April 29, 2011— -- The picture-perfect wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton today in London went off without a hitch -- almost.
The carefully orchestrated ceremony that included the entire royal family, millions of spectators, thousands of police officers and hundreds of members of the mounted Household Calvary was flawless until a horse spooked by the crowds threw its rider and bolted past the newly married couple as they made their way to Buckingham Palace.
The dismounted rider -- a member of the Blues and Royals horse guard -- ended up on the ground when his horse tripped along the parade route from Westminster Abbey while following the carriage carrying William and Kate.
The thrown rider grabbed the horse by the reins and tried to pull it to the side, but the horse bolted away cantering down Whitehall, the main thoroughfare leading to the palace until being stopped by the Horseguards.
Gasps were heard in the crowd as the rider was tossed and the horse took off. Officials said that neither the horse or the rider were injured in the stumble.
Compared to Princess Diana's famously flubbed vows in 1981, the mishap, was minor.
A thousand years of royal ceremonies has produced numerous hiccups, but as viewers of the "King's Speech" know, the advent of radio, television and now the Internet means small mistakes quickly become big deals.
No one much cites Queen Victoria's 1837 coronation when the Archbishop of Canterbury dropped the Sovereign's Orb and placed William IV's coronation ring on the wrong finger, but 100 years later a stammering George VI hired a speech therapist to ensure there were no screw ups when he delivered the Coronation Oath over the radio to a nation on the verge of war.
The last major royal wedding and the one that most looms large today is of course that of Prince William's parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
Their 1981 nuptials were the most watched royal wedding in history -- it's not clear yet whether today's nuptials will surpass that mark -- and though it was remembered as a sunshiny fairytale affair, the day was not without its share of goofs.
Diana's iconic wedding dress was so long and the measures taken to keep it secret so intense that it is remembered for looking rumpled and creased as much as for its finery. The dress, with a record setting 25-foot train, was kept in a safe overnight and hoisted through a window on the morning of the wedding so onlookers wouldn't see it being brought in through the front door.
The enormous train was then folded to fit in the carriage she rode to St. Paul's Cathedral. By the time she walked down the aisle, the dress was a mess.
But it was when she reached the altar that the real trouble started.
The Prince of Wales is named Charles Philip Arthur George, but when reciting her vows a nervous Diana flubbed her husband's name, calling him Philip Charles Arthur George.
The goof elicited a small smile from Prince Charles, but for many the mistake only made Diana more appealing.
ABC's Barbara Walters at the time said of the gaffe: "All it did was endear her more to her people because it was human and understandable."
Similarly endearing was when 5-year-old bridesmaid Clementine Hambro, a former kindergarten pupil of Diana as well as Winston Churchill's granddaughter, burst into tears after tripping on her dress. Diana is remember for leaning over the little girl and gently asking if she had "bumped her bottom."
Prince Charles made his own flub during the recitation of his vows, promising to share "all his goods" with his new wife, but accidentally omitting the word "worldly."
In the lead up to today's wedding there have already been a handful of groan inducing mistakes.
Chinese tchotchke manufacturer Guandong Enterprises screwed up a commemorative mug, slapping a photo of William's younger ruddier brother Harry on the cup under William's name.
Earlier this month New Zealand issued a double postage stamp using William and Kate's official wedding portrait. The stamp splits down the middle, creating two separate stamps with an image of either William or Kate, which means every time someone mails a letter they have to tear apart the happy couple.