It seems like a time-honored tradition now, but prior to 1981, there had never been a royal balcony kiss. That year, six hundred thousand people lined the streets of London with an unprecedented television audience of 750 million viewers tuning in to watch the fairy-tale wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. When the Prince and Princess of Wales emerged on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, they were greeted by their subjects with the chant of “Kiss! Kiss!” The story goes that Prince Charles wanted none of the crowd’s antics and, according to The Daily Mail, said, “I’m not going to do that caper. They’re going to try and get us to kiss.” Diana, true to her People’s Princess style, is reported to have said back, “Well, how about it?” And in a crowd-pleasing moment the couple kissed, the protocol was abandoned, and a new tradition began.
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was by every definition the wedding of the year, if not the decade. When the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came out on to that same balcony to another screaming crowd of thousands, even Prince William was taken aback, saying, “Oh, wow!” (and that’s not counting the two billion people watching worldwide). When the couple shared its first public peck, the crowd decided that this time the kiss was too short and chanted, “Kiss again! Kiss again!” And, in another crowd-pleasing moment, the couple kissed a second time, and history was made on the balcony, again.