‘TERRIFIED BUT EXCITED’: EUGENIE’S HUSBANDTO-BE SPEAKS OUT
PRINCESS EUGENIE’S wedding takes place this Friday – the culmination of months of debate over whether the ninthin-line to the throne deserves the lavish affair that’s being put on at Windsor. So how has her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank, been coping with the pressure? Surprisingly well it seems, if hi laxed demeanour was anything to go by when Grazia bumped into him at the launch of Harry’s Bar in Mayfair last week.
Jack is a regular on the London party scene; he’s a brand ambassador for Casamigos (the tequila brand founded by George Clooney) and has previously worked at Mahiki, the Polynesian-themed nightclub frequented by Sloanes. ‘I’m really very excited about the wedding,’ he said, before demurring to reveal any details of Eugenie’s dress. ‘I genuinely don’t know that much – that’s how Eugenie wanted it.’
Public anticipation of the wedding is such that, last week, it was confirmed that the ceremony is being televised by This Morning. ‘I’m terrified!’ he said of that prospect, insisting that Eugenie, 28, is ‘very discreet’.
The princess, who is rumoured to be wearing a Stella Mccartney gown, has been working with nutritionist-to-the-stars Gabriela Peacock to get in shape for the big day. ‘She wanted to have clear skin, glossy hair and more energy,’ said a friend.
The couple’s reception will be hosted by the Queen, with guests believed to include Eugenie’s friends Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss, and Holly and Sam Branson, and Harry’s exes Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. Robbie Williams’ daughter is rumoured to be a bridesmaid. Meanwhile, a second reception at Windsor Park Lodge will be hosted by Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. ‘It will be a fairground-type party. They love throwing parties and they’re extremely good at it. It will be a weekend of celebrations,’ said a well-placed source. Last week, the couple released their own celebratory china (the cheapest item, a coaster, will set you back £20) and it was revealed that their 850-strong guest list has exceeded the limit at Windsor Castle’s St George’s chapel. Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding – in the same venue – had a modest 600 guests. These details have done little to quell criticism over why Eugenie’s wedding seems to be bigger than Harry’s (who’s sixth-in-line to the throne). Indeed last week, as Grazia went to press, a petition to stop taxpayers footing the bill – it’s estimated that the police and security cost for the day will be £2m – had gained over 30,000 signatures. So why have things got so extravagant? According to Ingrid Seward, Sarah Ferguson’s biographer, it’s not the bride driving the lavish celebrations, but her father. ‘Prince Andrew probably wants to use this to repay hospitality he’s received from foreign dignitaries over the years. That’s why it’s such a big deal. And he is the Queen’s second son – I think he feels a responsibility to do this,’ she said. ‘ They have a lot of friends and Eugenie’s a very popular girl, but she’s quite low-key. I think it’s being driven more by her father.’
Last week, it was rumoured that Andrew was ‘shopping around’ US channels to bolster live coverage of the wedding stateside. The BBC had already decided not to broadcast the wedding, reportedly because they didn’t believe enough people would tune in. But amid the controversy, Ingrid insisted the wedding will be a success. ‘Everyone will want to see what the guests are wearing. This is good for the town of Windsor – and it’s good for the royal family.’
Right: Eugenie with Jack and (bottom) with Cressida Bonas. Below: the couple have issued a commemorative mug, £39