Excitement builds as royals get ready for Eugenie’s wedding
The Queen’s granddaughter will marry Jack Brooksbank in Windsor on Friday.
Princess Eugenie is days away from walking down the aisle to marry Jack Brooksbank in a lavish royal wedding.
Final preparations will be put in place this week ahead of the grand ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Friday.
More than 800 guests will gather in the 15th century Gothic chapel, five months after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex staged their star-studded nuptials in the same venue.
Just like Harry and Meghan’s, Eugenie’s wedding to drinks executive Mr Brooksbank will be screened live on television, but by ITV rather than the BBC.
Daytime show This Morning is hosting a three-hour royal wedding special, live from Windsor, fronted by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.
Unlike former actress Meghan, who is used to performing in front of the cameras, taking centre stage will be a relatively new experience for the groom.
He carried out his first television interview on the day his engagement was announced.
The Queen and the rest of the royal family will be out in force for the celebration for ninth in line Eugenie, the daughter of the Duke of York and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York.
Eugenie’s wedding gown – the design of which is being kept a secret as is tradition – is no doubt ready and waiting, with the princess only revealing so far that she has chosen a British-based designer.
Erdem, Suzanne Neville, Stewart Parvin, Ralph & Russo and Victoria Beckham are among those tipped to have crafted the dress.
A friend close to the princess said of the wedding preparations: “It’s all going fine. It’s all progressing and they’re excited.”
Bookmaker Coral is predicting rain on the day with odds of 4/5.
Spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: “An October wedding always runs the risk of inclement weather and with a wet October forecast we make it odds-on that the newlyweds will need an umbrella on their carriage ride through Windsor after tying the knot.”
Meanwhile blue is the favourite at 2/1 to be the colour of the Queen’s hat.
Republic, a campaigning group working for an elected head of state, has criticised the security cost to the taxpayer, saying estimates have put the bill at £2 million.
Its petition urging the Government to commit no public money to the wedding has more than 30,000 signatures.
The carriage ride by Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank through Windsor will have increased the security costs, but the route will not take them up the Long Walk like Harry and Meghan.
In the run-up to the wedding, the carriage will be shined to perfection, the horses groomed, and the groomsmen’s uniforms immaculately prepared.
The Dean of Windsor, David Conner, will marry the couple while the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, will lead the prayers.
Like Meghan and Harry’s wedding, around 1,200 members of the public have been given balloted invites to the castle’s Lower Ward.
They will be joined by charity representatives, children from Eugenie’s old schools, and Royal Household staff.
Buckingham Palace said it had received more than 100,000 applications from members of the public wanting to share the couple’s big day.
Famous faces among the guests are expected to include singers Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding, model Cara Delevingne, and the children of Sir Richard Branson, Holly and Sam.
George and Amal Clooney might make a return appearance, having been VIP guests in the Quire for Harry and Meghan’s ceremony.
Mr Brooksbank is a brand ambassador for Casamigos tequila, co-founded by Hollywood actor Clooney.
Eugenie’s sister Princess Beatrice will be the maid of honour, while Mr Brooksbank’s brother Tom is expected to be best man.
The Queen will host an afternoon reception afterwards in the vast St George’s Hall, and the evening celebrations are expected to continue into the early hours at Eugenie’s family home of Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.