October 12, 2018
Event expected to be just as lavish, if not as high-profile, as Harry and Meghan’s nuptials
Windsor welcomes Princess Eugenie for royal wedding redux
Windsor will host its second royal wedding of the year on Friday when Princess Eugenie, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, marries her long-term boyfriend, tequila brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank.
Five months after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchanged vows at St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor castle, the prince’s 28-year-old cousin will walk down the same aisle, in a wedding scarcely less lavish than that of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
As the second daughter of the third child of the monarch, Eugenie’s wedding is not, arguably, the most significant national event to take place this year. This has led to raised eyebrows over the couple’s decision to copy Harry and Meghan with an open-topped carriage ride through Windsor, requiring road closures and an estimated £2m policing bill.
The decision to broadcast the event live on television also raised eyebrows, although it will be shown on an extended version of ITV Daytime’s This Morning. The BBC reportedly resisted the suggestion of Prince Andrew to devote several hours of live coverage to the event.
Presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford will bring the appropriate gravitas to an event whose bridal party will include Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the children of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, and Theodora Williams, daughter of pop star and X Factor presenter Robbie Williams.
While the wedding and reception costs will be met by the Queen and the couple’s families, the bill for traffic management, stewarding and policing will be picked up by the taxpayer.
Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May, excluding security expenses, cost more than £1.25m, according to figures released by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, a sum later reimbursed by central government.
But a spokeswoman for the council said that in terms of crowd numbers and associated stewarding and policing costs, it expected Harry’s and Eugenie’s nuptials to be “two very different weddings on two very different scales”.
Windsor welcomes Princess Eugenie for royal wedding redux
Not that anyone appears to have told the bride and groom. The invitation list stretches to 850 guests – 250 more than Meghan and Harry. The ceremony will be followed by a private reception hosted by the Queen, an evening party hosted by the Duke and Duchess of York and a reported second day of “festival-themed” celebration at Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew’s home within Windsor Castle’s grounds.
The attendees have not been confirmed but alongside the Queen, Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York and other senior royals, they are widely expected to include celebrity friends George Clooney, for whose tequila brand, Casamigos Brooksbank acts as ambassador, Robbie Williams and wife Ayda Field, whom Eugenie met on holiday and, inevitably, the Beckhams.
The attendance of the bride’s grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is 97 and has retired from public life, will reportedly be decided on a “wake up and see how I feel” basis. But the Duchess of Cornwall will not be attending due to a prior engagement at a school harvest festival in Scotland. As with Harry and Meghan’s wedding, 1,200 members of the public have been given tickets to hear a broadcast relay of the ceremony from outside the chapel doors.
Windsor welcomes Princess Eugenie for royal wedding redux
Eugenie, like her elder sister Beatrice, is “very real”, she insisted in a Vogue interview to mark her engagement. She added that they were both just “young women trying to build careers and have personal lives … [but] also princesses”.
A history of art graduate from the university of Newcastle, Eugenie is a director at the London gallery Hauser & Wirth. “We have very understanding bosses,” she said when asked about her charity work and other commitments.
Like Meghan the groom is a very modern royal spouse, having met his princess while working in a bar in the upscale ski resort of Verbier. He went on to manage the Mayfair nightclub Mahiki, which is a favourite of the young royals.
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