A windswept royal wed­ding

Fergie, celebs join cel­e­bra­tion in Wind­sor

Montreal Gazette - - WORLD - Han­naH Furness

WIND­SOR CAS­TLE • The wed­ding day brought a dra­matic gown, a wind wild enough to knock small brides­maids off their feet and an as­sort­ment of celebri­ties.

But from the mo­ment Princess Eu­ge­nie stepped out of her car, it all seemed rather sim­ple: a fam­ily wed­ding, on their terms, in which love won the day.

As the damp Oc­to­ber day dawned, vis­i­tors trick­led into Wind­sor to line the streets and tick­ethold­ers picked up Jack and Eu­ge­nie-themed goody bags in the grounds of Wind­sor Cas­tle.

The 28-year-old bride, a grand­daugh­ter of Queen El­iz­a­beth II, is ninth in line to the Bri­tish throne.

Guests ar­rived in stages, as friends were more than matched by celebri­ties in a lineup that left on­look­ers won­der­ing at how the cou­ple came to know such a di­verse range of ac­tors, su­per­mod­els and singers.

The Queen was joined in the chapel by Naomi Camp­bell and Kate Moss, Liv Tyler and Demi Moore, Tracey Emin, Stephen Fry, Ricky Martin and many more be­sides.

As they took their seats, Sarah Fer­gu­son, the Duchess of York, long ab­sent from the Royal Fam­ily’s of­fi­cial events since her di­vorce, made a re­turn to the fold, ar­riv­ing at the chapel with Princess Beatrice to watch on proudly.

Philip, the Duke of Ed­in­burgh, at 97, was in his right­ful place next to the Queen to cel­e­brate the wed­ding of their grand­daugh­ter.

The Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex — Harry and Meghan — re­turned to the chapel for the first time since their own wed­ding in May, with the Duchess telling the Princess Royal: “It seems time has gone so quickly since we were here.”

The Cam­bridges, who left Prince Louis at home and watched from afar as Prince Ge­orge and Princess Char­lotte joined the bridal party, seemed taken with the ro­man­tic at­mos­phere, hold­ing hands as they waited for the bride and groom to ar­rive.

At 10.35 a.m., Jack Brooks­bank ar­rived. Ner­vously wip­ing his palms on his trousers as he stepped out of his car, he was sup­ported by his brother and best man, Thomas.

Ap­pear­ing to have vis­i­bly shak­ing hands, the ge­nial groom at one point told his brother, “Oh stop it, I am fine” as they waited.

In high winds, the six young brides­maids and two page boys nav­i­gated the steps of St. Ge­orge’s Chapel with Princess Char­lotte and sixyear-old Louis de Givenchy tak­ing a tum­ble. They re­cov­ered quickly with a help­ing hand from Lady Louise Mount­bat­ten-Wind­sor, 14, who shep­herded the chil­dren as spe­cial at­ten­dant.

As the trum­pets sounded, the chil­dren, in­clud­ing Prince Ge­orge, Maud Wind­sor, Mia Tin­dall, Sa­van­nah and Isla Phillips, and Teddy Wil­liams, the daugh­ter of singer Rob­bie Wil­liams, cov­ered their ears and pre­tended to play along.

At 11 a.m., Princess Eu­ge­nie, who ar­rived with her fa­ther, beamed as she stepped from the 1977 Roll­sRoyce Phan­tom VI, the same wed­ding car used by the Duchess of Cam­bridge.

She wore a di­a­mon­dand-emer­ald tiara loaned to her by the Queen. Her Peter Pilotto dress was de­signed to dis­play her faint scar, a line down her spine from an op­er­a­tion for her sco­l­io­sis aged 12. She said she had wanted to “stand up for” other young peo­ple who may feel self-con­scious about their own scars, and “change the way beauty is.”

Her groom agreed. “You look breath­tak­ing,” he told her, tak­ing off his glasses as she reached him.

At the al­tar, Princess Eu­ge­nie and Brooks­bank clutched hands so tightly their fin­gers turned white.

Princess Beatrice, who has spo­ken of her dys­lexia, car­ried off a con­fi­dent read­ing of a pas­sage from The Great Gatsby, cho­sen by the bride, which re­minded her of Jack shortly af­ter they met, de­spite the flaws of its pro­tag­o­nist.

On the steps out­side there was the kiss.

And with that, the York fam­ily swung into ac­tion: the Duke lift­ing his daugh­ter’s long train into the Scot­tish State Coach, while the Duchess fielded ques­tions from cu­ri­ous brides­maid Teddy Wil­liams.

Told that no, she was not the Queen, the six-year-old per­sisted. “Are you a princess?” In a rush, the Duchess agreed that yes, per­haps she was.

Af­ter a short car­riage ride through Wind­sor, the cou­ple re­tired to their af­ter­noon re­cep­tion at the cas­tle.

In his speech, which he said he had not pre­pared, the Duke of York joked that he would break pro­to­col to pub­licly hug his new son-in-law, re­gal­ing guests with the tale of how the groom mis­took him­self for the fam­ily dog.

He had once, he said, shouted at the dog — also named Jack — to get off a chair, only to be star­tled to find Brooks­bank leap to his feet.

In an emo­tional speech, Brooks­bank told how his new wife “lights up my life” and “makes me whole.”

The new­ly­weds made a dra­matic de­par­ture in a wait­ing As­ton Martin DB10 — made for the James Bond film Spec­tre.

And with the sun set­ting, the cou­ple left for a two-day party at Royal Lodge.


Bri­tain’s Princess Eu­ge­nie of York re­ceives the ring from Jack Brooks­bank dur­ing their star-stud­ded wed­ding cer­e­mony at Wind­sor’s St. Ge­orge’s Chapel Fri­day, a day that in­cluded such celebri­ties as Liv Tyler and Naomi Camp­bell.


Meghan, Duchess of Sus­sex, re­turned to St. Ge­orge’s Chapel for the first time since her own wed­ding in May.

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