Sarah... Hog­warts and all

– PRINCE AN­DREW YES­TER­DAY

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY RUS­SELL MY­ERS Royal Cor­re­spon­dent rus­sell.my­ers@mir­ror.co.uk

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

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