It might not be a traditional love story, but India Hicks still got her own bridal moment.
The 54-year-old designer served as one of the late Princess Diana's bridesmaids in her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. Now 40 years later, India got her own special wedding day when she tied the knot with her partner of 26 years, David Flint Wood, in late 2021.
India documented her journey to the altar and her special day in an essay for BRIDES' The Royals digital issue, which features a beautiful cover photo of India in a stunning Emilia Wickstead lace gown and veil.
The mother of five revealed that her husband initially proposed when she got pregnant with their first child 25 years ago, and she turned him down.
"I said 'No, thank you.' (In my mind, I was saying, 'I'm a strong, independent woman! I don't need to get married!' Which is what I said for 26 years, until suddenly I didn't.)."
She shared that after decades together, it was actually the COVID-19 pandemic that inspired her idea to get married.
"When the lockdown ended and we began to tentatively come out of that time together, there were a lot of questions for the kids, aged 24 down to 13. The world felt very turbulent, very unstable, and the future looked very unpredictable," she wrote. "I wanted something grounding and anchoring not just for my children but also for myself. I suggested we get married."
India joked that it was "surprising" for her to find her husband at the altar because he was "stunned all the way up to the very last minute" and claimed he hadn't accepted her offer.
India noted that the decision was unlike her, saying that she's been surprised to feel that being married is any different from the couple's life before.
"It took my breath away to find how spiritual it felt to walk into the church on the arm of my eldest son and to say those vows to David in front of all our friends and family, in the church where I had been christened and where my father lay buried just outside," she shared. "It felt intensely intimate. I hadn't expected to say those words, 'till death do us part,' and for them to mean something. And they really did, mean something."