For­ever Fergie – putting on a royal show

The Daily Telegraph - - Eugenie & Jack - Han­nah Betts

And so a princess got mar­ried in a way that was ap­par­ently very pri­vate, yet cu­ri­ously pub­lic. Guest-wise, we had a Geldof girl in a muumuu, Cara Delev­ingne in drag and Kate Moss as the ghost of ben­ders past. But, best of all, was the bride’s mother – gawky, gurn­ing, glo­ri­ously her­self – the artist for­ever known as Fergie in full Ferginian force.

And, lo, the na­tion spoke with one voice and it said: “Oh, Fergs, how we do adore thee,” with even her for­mer father-in-law pre­pared to be in the same room as her. For many of us, the em­pha­sis was less on the na­tion’s princess bride than on her mother, Queen Fer­giana of York. It was her day; if only be­cause it was one oc­ca­sion on which she was ac­tu­ally in­vited to be at the heart of some­thing.

One felt for her from the mo­ment she banged her head while ex­it­ing the car. True to form, Fergs im­me­di­ately raced over to press flesh with on­look­ers. Col­leagues on the ground in Wind­sor tell me that there was a lot of love for her in the crowd, with much “ahing” over her ev­i­dent jit­ters and burst­ing ma­ter­nal pride.

The duchess’s out­fit was spot on: green, her power colour, on-theme for both the brides­maids’ sashes and that fab­u­lous emer­ald tiara sported by her daugh­ter. She was clutch­ing the bag her own mother car­ried to her wed­ding, while her winged straw hat was im­me­di­ately satirised as a golden snitch from Harry Pot­ter’s quid­ditch game, pro­vid­ing just what we need from York millinery – memes.

It was a clas­sic Ferginian move to sport a hat and frock whose colours failed to quite match. Still, never mind. She was there. She got to stand on the steps with the oth­ers. And no one men­tioned toe-suck­ing.

Well might she seem ner­vous, poor lamb. Not only has she been per­sona non grata among the Wind­sor posse fol­low­ing her var­i­ous faux pas over the years, she now had to walk down the aisle in front of a packed con­gre­ga­tion. She was sup­ported in this by Princess Beatrice, re­flect­ing the two sis­ters’ close­ness to their mother which is such they nick­name them­selves ‘the tri­pod’. The duchess sank into her seat, broke into a car­toon-style, puffed-out-cheeks sigh, then re­galed us with a series of com­edy “gah” faces, while ex­e­cut­ing tremu­lous lit­tle waves.

Doubt­less her nerves were ex­ac­er­bated by the pres­ence of Prince Philip, who has de­clined to share space with his for­mer daugh­ter-in-law for the past 20 years. It had been re­ported he would wake up and see whether he felt up to at­tend­ing, which is per­fectly ac­cept­able be­hav­iour aged 97.

How­ever – given Her Majesty’s ado­ra­tion of the York girls – he did make it on the day, seated di­ag­o­nally be­hind our luck­less hero­ine, putting them on the same side for per­haps the first time ever. Prince Charles was nearer still.

The bril­liant Chan­nel 4 satire, The Wind­sors, has made Fergie a cult fig­ure: for­ever. Yes­ter­day’s ap­pear­ance de­serves an episode of its own.

Sarah, Duchess of York was go­ing through her glo­ri­ous, gawky, gurn­ing rou­tine at her daugh­ter’s wed­ding, while the Duchess of Corn­wall – the Duchess of Rothe­say in Scot­land – was meet­ing a stuffed meerkat at a pri­mary school in Aberdeen­shire, left, as she missed the nup­tials

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