With the amount of planning that goes into a royal wedding, you’d likely expect that it would go off without a hitch. But no matter how fairy-tale-esque they’re meant to be, there is no such thing as a “perfect” wedding day—even when you’re royalty.
For example, we're just days ahead of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding on October 12 and a handful of royal RSVPs are reportedly still up in the air. Kate Middleton might have to miss the event if her sister, Pippa Middleton, goes into labor. Camilla Parker-Bowles will also reportedly not be able to attend due to a prior engagement. And allegedly, Prince Phillip might also skip the nuptials because of his former feud with the bride's mother, Sarah Ferguson. Yikes... At least Eugenie and Jack aren't alone in their pre-wedding drama!
We uncovered some of the biggest #fails in royal wedding history, from Marie Antoinette’s too-small wedding dress to Kate Middleton’s too small wedding ring, and one really, really awkward vow flub in between.
Scroll through to see them all, and let’s go ahead and wish a major good luck to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank—if history is any indication, they may seriously need it!
Meghan Markle's Family Drama
You could write a book about all the drama surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding, all of which came to a head when the bride's father, Thomas Markle, became embroiled in a paparazzi scandal mere days before the wedding. After it was revealed that Thomas had been paid by photographers for various staged photos around London, he told TMZ that he would no longer be walking his daughter down the aisle. Then he changed his mind. After a little more flip-flopping (and several more calls to TMZ), Thomas claimed that he had suffered a heart attack and would definitely not be attending the wedding due to the fact that he would be undergoing surgery.
The Palace soon confirmed the news, releasing a statement that the bride's father-in-law, Prince Charles, would do the honors of walking the now-Duchess of Sussex down the aisle instead. "Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St. George's Chapel on her Wedding Day," the statement read. "The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to the Royal Family in this way."
Prince William Was Straight-Up Exhausted on His Wedding Day
Prince William recently made headlines for struggling to stay awake during an official event the week after Prince Louis was born, but it turns out that wasn’t the only instance of his being sleep deprived before a major event.
The night before he married Kate Middleton, it wasn’t just nerves keeping him awake. “They were singing and cheering all night long, so the excitement of that, the nervousness of me and everyone singing—I slept for about half an hour,” the prince said after the wedding was over.
Princess Diana Spilled a Bottle of Perfume on her Dress
Turns out, the dress that seemed to stop time when it came down the aisle wasn’t totally flawless on the day of the wedding. Diana reportedly spilled an entire bottle of perfume down the front of her dress, and was advised to hold the spot of fabric to make it seem like she was lifting her dress to avoid stepping on it.
Marie Antoinette’s Dress Didn’t Fit
Before Marie Antoinette arrived in France for her wedding to King Louis XVI, the palace designed her wedding dress based on estimates of her size, which turned out to be a big mistake. When she tried it on for the first time the day of the ceremony, it didn’t fit—it was too small. There was no way to fix it in time, so the new queen of France walked down the aisle in the modern-day equivalent of an unzipped dress. FYI, this is why brides now have three to five fittings before their wedding day.
Diana Called Charles by the Wrong Name During Their Vows
If the vows at Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s 1981 wedding were any indication, this marriage was doomed from the start. Blame it on wedding day jitters, but Diana accidentally mixed up her husband-to-be’s name, calling him Philip Charles Arthur George, rather than Charles Philip. The groom also couldn’t keep his lines straight, and exchanged the line “my worldly goods” for “thy goods.” The pair separated in 1992 after 11 years as husband and wife, and officially divorced in 1996.
Someone Was Thrown From His Horse in Will and Kate’s Processional
Will and Kate’s wedding processional may have looked fairy-tale perfect on TV, but it wasn’t without its own set of mishaps. When the future king and queen were on their way to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey, one of the horses was spooked by the crowd, bucked off its rider, and cantered down the street. Kate Middleton, understandably, looked terrified.
A Brawl Broke Out at the Wedding of Princess Letizia of Spain
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes... a full-on fist fight? The night before the 2004 wedding of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, the heir to the Spanish throne, was said to have hit his cousin and rival, Duke Amedeo on the steps of the palace, leaving him with a black eye. Talk about a wedding scene straight out of a fairy tale—or, more accurately, a Shakespeare play!
Princess Victoria of Sweden Fumbled the Ring
In an otherwise beautiful ceremony, wedding day jitters got the best of Princess Victoria and her now-husband, Daniel Westing, when it came time to exchange rings. They both fumbled with the jewelry, but were eventually able to get them on correctly. Unlike another notable royal couple...
William Couldn’t Get Kate’s Ring On
Thanks to the Dukan diet, Kate Middleton dropped a dress size or two in the months leading up to the royal wedding. Her fingers also seemed to have slimmed down, so she asked the jeweler who made the ring to make it smaller, the Daily Mail reported. Will struggled to get the downsized piece of jewelry on his bride’s finger the morning of the royal wedding—not exactly a low-stress moment considering the entire world was watching. Years later, though, “it has now become a subject of amusement to her and William,” said a source.
Queen Elizabeth’s Tiara Broke on Her Wedding Day
Even the most die-hard fans of The Crown may not know this story: Queen Elizabeth was gifted the “Fringe Tiara” on the morning of her wedding, and the hairdresser accidentally broke it, royal jeweler House of Garrard told Marie Claire. "I didn’t know it was [also] a necklace, you see...I thought I’d broken it...we stuck it all together again, but I was rather alarmed...” the Queen told Duchess Kate Middleton during a tour of Buckingham Palace.
Police had to rush escort the broken jewels back to the workshop, where the team raced to fix it the day-of. "We fixed the tiara that morning, had it sent back to Queen Elizabeth, and then she got married in it,” they told Marie Claire. "You don't expect the royals to have those sorts of mix-ups, but they do!” Thankfully, the crown was totally fine, and Princess Anne was able to recycle the tiara for her own wedding to Mark Phillips in 1973.