, is another member of the British royal family who had a gorgeous royal wedding in 2018, and her wedding kiss was sweet, loving, and a standout moment.
As noted by Elle, Eugenie shared a romantic kiss with her husband, Jack Brooksbank, on the steps of St. George’s Chapel after their wedding ceremony had concluded. What made the moment that much more special was the fact that up until their kiss, Eugenie and Jack hadn’t shared a ton of public affection. They just sort of melted into one another, and with the backdrop of the chapel, Eugenie’s gorgeous dress, and the fairytale aspects of the wedding, it made their kiss that much more magical. The couple then had two different receptions: one at Windsor Castle and another at Royal Lodge. Talk about the dream wedding with a perfect royal kiss.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding kiss was what fairytales are made of
You might be surprised to learn that royal couples typically don’t kiss during their wedding ceremony, but share their first kiss as husband and wife with the public — this was the case for the best royal kiss on our list, which belongs to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The couple had an absolutely gorgeous — and expensive — wedding at St. George’s Chapel and shared their first official kiss on the steps. Despite the not-so-private moment, Harry and Meghan’s kiss was beautifully intimate. The two seemed absolutely smitten, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Of course, they did break the rules a little bit — and had a few other talked-about moments — when Harry snuck in another kiss shortly thereafter. As noted by Elle, the couple shared another kiss while riding in their carriage, just showing how much they truly love each other. It’s a royal wedding that none of us are sure to forget anytime soon, and given the public displays of affection that Harry and Meghan had shown each other before their wedding, their wedding day kiss did not disappoint.
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