The Windsors’ big wedding
Blowing a gale as Eugenie ties the knot
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. russell.myers@ mirror.co.uk VOICE OF MIRROR: PAGE 8
HATS OFF Kate, Pippa Fergie and Eugenie
IT’S A BREEZE Charlotte smiles despite the wind
HANG IN THERE Andrew with Eugenie TRUE BOND 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
GRAN DAY OUT Queen enjoys the day
HUBBY HUG Meg and Harry in a royal clinch
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
WHAT’S THE POINT Sarah &, right, snitch