How do you top the royal wedding of the year? Well, you don’t, but apparently Princess Eugenie is going to try. Despite being ninth in line for the throne and not considered a “working royal”—whose primary job is to act as a representative of the crown—the bride-to-be’s wedding plans are said to contain so much glitz and royal glamour that some royal insiders are sniping the princess is borrowing heavily from Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry’s wedding playbook.
Royal insiders have told me her October 12th wedding to long time boyfriend Jack Brooksbank is overtly similar to Meghan and Harry’s picture perfect wedding and has several lavish elements that denotes it as a state occasion—which it is not. “It just shows that the princess, like her mother before her, suffers from delusions of grandeur,” said my royal source. “Who does she think she is?” Ouch.
But hang on a minute. While not a huge star in the royal firmament, unlike Meghan, Eugenie is a princess by birth. She is the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew—who is known as the Duke of York—and Sarah Ferguson, as well as a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.
But, argue some naysayers, Eugenie’s appearances do not appear in the court circular and she does not receive income from the Privy Purse (payment from the sovereign). In fact, Eugenie has always been proud of her status as a professional working woman. She and Jack live in Ivy Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace (near Harry and Meghan’s love nest at Nottingham Cottage) and pay rent (albeit at a greatly reduced “commercial” rate).
Clearly, the princess has her heart set on a royal wedding with all the haute hoopla that goes with it. But who are we to quibble? Besides, the grand occasion will surely be great for people-watching and give us another much anticipated fashion face off between the two true sartorial stars of the family—Meghan and Catherine, Duchess of Sussex. Here’s a look at the ways Eugenie and Jack’s wedding has been “inspired by” Meghan and Harry’s memorable nuptials. And for more on their similarities (and differences) as royal brides, check out The 5 Fascinating Ways Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie Compare as Brides.
Princess Eugenie will be having her October wedding at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle just months after Harry and Meghan so memorably took their vows in the same church. The couple have also invited 800 people to the ceremony. No word on whether Eugenie will be following Meghan’s all-white flowers theme. (That’s unlikely, though, since this is a fall wedding.) It’s important to note that Harry and Meghan were not the first of the younger royals to have a big wedding at St George’s. Back in 1999, Prince Edward and former commoner Sophie, Countess of Wessex, did it first. But, note some royalists, at the time Edward was fifth in line to the throne and there was great deal of interest in him (which has since abated).
She’s invited members of the public.
Eugenie and Jack have invited members of the public and representatives of their favorite charities, members of the Windsor community, some royal household staff, and children from the local schools. Sound familiar? Buckingham Palace announced via social media the couple were “delighted to offer an opportunity for 1,200 people from across the UK to share the experience of their special day.” The princess herself wrote on Instagram: “Jack and I are excited to be able to invite people to watch our wedding inside the Precinct of Windsor Castle.” Royal watchers looking to score a golden ticket must apply online by August 8th. How very modern—and Meghan—of Eugenie. And for more on the latest generation of British royalty, check out these 15 Ways the Young Royals Are Changing The British Monarchy.
Eugenie’s style prior to her engagement was uneven at best. She and her sister, Princess Beatrice, are best known for their outrageous fashion faux pas and hold the dubious distinction of possibly being the worst-dressed royals of all time for their ghastly get-ups worn to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. But Eugenie turned heads for all the right reasons during her official photo call when she announced her engagement in a chic floral Erdem dress and black Jimmy Choo heels (both longtime Meghan favorites) and has seemingly pared down her style since then.
She was recently photographed wearing the exact same shoes the Duchess of Sussex wore for her engagement photo call; then, Eugenie wore the very same nude Aquazzura heels to Nelson Mandela’s Centenary Celebration in London last week. The designer of Eugenie’s wedding dress is being kept secret, but I’m guessing it won’t look anything like the frothy meringue design she might have worn if Meghan’s minimalist Givenchy gown hadn’t gotten such rave reviews. (Erdem and Jenny Packham are among the designers said to be in the running). The princess will also most certainly wear a tiara—likely the York Diamond Tiara, which was given to her mother by the Queen and Prince Philip before her wedding to Prince Andrew in 1986. And for more royal fashion, check out The 10 Most Outrageous Royal Fashion Choices.
The guest list.
Just like the most recent royal wedding, Eugenie’s big day is going to be a star-studded affair. In addition to the royal family, which is expected to be out in full force (with the exception of 97-year-old Prince Philip), there will be plenty of celebrities in the congregation. British singer Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda will reportedly be there (and their five year-old daughter Theodora Rose will be in the wedding party with Princess Charlotte). Perennial royal wedding guests David and Victoria Beckham are also said to be on the guest list. George Clooney and his wife Amal Clooney (here’s hoping the fashion icon doesn’t upstage the bride) are also expected to attend, because Jack has been the U.K. brand ambassador for Casamigos, George’s top-shelf tequila brand, since 2016. Also, since Eugenie and Harry run in the same social circles, Harry’s ex-loves Chelsy Davy and Cresida Bonas as well as his reported once-fling, Ellie Goulding, will be there to toast the newest royal lovebirds. How cozy.
Her use of social media.
In fairness, Eugenie has been active on social media for some time and Meghan deleted her personal social media accounts in January of this year. But it’s not out of the question to suppose that Eugenie may be aware of how Meghan brilliantly built her own personal brand by cultivating a following with her much talked about website, The Tig, where she mused on her passion for food, fashion, and travel between her thoughtful posts on the causes she cared most about. Eugenie’s Twitter (@Eugenie_York) is a mix of personal shout-outs and photos of royal occasions. But her Instagram account is more moody and modern with a very Meghan pre-royal vibe, with plenty of atmospheric shots of the princess and her fiancé.
Image via Instagram
The carriage ride.
Eugenie’s decision to follow in Meghan’s stiletto-heeled footsteps here may be a bit dicey. After the ceremony, the bride and groom will take a carriage ride through Windsor just as Meghan and Harry did. With the image of the thousands of ecstatic well-wishers who lined the procession route to see Harry and his new bride still fresh in everyone’s mind, this could be risky. Interest in Meghan, who was a well-known television star, skyrocketed immediately after the engagement and was at a fever pitch by the time her wedding came around. Eugenie, who is not nearly as popular as Harry, is marrying a former bar manager. It’s highly unlikely the newlyweds will get anywhere near the crowds to turn out in the same numbers that Harry and Meghan did. Perhaps they can ask George and Amal to come along for the ride.
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