Royal Wed­ding re­dux: This time it’s Princess Eu­ge­nie

Medicine Hat News - - ENTERTAINMENT - GRE­GORY KATZ

WIND­SOR, Eng­land It’s time for an­other royal wed­ding at Wind­sor Cas­tle — but this time it’s less of a global TV spec­ta­cle and more of a fam­ily af­fair.

De­spite large signs at the cas­tle’s ticket booth wel­com­ing peo­ple to the wed­ding, many vis­i­tors seem un­aware that Princess Eu­ge­nie, grand­daugh­ter of Queen El­iz­a­beth II, will marry te­quila com­pany ex­ec­u­tive James Brooks­bank Fri­day.

“No in­ter­est,” said Michael Tay­lor, a drum­mer from Chicago who toured the im­pos­ing cas­tle Wed­nes­day — but didn’t know a wed­ding was be­ing planned on the grounds. “I don’t know any­thing about her. If she walked past me right now, I wouldn’t even know.”

Eu­ge­nie is the 28-year-old daugh­ter of Prince An­drew and Sarah Fer­gu­son, and ninth in line for the throne. She has lived most of her life out­side the me­dia spot­light, and keeps a low pro­file com­pared to cousins Prince Wil­liam and Prince Harry and their glam­orous wives.

That’s re­flected in the sou­venir shops that line the streets lead­ing to the im­pos­ing cas­tle. Royal wed­ding merchandise fill the win­dows — but they fea­ture Harry and Meghan Markle, who also mar­ried at Wind­sor Cas­tle in May in a spec­tac­u­lar, glob­ally tele­vised cer­e­mony.

Only a few Hal­loween face masks fea­ture Eu­ge­nie, though some shop­keep­ers say that will change in the hours ahead of her wed­ding.

“It’s go­ing to be shirts and some mugs. A few peo­ple have been ask­ing for it, but com­pared to Harry-Meghan, it’s not that big,” said Sal­man Khan at The King and Queen gift shop.

Snip­pets of the wed­ding will be shown on Bri­tish TV, but only one chan­nel, ITV, is plan­ning to pro­vide live cov­er­age of the pro­ceed­ings.

Eu­ge­nie and Brooks­bank are fol­low­ing a prece­dent set by Harry and Meghan by invit­ing 1,200 mem­bers of the pub­lic to the cas­tle grounds for a bet­ter view of Fri­day’s fes­tiv­i­ties.

Like Harry and Meghan, the cou­ple will also say their vows in St. Ge­orge’s Chapel, a mas­ter­piece of the “per­pen­dic­u­lar Gothic” style with royal con­nec­tions dat­ing back to 1475.

Af­ter­ward, the new­ly­weds plan a car­riage ride through the streets of Wind­sor to give the pub­lic a chance to see them up close.

It’s not clear how many vis­i­tors will come to Wind­sor, a river­side town about 32 kilo­me­tres west of Lon­don. Part of the draw will be the chance to catch a glimpse of the queen and other roy­als, in­clud­ing Wil­liam and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cam­bridge, and their two young chil­dren, Prince Ge­orge and Princess Char­lotte.

Ge­orge, 5, will be a page boy in the bridal party, and three­year-old Char­lotte will be one of six brides­maids. It is not clear if their youngest brother, five-month-old Prince Louis, will at­tend.

Harry and Meghan, a for­mer star of the TV show “Suits”, are also ex­pected.

Eu­ge­nie has asked her older sis­ter, Princess Beatrice, to be her maid of hon­our.

Eu­ge­nie has worked for sev­eral years in a full­time po­si­tion with the Hauser and Wirth art gallery in Lon­don.

Brooks­bank, 32, has asked his brother Thomas to be his best man. He and Eu­ge­nie have dated for many years. The cou­ple says he got down on one knee and pro­posed in Jan­uary dur­ing a trip to Nicaragua while the cou­ple was vis­it­ing a spec­tac­u­lar lake next to a vol­cano.

The queen, who has only just re­turned from an ex­tended sum­mer hol­i­day in Scot­land, plans to host a cham­pagne lun­cheon for the new­ly­weds shortly af­ter the cer­e­mony, and a sec­ond re­cep­tion will be held that night.

The royal fam­ily is pay­ing for the wed­ding, but the an­ti­monar­chist group Re­pub­lic is lob­by­ing Par­lia­ment to pre­vent any pub­lic money from be­ing spent on se­cu­rity or other wed­ding-re­lated costs.

The group says Eu­ge­nie does not carry out royal du­ties and that wed­dings are per­sonal, pri­vate oc­ca­sions, not af­fairs of state. It has crit­i­cized the roy­als for us­ing wed­dings as “PR ex­er­cises” and ex­pect­ing tax­pay­ers to pick up part of the tab.

AP PHOTO/KIRSTY WIG­GLESWORTH, FILE

In this 2017 file photo, Bri­tain's Princess Eu­ge­nie and Jack Brooks­bank ar­rive for the wed­ding of Pippa Mid­dle­ton and James Matthews at St Mark's Church in En­gle­field, Eng­land.

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