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If you looked away from the screen for a moment, you probably missed it. It was a quick smooch. Kate turned to her groom, said something with a smile, and the prince reached over, rather hurriedly, and gave her a very quick kiss.

Maybe that’s why he kissed her again.

The second kiss came just before the Royal Air Force flyover. Another first on a historic day: two kisses on the Buckingham Palace balcony by a newly married royal couple.

Photos: Images from the Royal Wedding Ceremony
All eyes were on Prince William and Kate as they emerged from the palace onto the balcony. Many among the boisterous gathered crowd and those watching around the world surely had one defining image in their minds: Princess Diana and PrinceCharles’ memorable wedding kiss.

It wasn’t traditional for royal couples to kiss in public following their weddings before the summer of 1981. And Prince Charles reportedly resisted breaking tradition when the crowds outside Buckingham Palace that historic July morning called out for them to kiss.

“I am not going to do that caper. They are trying to get us to kiss,” he said to Diana.

Diana’s reported response: “Well, how about it?” The prince hesitated, then said “Why ever not?”

And this image lives on as proof.

Sadly, the marriage did not live up to the sweetness of that first public kiss. And because of that, there is a lifetime of hope wrapped up in today’s royal smooch. The world wishes so much better for this young couple. They have come to marriage older, wiser, and by all accounts, truly in love.

The grand balcony has been the stage for vaulted royal appearances since 1851, when Queen Victoria stepped out onto it during celebrations for the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London. The Great Exhibition was the first in a series of World’s Fair displays of culture and industry and attended by the likes of Charles Darwin and Charlotte Bront.

Princess Anne was the first of Queen Elizabeth’s newly wed children to appear on the balcony with her new spouse, Captain Mark Phillips, in 1973. But they did not kiss.

Neither did Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex on their 1999 wedding day, though Prince Andrew did follow his elder brother’s lead when he kissed the Duchess of York on the balcony on their wedding day in 1986.

A new iconic royal kiss image is born. Long live the marriage.

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