Guests arrive for Windsor’s second royal wedding of the year.
Guests and fans of the royal family have arrived in Windsor for the second royal wedding in the town this year, that of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank.
The princess, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, will marry her long-term partner, who works as a “tequila brand ambassador”, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. The ceremony is being attended by the Queen, senior royals and celebrities including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Robbie Williams and Demi Moore.
The couple follow in the footsteps of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who married in the same chapel in May. However, the bride’s father said the ceremony would have a very different feel. “It is not a public wedding. It is meant to be a family wedding.”
The 850-strong guest list, considerably larger than that of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, came about because the couple “have got so many friends that they need a church of that size to fit them all in”, the duke said.
In an interview before the ceremony with the presenters Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, who are anchoring live coverage of the event for ITV Daytime, the groom described the 28-year-old princess as a “bright, shining light”, while Eugenie said: “Jack is the kind of guy who, you know when you are lost at a party … he will walk in and he makes everyone feel so special. He will scoop you up and talk to you and make you feel a million dollars.”
The couple met in the ski resort Verbier in 2010 while he was working behind a bar; on giving Eugenie a “big, windscreen-wiper wave”, she knew that he liked her, she said. They referred to themselves, the princess said, as “Team Euge and Jack”.
Getting married was “nerve-racking and a bit scary … but at the end of the day, you are going to be at the end of the aisle”, she said.
Guests at the ceremony were being serenaded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the tenor Andrea Bocelli, and the readings include an extract from The Great Gatsby, read by the maid of honour, Princess Beatrice, which puzzled some observers with its description of the main character as “an elegant young rough-neck, a year or two over 30, whose elaborate formality of speech just missed being absurd”.
Perched on folding chairs outside the chapel and wrapped warmly against a cold wind, mother and daughter Enid and Charlotte Kendrick, from Penistone, near Sheffield, said they were “so excited” to have won some of the 1,200 tickets offered to members of the public to watch the bridal party from inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, and to have spotted the comedian Jimmy Carr and the presenter Richard Bacon.
“We’re here just for the love of royalty,” said Charlotte, who works as a nurse in Leeds and remembers their family’s special tea party in 1981 when Eugenie’s uncle Prince Charles married the then Diana Spencer, her father taking photographs of the event on the television. “I just love the history. I’m a big Tudor fan.”