Saturday 21 April 2018

Pippa says 'I do' at an almost-royal wedding

Bride-imposed rule of 'no ring, no bring' did not seem to apply to every single guest

Pippa and her husband James Matthews Picture: PA
Pippa and her husband James Matthews Picture: PA

Eleanor Steafel

It had been designed with military precision, with several heirs to the throne on the guest list, the cream of high society in attendance and a picture perfect English country setting.

Add a stroke of luck with sunny weather, a brood of adorable bridesmaids and page boys, and a kiss for the camera, and Pippa Middleton and James Matthews's wedding went off as smoothly as could be.

Prince Harry leaves following the wedding. His girlfriend Meghan Markle did not attend the ceremony — possibly due to Pippa’s ‘no ring, no bring’ rule Picture: PA
Prince Harry leaves following the wedding. His girlfriend Meghan Markle did not attend the ceremony — possibly due to Pippa’s ‘no ring, no bring’ rule Picture: PA

The bride, in a Giles Deacon gown, beamed to the waiting world on the arm of her new husband, with a troupe of eight youngsters stealing the show under the watchful eye of her sister Kate Middelton, Duchess of Cambridge.

Read More: What about the dress?

The Duchess, who eschewed a formal role herself, marshalled her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and their six companions in front of the world's cameras, shushing the noisiest and laughing as they larked about on the church steps. At one point Prince George seemed overexcited to the verge of tears before being firmly settled by his mother.

Guests included the Duke of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie and Prince Harry, who attended the church ceremony without his girlfriend Meghan Markle after much speculation over Pippa's 'no ring, no bring' rule. Miss Markle, who is in London, is thought to have been invited to the more private evening reception instead.

James Middleton with his brother-in-law William, the Duke of Cambridge Picture: PA
James Middleton with his brother-in-law William, the Duke of Cambridge Picture: PA

The groom's brother Spencer Matthews, star of Made in Chelsea, was best man and welcomed attendees, accompanied by Pippa's brother James Middleton. His partner, Donna Air, was in attendance, however Spencer's girlfriend Vogue Williams was omitted - although a spokesman confirmed she "wishes Pippa and James all the best on their special day". Instead the Irish model spent the day hosting a question and answer session on workout and diet tips as part of the new Activewear Department in Arnotts.

Although the event was a private one, well-wishers travelled from as far afield as America to see the newlyweds and their Royal guests in the flesh.

For locals, the day began early when residents with special wristbands were invited into a pen on the church lawns. Tennis ace Roger Federer was cheered as he walked with his wife, Mirka, while Middleton uncle Gary Goldsmith waved to the assembled press with his daughter Tallulah. He later praised the "brilliant couple" who he confirmed "gave everyone time and attention".

An eclectic guest list included ITV broadcaster Tom Bradby, Vogue executive fashion director Serena Hood, and Gabriella Windsor, the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka Picture: PA
Roger Federer and his wife Mirka Picture: PA

As the ceremony neared, mother-of-the-bride Mrs Middleton was escorted by her son James, as the Cambridge family's nanny Maria Borrallo walked around the side of the church.

Moments later, two vintage Jaguar Mk IV cars pulled up to cheers, with the Duchess of Cambridge and the eight youngest members of the party inside. Joining Prince George as page boy were Casimir Tatos, Pippa's godson and the son of Ari and Marie-Sophie Tatos, Edward Sebire, the son of one of James Matthews' friend and business associate, and William Ward. Bridesmaids were Princess Charlotte, Pippa's goddaughter Countess Philippa Hoyos, Lily French, and Avia Horner, daughter of James' colleague financier Edward Horner and Lady Emily Compton.

The Rev Nick Wynne-Jones, who is the church's resident priest, officiated.

After a ceremony, which lasted nearly an hour, the new Mr and Mrs Matthews emerged as newlyweds, kissing for the waiting cameras as bells rang out just before 12.30pm.

Princess Eugenie and her partner Jack Brooksbank Picture: PA
Princess Eugenie and her partner Jack Brooksbank Picture: PA

At Englefield House, part of a private estate owned by Richard Benyon MP, guests heard traditional speeches and saw the cutting of the wedding cake.

After toasts, Mr Matthews drove his new wife into the sunset - or at least to their reception - in an E-type Jaguar convertible, waving as well-wishers cheered from the side of the road.

The evening reception - housed in a specially built glass orangery - was expected to include music, dancing, a five-course sit-down meal and a Spitfire fly-past.

Carole Middleton, the mother of the bride, was said by locals to have made considerable efforts to pre-warn them about any disruption, with a high-security lock-down around the home to prevent intrusion by unwelcome guests and photographers.

©Telegraph

The Duchess of Cambridge arrives with pageboys and flower girls for her sister’s wedding Picture: PA
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives with pageboys and flower girls for her sister’s wedding Picture: PA

Telegraph.co.uk

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