Published On: Thu, Oct 3rd, 2019

Sophie Countess of Wessex inspired Meghan Markle & Princess Eugenie's weddings in this way


Sophie Countess of Wessex married Prince Edward at Windsor castle 20-years-ago on 19 June 1999 at St George’s Chapel.The couple had been dating for six years before this and the wedding took place just months after they announced their engagement. Since then, they have had two children together, Lady Louise, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11.Royal weddings taking place at St George’s Chapel can be traced all the way back to 1863, with the first wedding of The Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark occurring on 10 March 1863. However, it wasn’t until the wedding of Sophie Countess of Wessex to Prince Edward that the modern royals took note.

The wedding of Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys-Jones on 9 January 1999 was the first which saw St George’s Chapel televised for a royal ceremony.

Sophie and Edward didn’t want their wedding to become a state occasion, causing there to be no ceremonial state or military involvement. The ceremony was mainly a family occasion and then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and other politicians were not invited.

The couple also requested that guests attend wearing formal evening gowns and not to wear hats to reflect a more informal royal wedding.

After the ceremony, Edward and Sophie rode in an open, horse-drawn carriage to the reception in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, passing thousands of people en route.

From this moment they forged a path for future royals, a path which allows Royals to defer from tradition.

One of the most televised and watched weddings in the world was that of Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38 on 19 May, 2018. The wedding, which saw 200 million people across the world tuning in to watch the nuptials take place at St George’s Chapel, was one for the history books.

Although, a few years after the wedding of Harry’s uncle and aunt, Edward and Sophie’s wedding still influenced the young royals.

Harry and Meghan chose to not make their wedding a state occasion, just like Edward and Sophie. Both domestic and international political leaders were not required to attend the wedding. Prime Minister of the time, Theresa May and opposing candidate Jeremy Corbyn – did not attend the ceremony.

President Trump and predecessor President Obama were also not invited to the ceremony. This was a contrast to the wedding of Prince Harry’s elder brother, Prince William, which had a large number of such guests due to his position as a future monarch.  

Although the decision not to invite political leaders to the wedding was taken in part because of the limitations of the venue, it also took into account Prince Harry’s position as sixth in line to the throne.  

With a smaller ceremony and reception at St George’s Hall, the guest list included approximately 600 people, most of which have a ‘direct relationship’ with the couple.

Sophie and Edward also influenced niece Princess Eugenie when she wed Jack Brooksbank on 12 October 2018. Although the majority of the wedding was privately funded by the bride’s parents and family, not by the public as commonly thought. Just like her aunt and uncle, as well as cousin Prince Harry and Meghan – Princess Beatrice and Jack Brooksbank chose to not make their wedding a state occasion. Although there were many famous faces invited to the wedding, most notably amongst the non-royal guests were Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Ellie Goulding, Cara Delevingne, Ricky Martin and Robbie Williams.

All eyes are now on Princess Beatrice, with her recent engagement announcement to property tycoon and millionaire Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

In a joint statement, the happy couple addressed their engagement: “We are extremely happy to be able to share the news of our recent engagement. We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can’t wait to be married.

“We share so many similar interests and values and we know this will stand us in great stead for the years ahead, full of love and happiness.”

Some have speculated that the Princess will wed at Westminster Abbey just like cousin Prince William, however, it is more likely that she will tie the knot at St George’s Chapel like her sister Eugenie. This is due to Princess Beatrice’s status as a Royal, as she is the ninth in line to the throne, traditionally West Minster Abbey is reserved for nuptials of direct heirs.

Liz Taylor, founder and MD of wedding planners The Taylor Lynn Corporation told Express.co.uk: “St George’s Chapel at Windsor is certainly a favourite for the wedding venue. Followed by a wedding breakfast at Windsor Castle.  It affords the couple the opportunity to share pare of their day with the public, and then the ultimate privacy for the party.  The chapel is a firm family favourite. It’s also less grand than Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral. This seems to suit this more modest, modern Royal couple, who will have a less extensive guest list.”

Although it is still early days, there has been no announcement of the official guest list for the Royal wedding of Princess Beatrice and property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, famous faces are expected to make an appearance but whether they choose to make it a state occasion is still a mystery. 



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