Royal Wedding Revisited: Diana Fans Remember the Day She Married Charles

They said they'd watch William and Kate as they did his mother 30 years ago.

April 20, 2011 — -- So many Americans remember that morning.

Julie Strande: "I woke up at 4 in the morning."

Mary Beth Boyle: "Crawled out of bed in my pajamas."

Martha Wilkie: "... and I turned on the television."

On July 29, 1981, a shy teenager named Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, the heir to the English throne. All of England -- and it seemed the world -- wanted to watch.

"Birds might have started to chirp," Boyle said. "It was a warm day. I had recently gotten married, so it was really exciting for me to watch the wedding."

Across the pond in America, millions of miles away from England, televisions flickered in darkened, early morning living rooms as young women watched, enchanted by a real-life princess.

"I crawled under the covers and watched the whole thing," Nancy Mosser Bailey said, "for hours and hours and hours."

Still in their pajamas, many said they remembered enjoying a spot of tea and scones while taking it all in with their mothers or chatting on the phone with their best friends.

"I remember the night before my mom said, 'You know tomorrow's going to be a big day. There's a princess getting married,'" said Tracy DePascale. "So, of course, you're a 5-year-old girl [so] that's like the greatest thing you've ever heard of."

"My mom sat on the couch," Strande said, "my sister on the rocking chair and I laid on the floor on my stomach with my hands under my chin as a child just in awe, staring at the TV."

And it wasn't just little girls either. There were little boys glued to the family TV set as well.

"My mom came and got us up at around 5 in the morning," Dean Peterson said. "And she told us this was a rare event that we might only see once or twice in our lifetimes."

"The windows of her carriage, her little head looking at all the people that were waving and cheering -- that's what I remember the most, is her peeking through the window," Boyle said.

Princess Diana: Very Princess-Like

Besides the glass carriage, most said their most vivid memory was the dress.

DePascale: "Her dress was big. Her sleeves were very poufy."

Mosser Bailey: "[I] remember how gathered her veil was. You could almost not see her."

Strande: "Very princess-like. It had diamonds. It was a cathedral-length veil."

Boyle: "Her dress was magnificent. Amazing train. Beautiful veil. It was a lot of dress."

They said they watched with wonder and some with worry for the young 19-year-old who seemed to radiate a naive sense of wonder at it all.

"She looked absolutely terrified," Mosser Bailey said. "Not very smiley. Very serious. She seemed so alone to me, very worried."

"I thought, 'How young to be taking on such a huge role,'" Julie McMichael said. "She looked so overwhelmed."

Such memories and impressions spilled over into real life for some. Strande said watching the wedding made her dreams seem within reach.

"I mean, a dream was, 'Oh, if I could ever be a princess and if I could ever get to Buckingham Palace, [the] life is good,'" she said.

She did make it there.

"The two Bobbies were standing there and I got all choked up," Strande said.

For Boyle, watching Diana's wedding 30 years ago made her fall in love with photography.

"It gave me a passion that I'm still doing today," she said. "I just want to make my brides look and feel their best."

Mosser Bailey said she even replicated a scene from Diana's wedding when she married 16 years later.

"[Princess Di] just sat down on the stairs. All the children in the wedding party sat down around Lady Di. The wedding dress poufed all the way around. She was giggling," Mosser Bailey said. "I made sure I had a dress that was big. At the end of our wedding pictures, I sat down and I gathered children around me. I remembered those wonderful pictures of Lady Di. That's why I did it ... 16 years later."

They all agreed that they'd be watching Kate Middleton marry Prince William on April 29.

"I want to see Kate's dress and if there is going to be any similarities to [Princess Diana]," Strande said. "Hopefully, my girls will get up and watch it."

Mosser Bailey said that when the wedding date was announced, she sent out Facebook party invitations.

"Everyone's showing up in pajamas and bringing something British," she said.

"It's the whole fairy tale," DePascale said. "Every little girl dreams of that. I can't wait to see [Kate's] dress. Look in her eyes and in his eyes. I just think there's real love there."