Princess Diana and Prince Charles: The Unreal Wedding

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 U.K. declared a public holiday to mark what the press referred to as "the wedding of the century." 750 million people watched the televised ceremony worldwide (the audience was one billion when radio listeners are included). 600,000 spectators lined the procession route, while 4,000 police and 2,200 military officers did their best to manage the crowds. The Times described it as a "carnival atmosphere," with onlookers singing, dancing, and waving British flags—some even painted the Union Jack on their faces. Other revelers near Buckingham Palace used the fountain at the base of Queen Victoria's statue to chill Champagne.

Photo: Associated Press