Our en­dur­ing fas­ci­na­tion with re­gal pageantry

The Weekend Australian - - FRONT PAGE - SAM BUCK­ING­HAM-JONES

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

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