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Published: Monday, Jul. 26th, 2021

Prince Charles & Princess Diana’s Full Wedding Transcript, 40 Years Later

Princess Diana and Prince Charles, screenshot taken from the AP Archives footage of the royal wedding, linked below

40 years ago, on July 29, 1981, Prince Charles and Princess Diana were wed in a historic and traditional Church of England ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. 

 

The ornate ceremony was officiated by the acting Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, and drew a large international audience -- with over 750 million people glued to their television screens in 74 countries worldwide as the royal couple descended the church steps as husband and wife. 

 

The ceremony has been watched millions of times more since that late July afternoon. 

In honor of the 40th anniversary of that memorable day, we’ve transcribed the full ceremony here. 



John Spencer walks his daughter Diana down the tremendously long aisle -- it takes them nearly 3 minutes to walk its full length to the wedding altar. 

 

Then, the ceremony begins...

 

 

Archbishop to Prince Charles: 
Charles Phillip Arthur George, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, live together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony? Wilt thou love comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as you both shall live?

 

He answers: 
I will. 

 


Archbishop to Lady Diana: 
Diana Frances, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, live together to God’s law, in the holiest state of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as you both shall live? 

 

She answers: 
I will. 

 

 

Archbishop to the reception: 
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?

 

 

Diana’s father, John Spencer, takes Diana’s hand and places it beneath the Archbishop’s. The Archbishop turns to Charles, and gives him Diana’s hand. 


(The next portion of the ceremony are traditional ‘Call and Response’ vows. The Archbishop says each line of the vows, to be repeated aloud first by Charles, and then by Diana. We’ve written the Archbishop’s ‘call’ of the vows, but omitted the ‘response’ in order to save space.)

 


Archbishop to Charles: 
(Prince Charles repeats each line in turn.)


I, Charles Phillip Arthur George, 

Take thee, Diana Frances, 

To my wedded wife, 

To have and to hold, from this day forward, 

For better, for worse, 

For richer, for poorer, 

In sickness and in health, 

To love and to cherish, 

Til death us do part. 

According to God’s holy law

And thereto, I give thee my troth

 

 

Archbishop to Lady Diana:
(Lady Diana repeats each line in turn.)

 

I, Diana Frances, 

Take thee, Charles Phillip Arthur George, 

 

(Diana famously transposed the name, saying ‘Phillip Charles Arthur George’ instead. She also boldly asked that the word ‘obey’ be removed from the vows, a break from tradition that definitely didn’t go unnoticed.)

 

To my wedded husband, 

To have and to hold, 

from this day forward, 

For better, for worse, 

For richer, for poorer, 

In sickness and in health, 

To love and to cherish, 

Til death us do part. 

According to God’s holy law

And thereto, I give thee my troth”

 


The ring bearer steps forward and places the ring on the Archbishop’s book. The Archbishop hands the ring to Charles, who places it on Diana’s finger as the Archbishop begins the next portion of call and response vows, for the ring exchange. 

 

 

Archbishop to Prince Charles: 
(Prince Charles repeats each line in turn, as he places the ring on Diana’s finger.)

 

With this ring, 

I thee wed

With my body

I thee honor

And all my worldly goods with thee I share

 


Archbishop to the couple, reception: 
Let us pray  


Charles and Diana kneel in unison in front of him.

 


Archbishop to the reception: 
Those whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder. 

 

For as much as Charles Phillip Arthur George and Diana Frances have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth to either the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joining of hands, I pronounce that they be man and wife together. 

In the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. 

 

 

Prince Charles and Princess Diana stand, and the Archbishop leads them down the aisle to the high altar for a blessing. Once they are in front of the altar, he begins. 

 

 

Archbishop to the couple: 
May God, the Holy Trinity, make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you, and remain with you always. 

 

Trumpets play during the recession, and the royal newlyweds exit the church together.


 

Watch Charles and Diana’s full royal wedding ceremony as part of a three part series, courtesy of AP Archive. 

 

 

 

 

You can also watch their arrival to the church, with scenes of crowds gathered in the streets in anticipation, and footage of the celebration that followed the ceremony. 


Diana, Princess of Wales, died on August 31, 1997 in a tragic car accident. To this day, she is remembered with great fondness around the world.

 


 

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