Overloaded with Will & Kate royal wedding "news"? You haven't seen anything yet. We've yet to reach the level of hysteria that accompanied the announcement of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles' engagement exactly 30 years ago. Diana's wedding in July of 1981, included 27 wedding cakes, few friends, and 1 billion spectators. Let's take a look at the wedding that started it all...

The Prince of Wales proposed after six months of dating Diana, but the engagement was kept secret for several weeks while Diana selected the now-famous 30,000 sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring which was not designed specifically for her. The engagement ring was part of crown jewelers Garrard's regular collection.

Good thing Diana got to pick the ring, considering her bridesmaids and flower girls were essentially selected for her. They included the daughters of important royal friends, including Princess Margaret's daughter; Winston Churchill's great-granddaughter; Charles' goddaughter India Hicks; Charles' racehorse trainer's daughter; and the daughter of close friends of the prince. The girls wore scalloped dresses with yellow sashes by Emanuel, and carried baskets of yellow roses and wildflowers. Fashion editor Suzy Menkes wrote in the The Times that they looked like "they could have been plucked from a Victorian child's scrapbook."

Photo: Lichfield/Getty Images

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com