Sarah... Hogwarts and all
– PRINCE ANDREW YESTERDAY
THERE’S something magical about Sarah Ferguson’s hat – but not in a good way.
The mother of the bride was channelling the Quidditch look. Which may be fine if you are a young wizard at Hogwarts but perhaps not if you have a key role in the wedding of ninth in line to the throne.
So if you want to look like you have a golden snitch on your head, then this is what you would need to copy – oh, and fork out the small sum of £920 for the privilege.
And don’t make the mistake of asking for a snitch hat, you are likely to be shown the door. It’s actually a “matador boater”. Presumably the sort of hat a bullfighter would wear to go rowing on the Thames.
So we have this year’s spellbinding fashion statement from Hogwarts. Now all that’s missing is the broomstick.
PRINCE Andrew said that his daughter Princess Eugenie had to marry at the lavish 800-seat Windsor Castle chapel because she has “so many friends”.
Hollywood A-listers, supermodels, chart-topping singers, artists and TV stars were all invited to her ceremony with tequila ambassador Jack Brooksbank, making it arguably the most star-studded royal wedding in history.
Dozens of celebs made the guest list at St George’s Chapel, raising eyebrows over the couple’s eclectic associations.
Actress Demi Moore, 55, and models Naomi Campbell, 48, Kate Moss, 44, and Cara Delevingne, 26, were among the big names invited. Singers James Blunt, 44, and Ricky Martin, 46, and pop star Robbie Williams, 44, and his wife, fellow X Factor judge Ayda Field, 39, were also in the congregation.
In a prerecorded interview before the ceremony, Prince Andrew, 58, said the couple were expecting a few more guests than Prince Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, who married at the same venue earlier this year.
Andrew said: “It will not be the same as the previous one that was held in May – it’s not a public wedding.
“This is meant to be a family wedding. There will be a few more people than most people have.
“There are a few more than Harry had, but that’s just the nature of Eugenie and Jack – they’ve got so many friends they need a church of that size to fit them all in.” The Duke also said the Queen insisted that his daughter marry at the opulent chapel, despite her being ninth in line to the throne and carrying out no public duties.
He said: “The Queen very firmly said, ‘St George’s is where you’re having the wedding. And I said, ‘Aye, aye ma’am’, turned to the right, salute and carry on.”
Among the other stars at the glitzy event were TV football pundit Jamie Redknapp, 45, comedians Jack Whitehall, 30, and Jimmy Carr 46, as well as pop star Ellie Goulding, 31.
TV and radio presenter Richard Bacon, 42, boasted in an interview before the wedding of his friendship with Eugenie, saying she is “incredibly social” and speaking of “first meeting her at 3am at a Miami bar”.
Among the other VIPS were screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, 69, model Pixie Geldof, 28, Prince Harry’s ex Chelsy Davy, 32, and artist Tracey Emin, 55.
Lord Of The Rings actress Liv Tyler, 41, and her husband Dave Gardner, who is best pals with ex-footballer David Beckham, 43, were also among the well-wishers.
Property developer Nick Candy, 45, and his wife, former pop star Holly Valance, 35, also showed up, as did Stephen Fry, 61, and his comedian husband Elliott Spencer, 31.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother James Middleton, 31, and her sister Pippa, 35, who is heavily pregnant, were also pictured at the event.
The Queen firmly said St George’s will be the venue PRINCE ANDREW ON WEDDING’S SETTING
You could be forgiven for imagining the wind blowing through the royal nuptials was symbolic of the stormy mood of the public over a privileged couple billing us for their extravagant wedding.
But drizzle might have been better to illustrate many people’s feelings about us being fleeced of upwards of £2million for the “big day”.
Not to mention Windsor’s homeless being encouraged to move on by the local council to “protect” them from all the camera crews and day-trippers.
Predictions that Britain is on the verge of becoming a republic are, of course, wide of the mark. But even the most die-hard royalist must blush at the cost and pantomime of Eugenie, little more than a frivolous clinger-on, marrying her tequila salesman.
I’ve genuinely no wish to rain on the big day of two posh, privileged no-marks but sometimes needs must.
What we witnessed in Windsor was a jet set princess and her hubby, Jack Bottlebank, demonstrating why some (admittedly, me included) insist the monarchy is an outdated, expensive irrelevancy in modern Britain.
This was like a feature-length version of Ripoff Britain with a congregation of 850 – many of whom looked as if they barely knew the bride and groom – dominated by those who’d go to the opening of an envelope for a moment in the paparazzi spotlight. (That’s you, Ricky Martin.) Gawpers and grovellers allowed to be unpaid TV extras in the grounds of Windsor Castle might have a legal claim to the £7.83 an hour legal minimum wage when it was apparent the passing toffs didn’t give a vol-au-vent for them.
I’ve witnessed more enthusiastic gatherings in village fetes.
But the British public cannot be fooled. Crowds less than one deep in areas and a general sense of disinterest from locals was the most eloquent public raspberry to proceedings.
Cops drafted in to manage security among the expected masses simply twiddled thumbs and blew cobwebs from the barriers.
But there was at least comedy. It was impossible to keep a straight face at the royal Ruritania when TV presenter Richard Bacon admitted he mainly knew Eugenie “through various social events” and his neighbours in LA own the art gallery she “worked” for. Quite.
And there was Eamonn Holmes asserting the spectacle was good for a post-brexit UK PLC with “all the Rolls-royces” ferrying the most privileged guests up to the doors, conveniently
overlooking the fact the firm’s owned by BMW of Germany – who are warning us quitting Europe will be disastrous for motor manufacturing.
Hangers-on represented by entitled Eugenie, a person performing zero public duties and an insignificant ninth in line to the gilded sinecure, will ultimately prove the monarchy’s undoing.
Every other family in the land funding their own weddings reinforces why the freeloaders are on borrowed time. Eugenie’s daddy “Air Miles” Andy and mummy Fergie, strangers to paying their own way in life, picking up the tab would be fine.
But when a storm’s brewing over Universal Credit cuts for millions of struggling families, how absurd to lavish cash on a society bash for neverweres and never-will-bes. Austerity for the many, not the royal two, screams loudly of how much we are definitely not all in this together.
The much-broken hereditary chain tricking Mr and Mrs into thinking a handout is theirs by right is a rusting link to centuries of rule by tyrants.
In a modern democracy, royals are as useful as square wheels on a bike.
Eugenie’s Meghan Markle mini-me act with that carriage vanity ride illustrates a disconnect in the bankrolled bubble from the harsh realities for those of us required to feather-bed the apex of an unearned hierarchy.
The poisonous role of the royals is to legitimise unearned wealth and power, protecting the privileges of elites. Sibling rivalry has seen Eugenie and big sis Beatrice battle it out for the annual title of holidaymaker of the year for the past decade. Eugenie lost out, just, until now.
Who could argue the public cash squandered yesterday couldn’t have been better spent on nurses, teachers, social workers, cops, firefighters or any public servant you are to name?
The wastefulness threatens to unleash the worst turbulence for this gilded establishment since the uproar over £369million to renovate Buckingham Palace for the Queen and her closest relatives.
Eugenie’s auntie Camilla cannily arranged to be at a school harvest festival in Scotland to miss the Windsor show. But pity the poor needy old lady who answered a knock on the door to find a beaming pupil dropping off a horsey member of the country set rather than a jar of jam.
Inviting more guests than Harry and Meghan was a grand statement from the otherwise irrelevant. We can laugh, mock and try to ignore the self-importance of the me-me-mes until the bills come in. The monarchy relies on mystique, a superiority fallacy.
Yesterday the bride looked beautiful and her swooning husband dutifully nervous. Let’s wish them that happy and long life together.
And also thank the married couple for confirming the royal family is essentially parasitical, feeding on the gullibility of decent people.
Because those decent people resent being taken for granted.
WHAT’S THE POINT Sarah &, right, snitch
SHE’S THE ONE Robbie Williams and wife Ayda Field arrive at Windsor yesterday ON THE BALL Football pundit Jamie Redknapp DASHING Livin’ la Vida Loca singer Ricky Martin SPRUCED UP Pop star and ex-soldier James Blunt WORN WITH PRIDE Royal shows her scars from scoliosis op
PACKED OUT Crowds at Harry and Meghan’s DESERTED Hardly anyone about yesterday