It’s Princess Eugenie’s turn in the spotlight
Andrew and Fergie’s daughter will go lower-key in her nuptials on Friday
Princess Eugenie of York is getting married Friday in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in front of her family and hundreds of guests, including celebrities, dressed in a couture gown and waving from a horse-drawn carriage as trumpets sound and red-coated cavalry march to and fro. Wait ... Didn’t this already happen? Not quite, but close. Call it Harry and Meghan lite. In May, Prince Harry married his American actress girlfriend, Meghan Markle, in the same church, in the same castle, with a couture gown and a colorful carriage procession, plus a gospel choir, a Chicago preacher and marching soldiers, all overseen by Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother to Harry and Eugenie. But Harry, 34, is sixth in line to the throne as the son and brother of future kings, Prince Charles and Prince William. Eugenie, 28, is one of Harry’s cousins; she is ninth in line. Thus, the pre-wedding hoopla for Eugenie is less noisy than it was for Harry; Americans will have only one cable network covering the festivities. (TLC’s live feed of the wedding will begin at 4:25 a.m. ET/tape-delay PT and will repeat at 7:25 a.m. ET/PT.) Here’s what to know before indulging in another royal wedding extravaganza:
Who is Princess Eugenie, and who is she marrying?
She’s the younger daughter of the queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and the sister of Princess Beatrice, 30. She’s marrying her boyfriend of seven years, Jack Brooksbank, 33, the commoner son of an accountant. He was the manager for a celebrity nightclub favored by young royals and is now the European manager for George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila brand.
What are the ceremonial details?
The wedding begins at 11 a.m. in Britain, or 6 a.m. ET/ tape-delay PT. It will be in St. George’s Chapel, the mini-cathedral at Windsor Castle (seats about 800) where most royals who don’t have to invite thousands (such as Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011) like to hold more intimate nuptials.
What about after the ceremony?
The ceremony will be followed by a carriage procession through part of ancient Windsor town in a shorter version of the carriage procession Harry and Meghan had. After the procession, guests will attend a lunch hosted by the queen at the castle, followed by an evening reception hosted by Eugenie’s parents at Royal Lodge on the castle estate. Royal Lodge is where Eugenie grew up and where her parents live, under the same roof but separated.
Is there any family drama?
Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle Sr., famously dithered until the last minute about whether he would show up for the wedding from his home in Baja California; he didn’t, citing unexpected heart surgery. Eugenie’s parents are an unusual couple, given that they are still close and still appear in public together. Many observers believe they intend to remarry someday, even though they’ve been divorced since 1996. But Eugenie’s grandfather, Prince Philip, 97, who is still recovering from hip-replacement surgery, isn’t fond of her mother, the irrepressible “Fergie.” Would Philip and Fergie be able to occupy the same room during the wedding? Tabloid speculation has been fevered, but it appears they will.
Who is invited?
Buckingham Palace isn’t saying, but it could be as many as 850 guests, according to The Mail on Sunday. But the royal cousins tend to run in the same circles, so many guests also will have attended the Sussex wedding. That includes David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Ellie Goulding, James Blunt, and Amal and George Clooney.
What designer will she wear?
The betting is on Erdem, but other English designers are in the running. Still, Eugenie appears to favor Erdem. When they announced their engagement in January (just two months after Harry and Meghan’s announcement), the traditional royal engagement photos were taken in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Eugenie wore an Erdem dress and Jimmy Choo pumps and showed off her ring, a padparadscha sapphire (a pinkish orange gem) surrounded by diamonds.
Princess Eugenie of York and fiance Jack Brooksbank attended the 2017 wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews.
Princess Eugenie’s ring is a padparadscha sapphire and diamonds.