Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Lavish reception after Zara wedding

Zara Phillips in a car on the Royal Mile after emerging from Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh after her wedding to Mike Tindall
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall in Holyrood Abbey, Palace of Holyroodhouse, on the occasion of their marriage (Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall/PA)
Zara Phillips and her new husband Mike Tindall kiss outside Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh after their wedding

The wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall is being celebrated by the Queen and members of the Royal Family at a lavish palace reception.

Zara wore a gown created by the favourite designer of her grandmother, the Queen, and it was a day of big hats as the couple sealed their love at a private ceremony in Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk in front of their families and friends.

Despite being billed as a private wedding, the royal nuptials still had the air of a national event - with England rugby star Tindall and Zara, a former equestrian world champion, proving a big draw for the public.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the congregation but the wedding ceremony was never going to be on the scale of their huge Westminster Abbey wedding earlier this year.

Crowds of more than 6,000 people were treated to the spectacle of seeing senior members of the monarchy and leading figures from the world of sport, including England coach Martin Johnson, his predecessor Sir Clive Woodward, Scotland's coach Andy Robinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Jonny Wilkinson.

But all eyes were on the bride, who wore a beautiful ivory silk gown by designer Stewart Parvin, as well as a traditional veil and tiara.

The well-wishers lining the famous Royal Mile gave an enormous cheer as she arrived to reveal the ivory silk faille and silk duchess satin gown by the British and Edinburgh-trained designer. In a tribute to Scotland the bride had thistles incorporated into her bouquet of white blooms.

There had been speculation that Tindall, 32, might don a kilt but he and his best man, fellow England player Iain Balshaw - who was sporting a black eye - opted for traditional morning dress. The royal bride had talked before the wedding of how she was looking forward to becoming Mrs Tindall, but she will remain Zara Phillips to preserve her sporting name.

The wedding reception is being staged in the grounds of Holyroodhouse, bathed in evening sunshine. Music from the celebration could be heard in the streets around the royal residence. The Queen and Duke are expected to stay for the cutting of the wedding cake and probably a number of speeches before leaving the younger royals and guests to party into the night.

But the traditional honeymoon break will be postponed as the newlyweds will be back at training this week. Zara, 30, will be competing in the Gatcombe Park horse trials later this week and Tindall, 32, is likely to feature in an England rugby match against Wales next Saturday.

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