Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Nov. 20, 1947.
Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Nov. 20, 1947.Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Nov. 20, 1947.
Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Nov. 20, 1947.
Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Nov. 20, 1947.
Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in London, Nov. 20, 1947.
Two women use periscopes to see over the crowd outside Buckingham Palace during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Nov. 20, 1947.
A spectator uses a hand-held mirror to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Nov. 20, 1947.
A spectator uses a hand-held mirror to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Nov. 20, 1947.
Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Nov. 20, 1947.
A spectator uses a hand-held mirror to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Nov. 20, 1947.
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Spectators use hand-held mirrors to see over the crowd during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke
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How to Watch the Royal Wedding Like a 1940s Londoner

May 18, 2018

Millions from around the world will be watching from afar on Saturday as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, and thousands of spectators will get a closer view by heading to Windsor to catch a glimpse of the couple and their celebrity guests.

Thames Valley Police and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are preparing for 100,000 visitors to the area, a figure that includes the 2,640 members of the public invited to the grounds of Windsor Castle by Harry and Meghan to watch the arrivals of the bride and groom and other wedding highlights. After the main event, a 25-minute carriage procession will go through Windsor town, as an opportunity to for the public to see the newlyweds before they heading back to the castle for a lunch reception.

But a trip to Windsor doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good view. So, if you’re one of the one the tens of thousands along the procession line in Windsor, you might want to try out the techniques used by spectators from the 1947 royal wedding of the future Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. On Nov. 20, 1947, half a million took to the streets of London to see the procession. While present-day spectators typically use phones and selfie-sticks to see over crowds, those in 1947 got crafty, using hand mirrors, mirrors attached to sticks and periscopes to see over the crowds. Photographs show women and children using these mirrors as they surrounded Westminster Abbey, where the wedding took place, and Buckingham Palace, where the newlyweds greeted the public. These tools gave spectators a chance to see the new royal couple. Nowadays, it just takes turning on the television or streaming online.

Whether you’re using your phone or old-school technology like a hand mirror, here is all of the info you’ll need for Saturday’s royal wedding.

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