Royal Wedding: Prince William and Catherine Middleton Kiss Twice on Balcony as World Watches

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The Most Famous Balcony in the World

The balcony at Buckingham Palace is perhaps the most prominent stage in the world.

"The balcony appearances are more than just PR," said ABC News contributor and British historian Robert Lacey. "They are the essence of modern contact between crown and people."

The 1858 wedding of Queen Victoria's oldest daughter, Princess Victoria, to Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, was the first royal wedding to capture great public attention. It established the custom of the happy couple appearing on the palace balcony to be seen and cheered by the crowds gathered below around the Victoria Memorial.

Prince Charles and Diana's Balcony Kiss Broke Royal Tradition

Breaking with tradition, on July 29, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana kissed on the Buckingham Palace balcony in front of throngs of rejoicing fans and a worldwide television audience of 750 million.

Charles sought the queen's nod of approval before he broke with royal protocol to turn and kiss his bride, to the delight of the jubilant crowd and a worldwide television audience of 750 million.

"With Charles and Diana ... [it] was the first time there was a kiss on the balcony because the people said, 'We want you to kiss,'" ABC's Barbara Walters recalled on "Good Morning America." "It was very quick. It was almost embarrassed. After all, she'd only met him 13 times before they got married."

Five years later, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson elaborated the tradition set by Charles and Diana, passionately smooching in front of screaming spectators. However, their romantic kiss was not an indication that the marriage would endure; the couple announced their separation in 1992 and ultimately divorced in 1996.

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