The Most Awkward Royal Wedding Day Moments

Royal weddings are well-rehearsed, well-planned, extravagant affairs that you might expect to run like perfect, well-oiled machines by now, considering how steeped in tradition these regal events are.

But anyone who has gone through the process of getting hitched in a large ceremony likely knows that while a few missteps and mishaps are dreaded, they are ultimately expected. Even the most well-planned wedding is bound to have a few hiccups and plenty of cracks left for human error. As it turns out, royal weddings are no exception.

Royals certainly aren't immune to awkward moments, especially when the pressure of the big day starts to set in with the added scrutiny of millions of people watching. Plus, the extra layers of extravagance can make things even more complicated.

From runaway horses to mumbles and stumbles, here are times when royal weddings were interrupted by awkward moments.

Princess Diana spilled perfume on her dress

With all eyes on the soon-to-be princess, the hours leading up to Lady Diana Spencer's nuptials must have been nerve-wracking for her. So much so that when she went to apply one of her favorite perfumes — Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant Paris — she spilled the bottle, staining her extravagant gown. In Rosalind Coward's book "Diana: The Portrait," Barbara Daly, Diana's wedding makeup artist, recounted the incident. According to Daly, Diana anxiously told her, "I've just spilled some [perfume] on the front of the dress. They'll kill me." Together, they decided that the best solution was to try and tuck the stain in the front.

But the tucking apparently didn't work as well as they had hoped. While for most of the ceremony, the bouquet did the job of concealing the stain, in the moments when she wasn't holding the flowers, it's thought that she was forced to awkwardly hide the stain with her hand, as can be seen in certain photos.

And the stain wasn't the only unexpected hiccup with her wedding dress. The gown, which was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, also got horribly wrinkled in the carriage ride to St. Paul's Cathedral. Elizabeth Emanuel told ITV in the 2018 "Invitation to a Royal Wedding" documentary, "We did know it would crease a bit but when I saw her arrive at St. Paul's and we saw the creasing I actually felt faint. I was horrified, really, because it was quite a lot of creasing" (via Marie Claire).

Diana called her groom by the wrong name

"Nerves" continued to affect Princess Diana even after she got to the altar, as the BBC recalled. During her vows, she mistakenly recited Prince Charles' name wrong. But with a name like "Charles Philip Arthur George," who can blame her for jumbling the words and saying "Philip Charles Arthur George" instead?

However, the fact that Philip was actually Diana's father-in-law's first name led to some family teasing. Andrew Morton, in his book, "Andrew: The Playboy Prince" (via International Business Times), claimed that Prince Andrew jokingly said to Diana after the ceremony, "You married my father."

But for many, the wedding day blunder made Diana seem relatable. According to ABC News, Barbara Walters noted, "All it did was endear her more to her people because it was human and understandable." After all, who wouldn't trip over their words if they knew hundreds of millions of people were watching them?

Prince Charles misspoke during his vows

Princess Diana wasn't the only one who experienced some awkward moments during the royal wedding. According to LIFE, Charles mistakenly recited his vows as, "all thy goods I share with thee" instead of "all my worldly goods I share with thee." A few clever folks with their minds in the gutter have come up with jokes about that one.

He then forgot to kiss his bride at the altar, though it's debatable whether this was merely due to nerves or if it was a subconscious snub — a sort of presentiment of their doomed marriage. After all, it is said that Camilla (Charles' ex-girlfriend/mistress/eventual wife) was a guest at the wedding, and Diana admitted that this made her nervous. "I knew she was there, of course. I looked for her," Princess Diana told her biographer, Andrew Morton (via Good Housekeeping). Perhaps Camilla's attendance put Charles on edge, as well.

While the royal wedding (and indeed Charles and Diana's whole relationship) broke a few royal traditions, it also started one: the Buckingham Palace balcony kiss, which more than made up for the forgotten kiss at the cathedral.

Meghan Markle's dad was mentioned in the official wedding program

Prior to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding in 2018, Meghan's dad, Thomas Markle Sr., became the subject of a media whirlwind after it was revealed that he staged photos with the paparazzi and spoke with tabloid media outlets about his daughter's impending nuptials.

He publicly flip-flopped several times on his decision of whether or not to attend the royal ceremony. When the Mirror asked if he would "walk his daughter down the aisle," he answered that he would "love to." Months later, he said he wouldn't go because he didn't "want to embarrass" his daughter (as TMZ put it). He then changed his mind again and claimed he would attend after all before making a final decision to stay home, citing health issues as the predominant reason.

Meghan released an official statement via Twitter announcing that her father would not be in attendance. Thus, it was a bit awkward when the guests arrived and saw that the official wedding program had incorrectly printed: "The Bride, having been greeted by the Dean of Windsor, moves in procession through the Nave where she is joined by her Father, Mr. Thomas Markle, to the High Altar."

Due to her father's absence, Meghan Markle walked down a portion of the aisle alone, becoming the first royal bride to ever do so — before Prince Charles joined her and walked with her the remainder of the way.

Prince William struggled to get Kate Middleton's ring on

Kate Middleton famously received Princess Diana's sapphire engagement ring when Prince William proposed. Her wedding band, however, is made of Welsh gold, following in the tradition of British royal brides before her.

The tradition started in 1923 with Prince William's great grandmother, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (married to King George VI), and up until his wedding to Kate Middleton, all of the royal wedding rings had actually been made from the same hunk of Welsh gold that was gifted to Lyon, including the rings of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.

While possibly created from a different piece of gold, Middleton's ring was specially made for her by Wartski. Reportedly, she had recently lost weight and had to have the precious Diana heirloom resized, so she went ahead and ordered the wedding band in a smaller size, as well (per the Daily Mail).

But as it turns out, that size was ever so slightly too small. When it came time for Prince William to put the ring on his bride during his vows, he struggled to get it over her knuckle and onto her finger for an awkward moment. They allegedly laugh about the mishap. An anonymous insider gabbed to the Daily Mail, "It has now become a subject of amusement to her and William."

Queen Sofía of Spain tripped walking down the aisle

Royals don't shy away from extravagance when it comes to their wedding gowns, but heavy fabrics and long trains aren't exactly easy to walk in. Add that to the nervousness and excitement of their big day, and there are bound to be some trips and falls. That's exactly what happened to then-Princess Sofía of Greece when she married then-Prince Juan Carlos of Spain in 1962 (they later became the King and Queen of Spain).

Reportedly, the royal couple had three weddings due to their different nationalities and religions: a Catholic ceremony, a Greek Orthodox ceremony, and a civil union. The young princess wore the same dress throughout each of the weddings. The gown was created by French designer Jean Dessès, and according to Vogue, it was made "of silver and white lamé and covered in tulle and antique lace," completed with a 16-foot train.

It was during the third ceremony when the princess supposedly tripped over her dress because she was excited, but with that much fabric, it's impressive that she made it through the first two weddings without mishaps and only suffered one near-fall.

Winston Churchill's granddaughter tripped over Diana's dress

Speaking of weighty gowns and long trains, Princess Diana's train was royal history's longest, trailing behind for a dazzling 25 feet. Surely dragging 25 feet of fabric behind her wasn't the easiest task for her or those in her wedding party.

Diana worked as a preschool teacher before she became a princess, and Clementine Hambro, granddaughter of Winston Churchill, had been one of her students. Hambro was only 5 when she served as a bridesmaid for her former instructor. That's because traditionally, children act as the bridesmaids in royal weddings (apparently, princesses don't get bachelorette parties thrown for them by their wildest pals).

According to ABC News, the young bridesmaid tripped over Diana's long dress train and began crying in the middle of Buckingham Palace. Hambro recalled the incident to "Today" and explained how Diana reverted back to teacher mode and asked her, "Did you bump your bottom?" then picked her up and held her. Hambro, now fully grown and a mother herself, said in 2018 that she "can only imagine the terror" a parent feels when their child takes part in such a historical day. After all, children are unpredictable and can bring an element of chaos to a royal wedding.

The Grumpy Bridesmaid from William and Kate's wedding

The upside to having a wedding party composed of kids under the age of 5 is that they're adorable, but the downside is that sometimes, they can bring surprises to the wedding in the form of awkward (albeit hilarious) moments. One mini bridesmaid photobombed William and Kate's balcony kiss and became the star of the day.

The Buckingham Palace balcony kiss has become one of the most iconic royal wedding moments ever since Charles and Diana initiated the tradition, but for William and Kate, the balcony embrace was more of a hilariously viral moment due to a scowling little girl who became known as "the grumpy bridesmaid" (per Evening Standard). Reportedly, the crowd's cheers were too loud for a 3-year-old Grace van Cutsem, and she was caught on camera covering her ears and looking quite distressed. The photo became one of the most memorable ones from the royal wedding.

But for the bride and groom, it must have been a little awkward to have their most romantic wedding moment overshadowed by an unhappy toddler.

Camilla and Charles had to confess their 'sins' at their wedding

If you were alive in the 1990s, or if you've watched season 4 of Netflix's "The Crown," then you probably already know all about the long and dramatic story of Prince Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. After decades of reportedly being in love but kept apart by various factors, most notably their marriages with other people, the controversial couple finally found their happy ending when they got married in 2005, but not without what the Church of England considers proper repenting.

If it wasn't already awkward enough for the whole world to know of their affair, Camilla and Charles had to "acknowledge" their "sins" in front of the whole wedding congregation before they could officially be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury. According to CNN, they both recited a confession from The Book of Common Prayer (1662) which reads: "We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us." Not exactly the words every little girl dreams of saying on their wedding day.

Princess Charlene of Monaco cried throughout her wedding to Prince Albert

It's expected that a bride might cry happy tears on her big day, but the tears that soon-to-be Princess Charlene Wittstock shed during her 2011 wedding didn't seem very joyous. It was reported that she was upset with her betrothed Albert, the Prince of Monaco and son of Grace Kelly, due to rumors of infidelity.

Per ABC News, suspicions arose that Prince Albert had not only been unfaithful to Wittstock, but had fathered a child (he had already fathered two other children out of wedlock). Robert Lacey, a British historian and royal biographer, remembered of the nuptials, "When he goes to kiss her on their wedding day, she recoils in some way."

Charlene explained her tears later, saying (via The Times), "There were all the mixed emotions because of the rumors and obviously the tension built up and I burst into tears. And then I burst into tears some more because I was thinking, 'Oh no, now the whole world has seen me cry.'"

Two of Prince Harry's exes attended his wedding

Royal weddings are pretty exclusive affairs, and the guest lists are chosen carefully, so some found it a bit odd that not one, but two of Prince Harry's exes showed up at his ceremony. Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy were former girlfriends of the prince — both were invited and attended the wedding.

"Wedding etiquette expert" Elaine Swann weighed in on the appropriateness of Prince Harry inviting former lovers to the event and told The New York Times, "There were only 600 people invited, and these were two of them? I don't know what purpose it served for them being there, or for any ex, to be at a wedding." According to Swann, inviting your ex can add unnecessary awkwardness for everyone: "It puts the spouse in an uncomfortable position, it puts the ex in an uncomfortable position ... It also makes the guests who know that individual feel uneasy."

And she might be on to something, considering the expression on Chelsy Davy's face during the televised event. Davy was caught looking deep in thought and a bit troubled, as if she was possibly questioning all of her life choices, which naturally led to a series of viral memes.

Royal children brought an element of mischief to Princess Eugenie's wedding

Turns out royal kids are still kids and are bound to get up to mischief when they think their parents aren't watching. Unfortunately, when their parents aren't watching, cameras are.

Prince George, the son of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and his cousin Savannah Phillips, the granddaughter of Anne, Princess Royal and the great-granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II (we know, it's a lot to keep track of) are apparently known for getting into trouble when they're together, and their antics were on full display at the wedding ceremony of Princess Eugenie (the daughter of Prince Andrew and granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II). According to People, the two young cousins were seemingly enjoying themselves while giggling as Savannah imitated the trumpeters, drawing the attention of nearby reporters and photographers.

Determined to cause a little bit of mild mischief wherever she went that day, 7-year-old Savannah Phillips can also be seen awkwardly resting her foot on Princess Eugenie's wedding dress in the official wedding portrait, per Harper's Bazaar. At least Eugenie could crop that detail out later.

A horse got loose on William and Kate's big day

When horses are involved, things can sometimes get a little dangerous, as proven on William and Kate's wedding day. During the procession that followed the wedding, one of the horses near the royal couple's carriage nearly caused a disaster. ABC News reported at the time that the horse was "spooked by the crowds" and "threw its rider and bolted past the newly married couple." The crowd was shocked as they watched the horse fall, knock its rider off, and nearly drag its rider with it by the leg before running off on its own, as can be seen in videos recorded by onlookers.

Garrison Sergeant Major Bill Mott, the organizer of the post-wedding parade, told People that the horse "was bee-lining down Whitehall to get to Horse Guards guardroom" to the stables where he was typically fed. Thankfully, no one was hurt due to the professionalism of the rider who was thrown and the horse guards, who caught the free-running animal quickly. The incident ended up being a mild mishap, a brief awkward setback in an otherwise chaos-free wedding.

Queen Elizabeth's tiara was broken

Only a few hours before the wedding of Princess Elizabeth (now known as Queen Elizabeth II), the bride's heirloom tiara broke into two pieces. The tiara had been made for her grandmother in 1919 and was passed down to her mother, who in turn, lent it to her daughter, the future queen, to wear as "something borrowed" (according to The Telegraph).

But as is often the case with antique family heirlooms, the structure was delicate and was easily broken "when her hairdresser tried to secure it to her veil" (via Marie Claire). Panic set in as Elizabeth worried she wouldn't get to wear the special "something borrowed." Surely this bad omen gave her a peculiar anxiety. However, a palace jeweler was on standby to swoop in and save the day. The tiara was swiftly taken (reportedly "under police escort") to the jeweler, House of Garrard, and was welded back in place and returned to the young princess just in time for the ceremony.