July 23, 1986—Sure, the birth of a certain heir to Britain's throne is getting all the headlines and tweets today. But on this date in 1986, another major royal event attracted the world's attention: the wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.
Andrew, third child of Queen Elizabeth II, was childhood friends with "Fergie" before they were reacquainted at Royal Ascot in 1985. Andrew proposed to her Feb. 19, 1986, and with the queen's permission (required by British law), the wedding was on. And what a wedding it was: an estimated 500 million people watched on TV, and thousands more spectators lined the streets of London. First Lady Nancy Reagan was among the 2,000 guests at the Abbey.
Ferguson, who became Princess of the United Kingdom that day, was married in an ivory-silk gown she would later call "an exquisite creation I'd lost 26 pounds to fit into." During their vows in the 45-minute ceremony, she mistakenly repeated Andrew's middle name, Christian. The reception was held at Buckingham Palace, where 100,000 people gathered to watch the couple's first kiss.
The couple would go on to have two daughters—Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie—but their marriage wasn't to last. They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.