A History of Royal Wedding Drama

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Aren't the Only Ones

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

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If you’ve been anywhere near the internet lately, you know that the week leading up to the royal wedding has been a stressful one for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Between the “will he or won’t he attend” back and forth (...and heart attack, and paparazzi scandal) with Meghan’s father, her sister’s car accident, relatives showing up in London uninvited, and that one time her half brother “begged” Prince Harry to cancel the wedding, it’s hard to believe that the real-life version of the events is shaping up to be even more OMG-worthy than the Lifetime version. Luckily, after all the drama this rock-solid couple still seemed to be on cloud nine arriving in Windsor with mile-wide smiles ahead of their royal wedding.

And as it turns out, they aren’t the only royal couple to deal with some big drama ahead of their big day. Scroll through to see all of the times other kings, queens, princes, and princesses also royally shook things up before their weddings.

01 of 06

Princess Diana and Prince Charles Both Tried to Back Out

The Prince and Princess of Wales

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Realizing that their match might not exactly have been made in heaven, both Princess Diana and Prince Charles had second thoughts before they walked down the aisle. Diana told her sisters that she wanted to call off the wedding because she thought Charles was still in love with Camilla Parker Bowles. “I had lunch with my sisters who were there and said: ‘I can’t marry him, I can’t do this, this is absolutely unbelievable,’ ” she reportedly told biographer Andrew Morton. Their response? "‘Well, bad luck, Duch, your face is on the tea towels so you’re too late to chicken out.’” Charles also had similar feelings about the impending nuptials, and on the eve of the wedding reportedly told an aide, "I can't go through with it, I can't do it,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Plus, at the wedding itself, they both messed up their vows (...she said the wrong name), which wasn't exactly the stuff of fairy tales.

02 of 06

Princess Margaret Wanted to Marry a Divorced Man

Princess Margaret

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This story may sound familiar to fans of The Crown: In 1953, Princess Margaret wanted to marry Peter Townsend, who was divorced, which was against the rules of the Church of England. Because she was under 25, her sister, Queen Elizabeth, was required to give consent. According to Town and Country, then–Prime Minister Winston Churchill also said that it was “unlikely” that his cabinet would approve the marriage. Two years later, Margaret chose the throne over love. "I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend," she said, per Town and Country. "I have been aware that, subject to my renouncing my rights of succession, it might have been possible for me to contract a civil marriage. But, mindful of the Church's teaching that Christian marriage is indissoluble and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have decided to put these considerations before any others.” BRB, wiping away the tears.

03 of 06

Charlene Whittstock (Allegedly) Tried to Escape Her Wedding to Prince Albert of Monaco

Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II

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This one is chock full of royal baby-daddy drama: When Prince Albert of Monaco was set to marry Charlene Wittstock of South Africa in 2011, tabloids went crazy about the possibility that he might have fathered children with other women while they were dating. Yikes. According to the Cut, "Charlene tried to escape the country not once, but three times to avoid marrying him: They claimed she tried to take 'refuge' at a South African embassy; attempted to flee to Nice, France; and then had her passport confiscated by palace officials.” YIKES. The couple did end up getting married, but Charlene reportedly cried through the whole ceremony. They denied the escape rumors and filed lawsuits against some of the papers who reported them (they even settled a libel case against the Sunday Times).

04 of 06

Prince Phillip’s Siblings Didn’t Show Up to His Wedding to Queen Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth and The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

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In 1947, Prince Phillip’s sisters were unable to attend his wedding to Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth) because they had married Germans, and there were Nazi connections, People reports. The whole Thomas Markle paparazzi scandal isn’t looking so bad now, huh?

05 of 06

Family Members Were Punching Each Other the Night Before Spain's Prince Felipe and Princess Letzia's Wedding

Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia Ortiz

Lalo Yasky / WireImage

Families exchanging tense words before a wedding is hardly out of the ordinary, but on the night before Spain's Prince Felipe and Princess Letzia's wedding, the argument turned into a full-on fistfight. Apparently, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, the heir to the Spanish throne, hit his cousin and rival, Duke Amedeo, on the steps of the palace and left him with a black eye.

06 of 06

King Edward VIII Abdicated His Throne to Marry a Divorcée

Duke and Duchess of Windsor

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In 1937, King Edward VIII wanted to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson, which was strictly prohibited under royal law. So he abdicated the throne, making his brother king and sending the monarchy into chaos, according to The Cut. His title was changed to Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, and the wedding was moved from England to France. No members of the British royal family attended. Thankfully, this rule has been changed, so Harry has not had to abdicate in order to marry Meghan, who is also a “divorcée.”

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