GUST OF HON­OUR

Royal and VIPS blown in to see Princess Eu­ge­nie get mar­ried

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY RUS­SELL MY­ERS Royal Cor­re­spon­dent

LOVE was not the only thing in the air yes­ter­day as Princess Eu­ge­nie tied the knot at Wind­sor Cas­tle, in front of a host of roy­als and VIPS.

The Queen’s grand­daugh­ter, 28, mar­ried Jack Brooks­bank on a sunny but blus­tery day, which left guests hold­ing on to their hats and dresses.

Eu­ge­nie, the younger daugh­ter of Prince An­drew and Sarah Fer­gu­son, wed drinks in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tive Jack, 32, in the 15th cen­tury St Ge­orge’s Chapel.

It was the same venue cho­sen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 37, in May, when 100,000 royal fans flocked to Wind­sor and two bil­lion peo­ple watched their nup­tials on TV.

But it was a markedly dif­fer­ent af­fair for the town’s sec­ond royal wed­ding of the year. Just three peo­ple camped in the street overnight.

They were later joined by some 3,000 royal watch­ers out­side the cas­tle and along the high street. The wed­ding had been the sub­ject of con­tro­versy af­ter we re­vealed tax­pay­ers will be left with a bill of around £2.25mil­lion for polic­ing and stag­ing the event.

But no ex­pense had been spared on the big day for the ninth in line to the throne and her beau. Eu­ge­nie’s de­signer wed­ding dress was ru­moured to have cost more than £150,000, while flo­ral de­signer Rob Van Helden decked out the chapel and grounds with a spec­tac­u­lar dis­play.

The cou­ple en­joyed sev­eral rounds of cel­e­bra­tions, with an af­ter­noon re­cep­tion for 800 guests at the cas­tle’s St Ge­orge’s Hall, then a black­tie do for 200 “close fam­ily and friends” at the Duke of York’s Royal Lodge.

To­day, they en­ter­tain 200 guests again.

The Queen, 92, and Prince Philip, 97, cel­e­brated their grand­daugh­ter’s big day with around 40 other roy­als plus a host of celebri­ties.

Prince Charles at­tended alone af­ter Camilla stood by a long-term en­gage­ment to visit a pri­mary school 530 miles away and speak to nine chil­dren.

Prince Wil­liam, 36, and Kate’s el­dest two chil­dren Prince Ge­orge, five, and Princess Char­lotte, three, had lead roles as page­boy and brides­maid.

While Kate, 36, was among guests who fought to hold her dress down in the wind. Daugh­ter Char­lotte even took a tum­ble.

Eu­ge­nie’s mum Sarah, Duchess of York, ar­rived in high spir­its and was seen hug­ging fam­ily friend Jessie Hu­berty, who was in the crowd.

She was seen breath­ing a huge sigh of ap­par­ent re­lief af­ter the cer­e­mony, which went off with­out a hitch.

The gag­gle of young­sters in the bridal party had a few min­utes to wait be­fore Eu­ge­nie ar­rived, but were kept in check by the Cam­bridges’ nanny.

Prince Ge­orge was seen cov­er­ing up a gig­gle and putting his hands over his ears as trum­peters lined up to her­ald the princess’s ar­rival.

Groom Jack had ap­peared ner­vous as he waited for his bride, but grinned widely as she joined him at the al­tar, telling Eu­ge­nie, “You look per­fect”. The cou­ple fre­quently held hands, smiled gig­gled. The Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge also gave a rare pub­lic dis­play of af­fec­tion, hold­ing hands as they sat in the pews.

While Meghan was seen arm-in­arm with Prince Harry, 34. Some ob­servers mused on whether she was hid­ing a baby bump un­der her coat.

The cer­e­mony, broad­cast on ITV’S This Morn­ing af­ter the BBC turned it down, in­cluded two pieces by opera singer An­drea Bo­celli and mu­sic from the Royal Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra.

Eu­ge­nie’s sis­ter Princess Beatrice, 30, who has bat­tled dys­lexia, gave a read­ing from F Scott Fitzger­ald’s The Great Gatsby, which de­tailed main char­ac­ter Jay Gatsby’s smile. Though the choice was mocked by fans of the novel, as the char­ac­ter is a con­man de­scribed as an “el­e­gant rough-neck”.

Early fig­ures in­di­cated the wed­ding was watched by two mil­lion peo­ple on TV, while around 1,200 mem­bers of the pub­lic joined in af­ter a bal­lot for tick­ets to the cas­tle’s Lower Ward.

Eu­ge­nie and Jack left the ser­vice in a glass Scot­tish State Coach in­stead of an open-topped ver­sion due to blus­tery con­di­tions.

Polic­ing the ride, of less than a mile, cost more than £2mil­lion.

Wind­sor and Maiden­head coun­cil also bud­geted to spend £250,000, likely be re­im­bursed from tax­payer funds. A pe­ti­tion of more than 40,000 sig­naand

tures was given to MPS on Wednesday op­pos­ing use of the funds.

At the re­cep­tion Prince An­drew told guests of his pride in “Team Eug and Jack”, to­gether eight years.

He also brought rau­cous laugh­ter with a story of how he once shouted at the fam­ily dog, also named Jack, to get off a chair, only for his fu­ture son-in-law to leap to his feet.

And in he said, “I’m go­ing to do some­thing I’ve never done be­fore”, be­fore hug­ging Jack.

The groom told how his new wife “lights up my life”, as guests dined on risotto and hors d’oeu­vres in­clud­ing smoked veni­son rolls. Jack later whisked his bride off in an As­ton Martin DB10, to pre­pare for their even­ing do. Eu­ge­nie was left open­mouthed on spot­ting the James Bond car.

Just eight mod­els were made for 2015 film Spec­tre. The princess spent a few min­utes fold­ing her large train into the car, helped by Beatrice.

To­day, guests en­joy a fes­ti­val-themed day in the cas­tle grounds, in­clud­ing a fair­ground.

HANG IN THERE An­drew with Eu­ge­nie TRUE BOND DB10 awaits Princess MEG A STAR Meghan looks cool in blue MAID MAN Ge­orge gig­gles with the girls HUG Fergie & well­wisher WILL I NEVER Wil­liam and Kate’s squeeze

HUBBY HUG Meg and Harry in a royal clinch

GRAN DAY OUT Queen en­joys the day

LOVE IS SEALED Jack kisses his bride on chapel steps WELL GROOMED Jack BUNCH DATE Bride with posy OH BLOW Gust raises guest dress

UP­LIFT­ING EVENT Kate’s nearly caught

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