back when the world watched charles and diana

Media are currently all abuzz about the upcoming Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Their names have recently become ubiquitous and redundant as the world's curiosity is stoked by this union.

We who were alive in 1981 can't help recalling the other royal wedding - the one of William's parents, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.

Photos from here and here.

I was too young at that time to have more than a vague recollection of it now, but I do remember that the world gushed over them for years. It was often referred to as a fairy tale romance between the heir to the throne and "a mere commoner" (or so media people said*).

* I don't know why it was ever said she was a commoner; Diana was the daughter of an Earl and was born into an aristocratic family. Oh well.

I also remember her wedding dress - a voluminous gown with the puffiest sleeves and the longest train ever - I mean, who could forget that?

Photos from here and here.

Younger people might find it hideous today, but fluffy, massive gowns used to be considered beautiful. Her gown was coveted by brides and knocked-off by couturiers throughout the 1980s.

There was also much ado about her haircut, her tiara and the engagement ring.

Image from here.

I remember there were even numerous Princess Diana dolls, including a meticulously-detailed Franklin Mint collectors-item porcelain replica of her on her wedding day.

People went crazy over Diana. There was just something about her; she was regarded in her day as a paragon of beauty and charm and grace and all things (wholesome) that one would want to see in a woman. Plus, she managed to nab a prince. Little girls wanted to be her.

But of course, we know how the fairy tale ended. And I'd rather not say anything about that.
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