Charles and Diana’s wedding music: Every classical piece played

29 July 2021, 16:04 | Updated: 30 July 2021, 09:47

Charles and Diana: All the classical music that played at the Royal Wedding
Charles and Diana: All the classical music that played at the Royal Wedding. Picture: Getty

By Emma Clarke

Lady Diana wed the heir to the throne at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.

Forty years ago, Princess Diana and Prince Charles tied the knot in one of the most famous ceremonies of all time.

The late Princess of Wales stepped out of her state carriage in an iconic wedding dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, in front of a 600,000-strong crowd and an impressive TV audience of 28.4m people.

Among the music played during the grandiose affair was Gustav Holst's 'I Vow to Thee My Country' and Jeremiah Clarke's 'Prince of Denmark's March'.

READ MORE: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa remembers performing at Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding

In total, there were three choirs, three orchestras and a fanfare ensemble to mark the occasion: the Bach Choir, the Choir of St Paul's Cathedral, the Choir of the Chapel Royal, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.

But what music did the royal couple choose for their big day?

Here's every bit of music that played at Charles and Diana's wedding:

Before the service:

  • 'Paen' - Herbert Howells
  • 'Preludio al Vespro di Monteverdi' - Sir Michael Tippett
  • 'Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of Vittoria' - Benjamin Britten
  • 'Aria and Toccata from Symphony for Organ' - Malcolm Williamson
  • 'Sonata in G, Op. 28' - Edward Elgar
  • 'Psalm-Prelude, Set II No. 3' - Herbert Howells
  • 'Andante tranquillo' - Arthur Bliss
  • 'Trumpet March' - Geoffrey Bush
  • 'Rhosymedre' - Vaughan Williams

During the Queen's procession:

Hymns during the wedding ceremony:

  • 'I Vow to Thee My Country' - Gustav Holst
  • 'Christ is Made the Sure Foundation' - Henry Purcell

The signing of the register:

  • 'March from the Occasional Oratorio' - George Friedrich Handel
  • 'Let the Bright Seraphim' - Performed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Leaving the cathedral:

  • 'Pomp and Circumstance No. 4' - Edward Elgar
  • 'Crown Imperial' - William Walton