A Brief Photo History of Little Royal Kids in Big British Weddings

A Brief Photo History of Little Royal Kids in Big British Weddings

Usually the bride is the center of attention at a wedding.

But when Pippa Middleton, the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, marries millionaire hedge fund manager James Matthews on Saturday, she likely won’t be the only star of the show. For one thing, her niece and nephew Princess Charlotte and Prince George are expected to be members of the wedding party— a bridesmaid and page boy, respectively.

The two young royals will be in good historical company, as these photos show. The children of the U.K. royal family have been a hit at society weddings for decades.

In fact, one image shows George’s father William, the Duke of Cambridge, as a page boy in the ceremony for his uncle Prince Andrew’s marriage to Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson at Westminster Abbey in 1986. As TIME reported in the Aug. 4, 1986 issue: ”

…the show stealer was Prince William, 4. During the 45-minute ceremony, he played on the cord of his hat like a fakir’s apprentice, wrapping the string around his nose and chewing it like a licorice stick. Undaunted by baleful stares from his mother and grandmother, he pulled out his miniature ceremonial dagger and began poking holes in the dress of Diana’s niece Laura Fellowes, 6.

…That spirit of grand informality could not be kept down. After the 240-lb., five-decker cake had been cut at the palace, the couple went out again into the streets, riding through the brilliant afternoon in an open landau. As the irrepressible Prince William ran toward the carriage, an unusually fleet- footed Queen hurried to retrieve him.

It remains to be seen whether George will be better behaved as a page boy than his father was.