Se­cu­rity bill is case for slim­mer monar­chy


Daily Record - - NEWS - BY TOR­CUIL CRICH­TON West­min­ster Ed­i­tor

EVERY­ONE likes a Royal Wed­ding, don’t they?

The gen­uinely pop­u­lar wed­ding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel in May, a bit of royal mav­er­ick meets a glint of Holy­wood sparkle, did lighten up the mood of Brexit Bri­tain. The choir, the vows, even the ab­sent fa­ther, his emo­tions be­ing ma­nip­u­lated by me­dia cheque­book, lent colour to the oc­ca­sion.

But this, the re-run in Wind­sor, this Wed­ding Crash­ers 2, didn’t it just amount to a blus­tery pa­rade of crino­line and fas­ci­na­tors in the au­tumn wind?

A Tequila sales­man mar­ry­ing an art gallery as­sis­tant is not re­ally the stuff of fairy tales, although for the happy cou­ple we have to hope it is.

For Eu­ge­nie, the younger of Prince An­drew’s two daugh­ters, it must have been a spe­cial day, one which her fam­ily were de­ter­mined would not be over­shad­owed by that other royal wed­ding.

In terms of lav­ish out­lay it al­most ri­valled Harry’s nup­tials, with 850 guests, 1200 bal­lot-cho­sen mem­bers of the pub­lic in the palace grounds, like ex­tras in a Ce­cil B De Mille pro­duc­tion, and a car­riage pro­ces­sion over the cob­ble­stones. Same guests, a mix of roy­als and celebs, same car­riage­way, same pages and flow­er­girls.

Yet at the end of it all, the emer­ald tiara she bor­rowed from the Queen for the day is the clos­est Eu­ge­nie will come to the crown.

Eu­ge­nie has slipped to ninth place in line to the throne, quite a long way down the peck­ing or­der. But Queen Vic­to­ria was fifth in line when she was born and went on to rule Bri­tain for nearly 64 years, so never say never.

One of the rea­sons the wed­ding is so lav­ish is that Prince An­drew is de­ter­mined that the Yorks should not be side­lined in the royal peck­ing or­der.

The Duke of York was send­ing out a re­minder to his elder brother that his side of the fam­ily can still play a role in royal pomp and cir­cum­stance. And, pre­sum­ably, like any dad, no de­mand from his daugh­ter is too great for her wed­ding day.

The fam­ily is pay­ing for the cer­e­mony, her fa­ther can well af­ford it with all the glad­hand­ing he does around the Mid­dle East.

But the se­cu­rity bill es­ti­mated at £2mil­lion will be paid by the tax­payer. That’s the price of royal priv­i­lege, and an ar­gu­ment for a slimmed-down monar­chy, in one tidy sum.

An­drew tried bad­ger­ing the BBC into live broad­cast­ing the event but the cor­po­ra­tion, per­haps re­mem­ber­ing It’s a Royal Knock­out de­clined, fear­ing a rat­ings flop.

ITV filled the breach on their Good Morn­ing slot and lent a more in­for­mal com­men­tary than the Beeb would have.

Sarah Fer­gu­son blessed the oc­ca­sion in typ­i­cally Fergie fash­ion, tweet­ing: “We love Jack and I am so ex­cited to have a son, a brother and a best friend. Eu­ge­nie is one of the finest peo­ple I know and so to­gether it will be pure har­mony.”

Not quite, er, toe curl­ing but a re­minder, as William and Harry’s wed­dings were, that this gen­er­a­tion of roy­als, as a re­sult of the un­happy legacy of the pre­vi­ous one, are at least al­lowed to marry some­one who makes them happy. For that we should be grate­ful.

SHE’S THE ONE Rob­bie Wil­liams and his wife Ayda Field ar­rive at Wind­sor Cas­tle BY RUS­SELL MY­ERS PRINCE An­drew said that his daugh­ter, Princess Eu­ge­nie, had to marry at the lav­ish 800-seater Wind­sor Cas­tle chapel be­cause she has “so many friends”.

Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ters, su­per­mod­els, chart-top­ping singers, artists and TV stars were all in­vited to her cer­e­mony with tequila am­bas­sador Jack Brooks­bank, mak­ing it the ar­guably the most star-stud­ded royal wed­ding in his­tory.

Dozens of celebri­ties made the guest list, rais­ing eye­brows and baf­fle­ment over the cou­ple’s eclec­tic as­so­ci­a­tions.

Ac­tress Demi Moore, 55, and mod­els Naomi Camp­bell, 48, Kate Moss, 44, and Cara Delev­ingne, 26, were among the big names in­vited. Singers James Blunt, 44, and Ricky Martin, 46, and Rob­bie Wil­liams, 44, and his wife, fel­low X Fac­tor judge Ayda Field, 39, were also in the con­gre­ga­tion.

In a pre­re­corded in­ter­view be­fore the cer­e­mony, Prince An­drew, 58, said the cou­ple were ex­pect­ing a few more guests than Prince Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, who wed at the same venue this year.

He said: “It will not be the same as the pre­vi­ous one that was held in May – it’s not a pub­lic wed­ding.

“This is meant to be a fam­ily wed­ding. There will be a few more peo­ple than most peo­ple have.

“There are a few more than Harry had, but that’s just the na­ture of Eu­ge­nie and Jack – they’ve got so many PAL For­mer foot­baller & pun­dit Jamie Red­knapp friends they need a church of that size to fit them all in.” The Duke also said the Queen in­sisted Eu­ge­nie, 28, marry at the opu­lent chapel, de­spite her be­ing ninth in line to the throne and car­ry­ing out no pub­lic du­ties.

He said: “The Queen very firmly said, ‘St Ge­orge’s is where you’re hav­ing the wed­ding. And I said, ‘Aye, aye ma’am’, turned to the right, salute and carry on.”

Among the other stars at the glitzy event were for­mer foot­baller Jamie Red­knapp, 45, co­me­di­ans Jack White­hall, 30, and Jimmy Carr 46, as well as pop star El­lie Gould­ing, 31.

TV and ra­dio pre­sen­ter Richard Ba­con, 42, boasted in an in­ter­view be­fore the wed­ding of his friend­ship with Eu­ge­nie, say­ing she is “in­cred­i­bly so­cial” and speak­ing of “first meet­ing her at 3am at a Mi­ami bar”.

Among the other VIPs, were ac­tor Stephen Fry, 61, and his hus­band El­liott Spencer, 31, model Pixie Geldof, 28, Prince Harry’s ex Chelsy Davy, 32, and artist Tracey Emin, 55. Lord Of The Rings ac­tress Liv Tyler, 41, and her 43-year-old hus­band Dave Gard­ner, who is best pals with ex-foot­baller David Beck­ham, were also among the well-wish­ers.

Build­ings mag­nate Nick Candy, 45, and his wife, for­mer pop star Holly Valance, 35, also showed up, as did Delev­ingne’s model and ac­tress sis­ter, Poppy, 32.

The Duchess of Cam­bridge’s brother James Mid­dle­ton, 31, and her sis­ter Pippa, 35, who is heav­ily preg­nant, were also pic­tured at the event. DASH­ING Livin’ la Vida Loca singer Ricky Martin SPRUCED UP Singer and for­mer soldier James Blunt WORN WITH PRIDE Royal shows her scars from sco­l­io­sis op. Main pic: PA


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