Why Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex didn't share a public kiss on their wedding day

Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex
(Image credit: PA Archive/PA Images)

Picture a royal wedding day and one of the stand-out moments is usually when the happy couple shares a kiss in front of the waiting crowds outside of the ceremony.

It's a sweet moment we've seen most recently with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry and Meghan also kissed on the steps of St. George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle - as did Princess Eugenie and her now-husband Jack Brooksbank.

(Image credit: PA Archive/PA Images)

In fact, it's a royal tradition that goes back decades. Princess Diana and Prince Charles also shared a sweet kiss at Buckingham Palace - as did Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew on their wedding day a few years later.

But one royal couple noticeably stepped back from the royal tradition on their wedding day - Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

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When they got married on 19th June 1999, at Windsor Castle after six years of dating, it was cause for another nationwide celebration.

However, as the couple exited St. George's Chapel, Hello! magazine (opens in new tab) noted that they purposely refused photographers requests for a kiss - and it seems that there was a very simple reason behind the decision.

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex

(Image credit: EMPICS Entertainment)

Sophie and Edward made it clear at the time of their engagement that they did not want their wedding to be a state occasion, as Diana and Charles' had been. Because of this - like Harry and Meghan's nuptials - the day was not attended by world leaders, with mostly only family and friends there to support them.

As such, it's likely that they wanted to keep the celebrations as low-key as possible - despite it being a royal event - perhaps pointing at the reason they didn't take part in a public kiss.

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Hello! also notes that the pair actually appeared to want to save the special moment for private, too. Reportedly, one guest at the event explained that they shared a sweet peck at their reception, at St. George's Hall.

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex

They said, "When they left the main room, they gave each other a kiss. It was a great private moment." And who can blame them for wanting their first proper kiss as newlyweds to take place away from the glare of the media?

Since their wedding, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex have welcomed two children, James Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise Windsor, and live together at Bagshot Park (opens in new tab) in Surrey.

The Earl and Countess have been married for 20 years now, recently celebrating their anniversary at Royal Ascot.

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.