Saturday, May 17, 2008

When Is A Royal Wedding Not A Royal Wedding?


When technically speaking neither the bride or the groom is royal, yet the groom is the oldest grandson of The Queen, the ceremony in question is held at St George's Chapel - within the historic walls of Windsor Castle - and is attended by senior members of the royal family, that's when!

Not that the wedding of Peter Phillips to Canadian Autumn Kelly didn't have all the trappings of a royal wedding including - as has been alluded - a star-studded guest list*, a dowry of £500,000 courteously provided by Hello! magazine, and even a media-generated scandal designed to compete with the persistent drizzle of the day. The service was conducted by David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, the gown was by designed by Sassi Holford, and among the six bridesmaids (elegantly kitted out in mint green) was the groom's sister Zara Phillips.

Owing to the pictures row and various other tensions within the royal family, the day proved just how the personal can be political; even when the persons involved are supposed to be above partisan politics, their personal politics often can't help but interfering. To this end, many senior royals bypassed the official photo shoot and pointedly posed for the national press assembled at the gates of the castle instead, an action seen by many as intended to bring the once publicity-shy but suddenly publicity-hungry Phillipses into line. One bright spot, though, had Prince Harry formally presenting his girlfriend Chelsy Davy to the Queen for the first time, an important first step in her quest to become a royal bride.

Following their wedding the happy couple will be honeymooning in undisclosed tropical climes; upon their return to Britain they will continue to reside in their home on the grounds of Gatcombe Park where he grew up, try to return to their private life and careers in the private sector, and begin working on the Queen's first great-grandchild.

Behind the photo find the full story, lavishly illustrated, courtesy of the Daily Mail.

*Including (in no particular order) among those already mentioned, the Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor, Sir Michael Parkinson (the bride's boss), Sir Jackie Stewart, and Mike Tindall; notable for their absences were Prince William - although his girlfriend Kate Middleton was there representing him he was attending a different wedding, in Kenya, with his ex-girlfriend Jecca Craig instead - and the Duchess of Kent, whose recent conversion to Roman Catholicism probably meant she boycotted due to the bride's recent conversion to the Church of England (which is vastly different - NOT!). Also, although the groom's father Mark Phillips was in attendance - his ceremonial sword was used to cut the cake, in fact - I could find no mention of the groom's step-father Timothy Laurence being there, although I suppose he could have been but no one bothered to notice.
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