18 Things Royal Insiders Want You to Know About Princess Eugenie's Wedding
Here's your definitive primer for the big day.
With just weeks to go before the other royal wedding of the year, the British royals are gearing up for the nuptials of Princess Eugenie, currently ninth in line for the throne, to her longtime boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank. The ceremony will take place on Friday, October 12, at St. George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. (Yes, the same place Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle.)
The happy couple has quite the shindig planned, complete with an A-list guest list, invites for the public and a romantic carriage ride. There's also plenty of wedding drama leading up to the big day including family in-fighting and increasing controversy about who's paying for it. But no matter, monarchists and anglophiles everywhere are hungry for every detail, so here's everything you need to know about Eugenie and Jack's wedding. And for some juicy dirt on the impending nuptials, here are 6 Ways Princess Eugenie Is Totally Copying Meghan and Harry's Wedding.
Prince Philip will be there, which is good—and bad.
Eugenie's mother, Sarah Ferguson, has been a pariah among the royal family since her infamous toe-sucking incident with her "financial advisor" that led to her divorce from Prince Andrew in 1993. Many family members have moved on, but Prince Philip reportedly has never forgiven her. (To learn why, brush up on The 7 Most Embarrassing Things Sarah Ferguson Has Ever Done.)
A royal source told the Daily Mail the 97-year-old prince will be at the wedding, which is causing some worry: "He absolutely adores Eugenie. He can't stand up for very long, which makes church services hard work, and he can't stand Fergie, but he wants to see Eugenie married and, if he is fit enough to be there, he will be there. It won't be easy. Philip and Sarah will be in relatively close proximity to each other and Sarah's very nervous about it." All right, then.
Sarah Ferguson may finally have finally found her way back into the family.
Since her divorce from Andrew, Sarah has remained close with her ex-husband, whom she calls her "best friend," and has a loving relationship with both her daughters. Queen Elizabeth II has warmed to her former daughter-in-law over the years and has invited her to Ascot to join the family in the royal box.
Sarah is, however, still banned from important family affairs like Christmas at Sandringham. She was not invited to Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton, but recently attended Harry and Meghan's wedding (though was not seated with her ex-husband or daughters). As mother of the bride who will likely be on her best behavior, the wedding may finally be the way Sarah is, perhaps, (begrudgingly) accepted back into the royal fold.
All the major royals will be there.
Just like Harry and Meghan's wedding, the entire cast of characters will be in attendance including the newlyweds, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Sussex, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. No word on whether Prince Louis will be attending his first royal wedding. Likely not.
The guest list is massive.
Eugenie and Jack have invited 850 people—that's 250 more guests than were invited to Harry and Meghan's wedding.
Prince Harry's ex-loves will be there.
Eugenie is very close to Cressida Bonas, Harry's last girlfriend before he met Meghan. They dated for two years and broke up, reportedly because Cressida didn't want to deal with the media spotlight. The actress was also a guest at Harry and Meghan's wedding, so it's likely the Duchess of Sussex already met her so she isn't likely to raise any eyebrows at this invitation either. Harry's longtime love, Chelsy Davy, who was caught looking very wistful during Harry's wedding, will also be there. How cozy.
It will be star-studded.
There will be plenty of A-listers at the wedding, including (reportedly) perennial celebrity guests David and Victoria Beckham as well as Sir Elton John. Jack has been a brand ambassador for Casamigos, a top-shelf tequila brand, since 2016. The company's former owners, George Clooney and Rande Gerber, will be in attendance accompanied by their oh-so-fashionable wives Amal Clooney and supermodel Cindy Crawford. And if you're interested about Casamigos, read our tell-all interview with the third creator, real estate mogul Mike Meldman.
Beatrice has a special role in the wedding.
In an interview with British Vogue last month, Eugenie revealed her older sister will be her maid of honor. Beatrice said of her sister in the September 2018 issue: "Euge is amazing. She's a very modern bride."
The public has been invited.
Earlier this summer, Buckingham Palace announced via social media the couple were "delighted to offer an opportunity for 1,200 people from across the United Kingdom to share the experience of their special day." The golden ticket holders were selected via lottery. A reported 10,000 people entered into the lottery hoping to score.
There will be a carriage ride.
Following the service, the couple will take a short horse-drawn carriage procession through Windsor. The procession will start at approximately midday and will see the newlyweds travel along Castle Hill, High Street, Park Street, and back into Windsor Castle via Cambridge Gate.
The cost is causing plenty of controversy.
Here's where things get a bit sticky. The Express has reported the wedding is set to cost the British taxpayers a whopping £2.7million. Royal expert Hamish Shephard told the newspaper security will cost £2 million, plus £100,000 for flowers, £25,000 for music, and a dress valued at £200,000. Brits are hotly divided who should pick up the tab and a petition with close to 20,000 signatures (one that's gaining momentum at the moment) is circulating advocating for the Queen to open up the royal coffers.
It won't be televised.
Despite Eugenie's royal status, as of now the wedding will not be televised live. The BBC, who has long had a strong relationship with the royal family, have passed on the opportunity to broadcast the Royal Wedding, fearing not enough people would tune in. The Palace was said to be "very disappointed" by the news.
Prince Andrew is trying to change that.
The Mail on Sunday has reported Andrew is trying to strike a deal with another national television network. As of now, BBC and Sky have committed to showing clips from the ceremony, but it's up in the air as to whether another channel will broadcast the big day in its entirety.
There will be a wedding breakfast and a private party in the evening.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds will be joined by family and friends at St George's Hall for a breakfast hosted by the Queen and Duke of York. A reported 400 wedding guests will also be invited to a champagne party at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
A British designer will create the wedding dress.
Thus far, Eugenie has only revealed that she's chosen a British designer to create her dream dress. Currently, the smart money is on Erdem (who was born in Canada but has lived in London since 2000; his mother is British). He was the designer of the pretty black floral dress she wore for her engagement photo call.
There's a strict dress code.
Of course there is. Women are required to wear day dresses and hats. The rules are a bit more strict for men than they were at Harry and Meghan's wedding. The couple is requiring gentleman wear a morning coat. No lounge (business) suits allowed.
It's going to be a two-day celebration.
According to the British tabloids, the wedding will extend over two days, with reports there will be a festival with a fairground and afternoon tea in additional to the ceremony and wedding reception the day after.
The festivities will be eco-friendly.
Eugenie has has vowed to keep the wedding reception plastic-free. She told British Vogue: "My whole house is anti-plastic now. Jack and I want our wedding to be like that as well."
Wedding guests will be coached.
If you ever wondered how everyone who attends a royal wedding seems to know what to do, I've discovered an intriguing bit of news. Confirmed guests receive a secret "internal document" outlining royal protocol and offering additional guidance on the dress code. "The Royal Family knows no one wants to put a foot wrong, so they do what they can to avoid any embarrassing mistakes that would make the guests feel uncomfortable," revealed my source. How thoughtful. And for more titillating royal wedding info, learn The One Royal Wedding the Queen Doesn't Want to Happen.
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.
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