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FeaturesRoyal Weddings

The big royal wedding anniversaries of 2021

The Royal Wedding 2011
ROBBIE DALE/CC BY-SA 2.0/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

This year will see several royal couples around the world mark very special wedding anniversaries. From first big landmarks to marital milestones, here’s a run down of the biggest anniversaries in 2021.

A marital milestone

Tenth wedding anniversaries are usually marked with gifts made of tin, to represent the durability needed for a strong marriage. And four royal couples will be marking this special milestone in 2021. Prince William married Catherine Middleton on April 29th 2011 at Westminster Abbey, with tens of millions of people watching around the world. The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were cheered back to Buckingham Palace by the huge crowds that packed London.

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Among the guests at their reception were Prince Albert and his fiancée, Charlene Wittstock. Albert and Charlene didn’t keep us waiting long for the second big royal wedding of 2011. The couple said ‘I do’ at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco with a civil ceremony on July 1st and a religious marriage on July 2nd.

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Both bride and groom wore white for the second celebration which was attended by royalty from across Europe as well as a host of celebrity guests. It was a mix of royal family and famous friends in July 2011 when the House of Windsor headed to Edinburgh for its second set of nuptials in less than three months. The Queen’s eldest granddaughter, Zara Phillips, married Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk on July 30th 2011.

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The couple will mark ten years of marriage by welcoming a new baby to their family, a brother or sister for their two daughters, Mia and Lena. Also enjoying a young family as they mark a marital milestone are the King and Queen of Bhutan who welcomed a second baby son in 2020. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wanghuck wed Jetsun Pema on October 13th 2011 at the Punakha Dzong.

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The bride was also crowned and officially proclaimed Queen of Bhutan on the same day. The couple enjoyed three days of celebrations and public events to mark their union.

Double decades

Twenty years of marriage means gifts of china meaning it’s cups and plates for two royal couples in Europe in 2021. In May 2001, Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands married Laurentien Brinkhorst in The Hague. Their civil marriage took place on May 17th while their religious wedding was celebrated on May 19th.

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They were watched by the groom’s older brother and the then heir to the throne, Willem-Alexander, who just months earlier had announced his own engagements meaning it’s now two decades since the official entry of Queen Maxima on to the royal scene. She was among the guests in Oslo in late summer 2001 when the first wedding of an heir to the throne in the 21st century took place.  

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Crown Prince Haakon of Norway married Mette-Marit Tjessem Hjoiby at Oslo Cathedral on August 25th 2001. The fairytale of the future king and the single mother captured imaginations around the world.

Celebrating with sapphires

Queen Silvia is fond of a sapphire or three which makes gift buying a doddle for King Carl XVI Gustaf this year as they mark their 45th wedding anniversary, traditionally celebrated with the exchange of that blue gemstone.

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Silvia became Queen of Sweden on June 19th 1976 when she married Carl Gustaf in a glittering ceremony at Stockholm Cathedral. He had been Swedish monarch for less than three years and ripped up the rules on royals only marrying royals with his pick of bride.

The Diamond Duke and Duchess

Diamonds celebrate sixty years of marriage, a milestone reached by the Duke and Duchess of Kent in 2021. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent married Katharine Worsley on June 8th 1961 at York Minister.

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Theirs was the first royal wedding the church for over 500 years. The Duke of Kent, now 85, still carries out royal duties on behalf of his cousin, The Queen.

Moments of history

The year to come also includes the anniversaries of several historic royal weddings.

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In July 1981, it will be forty years since the Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales married in a celebration described as a fairytale but which had a far from happy ending. The couple divorced in 1996 with Diana dying in a car crash a year later.

March 2021 will bring the 55th anniversary of the marriage of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

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Her wedding to Claus van Amsberg, on March 10th 1966, was controversial yet turned into a success story that endured until his death in 2002.

The 65th anniversary of one of the  most famous royal weddings ever takes place in the spring of 2021.

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Oscar winning actress, Grace Kelly, married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a civil ceremony on April 18th 1956 with a religious wedding taking place on April 19th 1956. The couple remained devoted to one another until her death in 1982. Rainier died in 2005.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.