Grazia (UK) - - 10 Hot_ Stories -

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

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