Noth­ing sec­ond best about THAT kiss!

Five months af­ter Meghan’s show­stop­per...

Daily Mail - - FRONT PAGE - by Robert Hard­man

ALL good things come to those who wait. We would have seen Princess Eu­ge­nie be­come Mrs Jack Brooks­bank many months ago had it not been for an­other royal wed­ding back in May.

Yes­ter­day, how­ever, it was the turn of the ninth in line to the throne fi­nally to have her big day as she mar­ried the ami­able 32-year-old tequila ex­ec­u­tive she likens to F Scott Fitzger­ald’s hero, The Great Gatsby. And she did so proudly bear­ing the scar which has changed – and, in many ways, de­fined – the life of this in­de­pen­dent- minded 28-year-old princess. With­out the two ti­ta­nium rods in­serted in her spine in 2002, Eu­ge­nie would never have been able to walk so proudly and con­fi­dently up the 20 steps of St Ge­orge’s Chapel, Wind­sor. Her ex­quis­ite Peter Pilotto V-neck ivory dress was cut to show the sur­geon’s hand­i­work; no veil or lace was de­ployed to ob­scure the view to the rear. This was, em­phat­i­cally, Eu­ge­nie’s day. Nei­ther a full royal turnout, in­clud­ing the 97year- old Duke of Ed­in­burgh, nor two lim­ou­sines full of hy­per­ac­tive brides­maids and pages – among them Prince Ge­orge, Princess Char­lotte and Theodora Wil­liams (daugh­ter of Rob­bie) – nor bus­loads of su­per­mod­els, pop stars, co­me­di­ans and ac­tors were go­ing to take the spot­light off the Queen’s sixth grand­child.

Here was a quintessen­tially English wed­ding: hats ga­lore, El­gar, Parry, the Royal Phil­har­monic and tra­di­tional hymns in the very church where St Ge­orge was made the pa­tron saint of Eng­land plus plenty of Bach and two sub­lime recitals by the Ital­ian tenor, An­drea Bo­celli.

And un­like last time, the main play­ers were keep­ing an eye on the clock. The mem­ory of the charis­matic Bishop Michael Curry from Chicago cheer­fully me­an­der­ing off-script at the previous royal wed­ding was not lost on the man in charge yes­ter­day.

The Rt Rev David Con­ner, Dean of Wind­sor, is a for­mer bishop to

the Armed Forces. He has been the padre here for 20 years and he knows all about the sov­er­eign’s love of punc­tu­al­ity. Yes­ter­day ran like a mil­i­tary pa­rade.

Of course, this was a wed­ding which was al­ways go­ing to in­vite com­par­isons, how­ever un­fairly, with ‘last time’.

There might be the same num­ber of fan­fares (two) by the same state trum­peters and sim­i­larly ex­u­ber­ant flo­ral ar­range­ments (au­tum­nal hues, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons). But that was about it.

In some re­gards, this was a big­ger bash than the wed­ding of the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex. Here were 800 guests to Harry and Meghan’s 600. There were more mem­bers of the Royal Fam­ily (30 in to­tal), more in-laws (24 mem­bers of the Brooks­bank clan ver­sus the sin­gle-handed Do­ria Ragland) and a higher celebrity head­count, too.

How­ever, it was the other way round be­yond the ram­parts. Wind­sor yes­ter­day was a world away from the bois­ter­ous in­va­sion back in May. Back then, more than 100,000 peo­ple came to see the Sus­sexes process through town and grounds on a sunny Satur­day.

Yes­ter­day’s crowds, on a work­ing day with clouds and gales, were re­spectable but just a few deep along a much shorter route down the high street and round the back of the Royal Mews. The global tele­vi­sion au­di­ence was, in­evitably, a tiny frac­tion of the bil­lion or so who sat up from New Jersey to New South Wales to watch our first Amer­i­can princess take her place in the Royal Fam­ily. Yet it was never a num­bers game, let alone a com­pe­ti­tion be­tween two very dear cousins.

Princess Eu­ge­nie and Prince Harry have been con­fi­dantes since in­fancy, co-con­spir­a­tors in the nurs­ery and fel­low mis­chief-mak­ers on the party cir­cuit. Both have grown up as Num­ber Two in the im­me­di­ate peck­ing or­der within a dy­nasty where be­ing first-born counts for a very great deal.

It ex­plains why Harry and Meghan ar­rived at St Ge­orge’s Chapel yes­ter­day like her­mits.

They could have walked down Chapel Hill past the crowds and cam­eras like all the other guests but they did not. In­stead, they turned up in a blacked-out Land Rover and were out of the car and in­side the church faster than a pair of crooks dodg­ing the cam­eras at a mag­is­trate’s court.

Ditto the Cam­bridges. It might have dis­ap­pointed a few on­look­ers but it was a very com­mend­able act of cousinly sol­i­dar­ity.

They were not go­ing to up­stage dear, long- suf­fer­ing ‘Eug’. The cen­tre stage was to be left clear for three women in as­cend­ing or­der yes­ter­day. The first two – the Duchess of York

and Princess Beatrice – ar­rived to­gether in their royal Rolls-Royce.

At the foot of the steps, the duchess was thrilled to be greeted by a few whoop­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic in horse­shoe Clois­ter.

Af­ter all those years ex­iled to the outer or­bit of so many royal oc­ca­sions, this was in many ways her day, too.

Though Princess Beatrice was for­mally styled the maid of hon­our, she was not ex­pected to chap­er­one the brides­maids and pages, as Pippa Mid­dle­ton had done at the wed­ding of her sis­ter, Kate, to Prince Wil­liam. That task was left to the heroic lady louise Mount­bat­ten-Wind­sor, 14, daugh­ter of the earl and Count­ess of Wes­sex.

it might have been a role be­fit­ting a younger sis­ter like Pippa but Beatrice, 30, is two years se­nior to the bride.

Pippa – now Mrs James Matthews and heav­ily preg­nant – had been given an ex­cel­lent view yes­ter­day.

She, her hus­band and her brother, James, were in the very first seats just in­side the west door, next to the cou­ple who surely gave the palace calig­ra­phers their great­est headache when writ­ing out the wed­ding in­vi­ta­tions: Their Serene high­nesses The Prince and Princess zu Oet­tin­gen-Oet­tin­gen und Oet­tin­gen-Spiel­berg.

Chapel or­gan­ist luke Bond re­lin­quished his seat to a mu­si­cal cousin of the Duchess of York, Peter Roper-Cur­zon, who played Bach’s Fan­ta­sia in G ma­jor as Princess eu­ge­nie en­tered on the arm of the Duke of York.

Fol­low­ing Bo­celli’s Ave Maria, it was the turn of Princess Beatrice to take the mi­cro­phone. Crys­tal- clear, she read F Scott Fitzger­ald’s de­scrip­tion of the mag­netic al­lure of his cen­tral char­ac­ter: ‘it was one of those rare smiles with a qual­ity of eter­nal re­as­sur­ance … with an ir­re­sistible prej­u­dice in your favour.’

Princess eu­ge­nie had been read­ing The Great Gatsby shortly af­ter meet­ing

Sealed with a ten­der kiss: Eu­ge­nie and Jack share a lov­ing mo­ment af­ter the cer­e­mony

Some­thing bor­rowed: Princess Eu­ge­nie ar­rives for the wed­ding in the Gre­ville Emer­ald Kokoshnik tiara lent to her by the Queen and a fairy­tale dress by Bri­tish de­signer Peter Pilotto

Oh my! Brides­maid Theodora Wil­liams and page­boy Louis de Givenchy emerge from the chapel be­hind the newly mar­ried cou­ple

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.