A decade ago it seemed the entire planet was caught up in the fairy-tale wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.
Prince Charles, the 32-year-old heir to the British throne, was one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. Diana Spencer was a shy 20-year-old who had worked at a kindergarten. Their romance was the stuff dreams are made of.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their wedding Monday, Arts & Entertainment is airing "As It Happened: The Royal Wedding 1981"--four hours of BBC footage of the gala event.
The first time around more than 750 million viewers worldwide tuned into the wedding ceremony at London's historic St. Paul's Cathedral before the Archbishop of Canterbury. Because VCRs were practically unheard of 10 years ago in family homes, many Americans--Retro included--set their alarms for the middle of the night in order to watch the live coverage. The yawning viewers weren't disappointed by the pomp, circumstance and majesty of the events.
Who could forget Diana's beautiful wedding dress with the seemingly endless train? And the remarkable glass coach she rode in to St. Paul's Cathedral? Or the millions of well-wishers lining the streets of London?
Word has it the royal couple are downplaying their 10th anniversary. Unfortunately, this fairy-tale marriage has of late turned into a royal soap opera filled with gossip of infidelities among both partners. Charles has been scolded in the British press for spending little time with Diana and their two sons, William and Henry, and especially for not being at William's bedside after he suffered a skull fracture on June 3. But Diana has remained a favorite with her subjects and has become the most popular member of the royals.
A&E isn't the only network commemorating the royal nuptials. The Family Channel is repeating the 1982 ABC movie "Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story," starring David Robb and Caroline Bliss. Over on Lifetime, Jane Seymour hosts the documentary "Charles & Diana: For Better or For Worse" and a repeat of the 1982 CBS movie "The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana," starring Catherine Oxenberg and Christopher Baines.
"As It Happened: The Royal Wedding 1981" airs Monday at 8 a.m. on A&E and repeats Aug. 4 at 1 a.m.
"Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story" airs Monday at 8 p.m. on the Family Channel
"Charles & Diana: For Better or For Worse" airs Monday at 8 p.m. and "The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana" airs Monday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.