Our enduring fascination with regal pageantry
The English town of Windsor has hosted a royal wedding for the second time in six months, as the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle yesterday.
Eugenie, younger daughter of the Queen’s third child Prince Andrew and his former wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, walked down the aisle with at least one prominent member of the royal family not there.
There was speculation Prince Charles’s wife, Camilla, did not want to attend, and instead visited a harvest festival in Scotland. And Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, left the festivities early to attend a gala dinner in London.
Three-year-old Princess Charlotte, daughter of second in line to the throne Prince William and his wife, Kate, was a bridesmaid, while her brother, Prince George, 5, was a page boy. Eugenie’s older sister, Beatrice, 30, was maid of honour.
The nuptials came just five months after the marriage of Prince Harry, younger son of Prince Charles, to American actress Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex.
Eugenie, 28, ninth in line to the throne and a director at London’s Hauser & Wirth art gallery, and Brooksbank, 32, who works in the drinks and hospitality industry, copied some of her cousin’s plans.
The couple, who met in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier in 2010 and became engaged in Nicaragua in January, invited 1200 people from across Britain to join the celebrations in the castle grounds and to watch them leave St George’s Chapel after the service.
The palace reportedly paid for a red velvet and chocolate cake and the post-ceremony brunch for 850 invited guests inside the chapel.
The newlyweds took a 15minute open-top carriage ride through Windsor, although it was shorter than the one Harry and Meghan took in May when thousands thronged the streets and hundreds of millions worldwide watched on television.
“We think we’ve been blessed this year with two royal weddings,” said Phillip Bicknell, the local council deputy leader.
“We’re … very pleased that she’s shared her day with us.”
There was some resentment at the wedding, which cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
The security bill has been estimated at £2 million ($3.7m), most of it spent on installing rooftop snipers and jamming devices that disable drones.
In an unfortunate slip, the royal family’s Twitter account got the groom’s name wrong in a prewedding tweet highlighting the couple’s guest list.
Since deleted, the tweet referred to Mr Brooksbank as Mr Jacksbrook.
The wedding was one of Harry and Meghan’s final engagements before they travel to Australia for the Invictus Games.
Clockwise from main: Britain’s Princess Eugenie arrives for last night’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank; model Naomi Campbell outside Windsor Castle; Harry and Meghan and William and Kate enter St George’s Chapel