The Queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie and her long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank will marry this Friday 12 October at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, in the second royal wedding of 2018.
The couple, who became engaged in Nicaragua in January, are marrying at the same 15-century chapel as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who tied the knot in front of 600 guests, watched by a global audience of hundreds of millions, in May.
However despite the same location, Princess Eugenie’s big day is set to have individual flourishes, with reports that the day will be plastic-free, in line with her environmental stance. In an interview in the September issue of British Vogue, she said: “My whole house is anti-plastic now – and Jack and I want our wedding to be like that as well.”
Plus, unlike the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, the event will extend to Saturday, with reports that there will be a festival with a fairground and afternoon tea. Here is everything we know about the two days, from the cake to the celebrity guests.
Who is Princess Eugenie?
Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York was born on March 23, 1990 at The Portland Hospital in London.
She is the younger daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York, formerly Sarah Ferguson. The 27-year-old is one of the Queen’s granddaughters and her elder sister is Princess Beatrice of York.
She graduated from Newcastle University after studying English and history of art, and since 2015 has worked for the contemporary art gallery Hauser and Wirth in London.
Eugenie is patron of the Elephant Family, the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Coronet Theatre, and The European School of Osteopathy.
In 2016, she called on the public to support a social media campaign targeting modern slavery after she privately visited a London safe house for slave victims, run by the Salvation Army.
When she was 12, Eugenie underwent back surgery to correct a scoliosis condition. She is now patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
She has posed for fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, and shared the secrets of a day in her life, revealing she shops at Waitrose, does her make-up in the car, finds heels tricky to walk in and likes to watch Netflix. She listed chips, Diet Coke and cashew nuts as her indulgences, and vodka soda with lime as her favourite tipple.
Eugenie is also close to both her parents, who divorced when she was a child but remain friends. She calls her mother Sarah, Duchess of York “Mumsy”.
Where does she come in line to the throne?
Eugenie is ninth in line to the throne, now that Prince Louis, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, has arrived.
And who is her fiancé Jack Brooksbank?
Eugenie has been dating 31-year-old party fixer Mr Brooksbank for around seven years.
The Stowe-educated socialite was the manager of Mayfair hotspot Mahiki – a favourite haunt of Prince Harry and Eugenie’s sister Princess Beatrice. He is now the UK brand ambassador of Casamigos Tequila, which was co-founded by actor George Clooney.
According to Tatler magazine, he is an excellent skier and the pair met through mutual friends while on a ski-trip to Verbier. He has also said his dream is to start a chain of pubs.
The couple were said to have met the Queen at Balmoral for Prince Harry’s 32nd birthday when the monarch reportedly gave her blessing for their marriage.
It’s unlikely he’ll receive a royal title. In December 2016, the Duke of York said it was “complete fabrication to suggest I have asked for any future husbands of the Princesses to have titles”.
How did Jack Brooksbank propose?
In an interview on The One Show celebrating their engagement in January, Mr Brooksbank described how he had got down on one knee in Nicaragua, against a backdrop of “a beautiful volcano” where “the sun was setting, birds were flying.”
Eugenie added: “The lake was so beautiful. The lake had a special light I’d never seen. I actually said ‘this is an incredible moment’, and then he popped the question.
“I was over the moon, crying.”
They said they designed the engagement ring together, with Mr Brooksbank picking out a padparadscha sapphire before waiting for the Princess to “sign off” the final creation.
He selected the sapphire, he said, because “it changes colour from every different angle that you look of it”, reminding him of the “amazing Eugenie”.
It has a similar setting to the engagement ring of Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, who was given a Burmese ruby surrounded by diamonds on a yellow-gold band. Prince Andrew reportedly chose the vibrant ruby to complement the Duchess of York’s red hair, and the ring was made by Garrard.
The families’ reaction to the engagement
Asked about the Queen’s reaction to the news while on The One Show, Eugenie said: “Granny actually knew right at the beginning. She was one of the very few people right at the beginning.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh “are very pleased and wish the couple all the best” following their engagement announcement.
The Duke of York, father of Princess Eugenie, said he was “thrilled”, calling his future son-in-law an “absolutely outstanding young man” who has got to know his daughter “over a number of years”.
Sarah, Duchess of York – Princess Eugenie’s mother and the Duke of York’s former wife – shared a series of gushing quotes after her daughter’s engagement was announced.
The Duchess – formerly Sarah Ferguson and who is commonly referred to as Fergie – posted three pictures on Twitter using the hashtags #engagement and #eugieandjack. In three tweets, which were retweeted by the Duke of York, she expressed her happiness at the news, describing how the couple “float with laughter and love”.
In the first, she wrote: “Total joy!! #engagement @TheDukeOfYork” and included a picture of the couple overlaid with the words: “A total embrace of goodness and joy. We love Jack and I am so excited to have a son, a brother and a best friend. Eugenie is one of the finest people I know and so together it will be pure harmony.”
In another, which had another picture of the couple on a boat, she wrote: “They float with laughter and love .. although a boat helps! #engagement #eugieandjack @TheDukeOfYork @yorkiebea”.
And in a third: “I always say that the river flows well to it’s destiny because of the guidance of a solid rock #engagement #eugieandjack @TheDukeOfYork @TheDukeOfYork”.
Mr Brooksbank’s parents, Nicola and George, hailed the news in a statement, saying: “We could not be more delighted with the news of the engagement. We are completely over the moon and are very excited for them both.”
The service will begin at 11am and is expected to last an hour, before the couple take part in a short procession ride through the streets of Windsor.
The Dean of Windsor, David Conner, will marry the couple while the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, will lead the prayers.
More than 800 guests are expected to gather in St George’s Chapel, including most senior members of the Royal Family.
The couple have opted for St George’s Chapel to hold the ceremony in, the same location the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose for their nuptials earlier this year.
St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle, has been a venue for Royal weddings since the future King Edward VII married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.
Princess Eugenie’s uncle Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, married Sophie Rhys-Jones – now the Countess of Wessex – there in 1999.
Peter Phillips, son of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, married Autumn Kelly in the chapel in 2008.
The Prince of Wales also celebrated his marriage to the Duchess of Cornwall there in 2005 with a service of dedication and prayer led by then-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Tucked away in Windsor Castle, it is more low-key venue than central London alternatives Westminster Abbey, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married, or St Paul’s Cathedral, the choice of Harry’s parents Prince Charles and Diana.
While its original building dates back to the 13th century, the chapel as seen today began with King Edward IV in 1483.
Who is invited?
The couple are inviting 1,200 members of the public into the grounds of Windsor Castle for their October wedding, following in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Senior members of the royal family are expected to attend, however on Sunday, it emerged that the Duchess of Cornwall will not be attending. Instead she will undertake a a prior engagement at a primary school’s harvest festival celebrations in Scotland.
Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank will also invite members of the Windsor community, representatives from their favourite charities, residents of the castle and some Royal Household staff to stand in the grounds, along with children from the local schools which Princess Eugenie attended.
Princess Eugenie is close friends with model Cara Delevingne, singer Ellie Goulding, and the Duke of Sussex’s former girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas, all of whom are expected to attend.
Plus, Mr Brooksbank is a brand ambassador for Casamigos Tequila, a company owned by George Clooney, which implies the Hollywood actor and his wife Amal Clooney may attend their second royal wedding of the year.
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds will undertake a carriage ride through the town of Windsor. The ride will be slightly shorter than the route taken by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to take into account the different scale of the wedding.
According to Buckingham Palace, the carriage will journey through the grounds of Windsor Castle, enter the town at Castle Hill and proceed along Windsor High Street, then return to the castle grounds at Cambridge Gate.
The route will not include the Long Walk, tactfully avoiding any visual comparison between the number of admirers who turn out to celebrate their day with the crowds on May 19.
In an interview on the The One Show in January, Princess Eugenie said she had not yet decided on the type of dress she wanted, beyond “no meringue shoulders”.
And while the Duchess of Sussex surprised well-wishers in May by opting for a non-British designer for her wedding dress, Princess Eugenie has announced she will be wearing British on the day.
“I’m not telling anyone who is making it, but I can say it is a British-based designer,” revealed Eugenie in the September issue of British Vogue.
This leaves designers such as Stella McCartney, Emilia Wickstead, Erdem, Vivienne Westwood, Gainsbourg, Ralph & Russo and Alexander McQueen in the running, with environment-friendly Stella McCartney sure to hit a chord with the anti-plastic princess.
She may also wear the York tiara, which was designed for her mother Sarah Ferguson in 1986, on the big day. As tiaras are reserved for brides and married women according to royal protocol, this will be the Princess’ first chance to don it.
Who will be the Maid of Honour?
Princess Eugenie announced in an interview with British Vogue that her older sister Princess Beatrice will be her Maid of Honour.
“Euge is amazing,” Princess Beatrice said of her sister in the September 2018 issue, adding “She’s a very modern bride.”
Who are the flower girls and pageboys?
Prince George is reportedly due to be a pageboy at the wedding, along with Louis de Givenchy, the son of the JP Morgan banker Olivier de Givenchy and his wife Zoe. Louis’ two year-old sister, Ines de Givenchy, is also rumoured to be part of the bridal party.
Princess Charlotte, who took part in the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex alongside her brother, will be a flower girl, along with Maud Windsor, the four-year-old daughter of Lord Freddie Windsor and his actress wife Sophie Winkleman, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Maud Windsor is in the same class as Prince George, the eldest child of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at St Thomas’ School in Battersea.
The five year-old daughter of Robbie Williams, Theodora Rose, will reportedly also be a flower girl at the wedding; the singer and his wife, Ayda Field, have been friends with Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice, for several years and will both attend the wedding.
What do we know about the wedding ring?
While no details about Princess Eugenie’s wedding ring have been confirmed, it is expected to be made from Welsh gold.
The royal tradition of using Welsh gold dates back to the wedding of George VI and Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (the Queen mother, the Prince’s great-grandmother) in 1923. The tradition began when the royal family was gifted a nugget of gold from the now-defunct Clogau St David’s mine at Bontddu in North Wales.
Along with the Queen Mother’s ring, it was used to make wedding bands for the Queen (1947), Princess Margaret (1960), Anne, Princess Royal (1973) and Diana, Princess of Wales (1981). The Duchess of Cornwall also wears a wedding ring made from Welsh gold, as does Prince Harry’s sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Due to its rarity – the Welsh mines where it was found are now exhausted – it’s also significantly more expensive than other types of gold, costing up to five times as much.
Just like at the first royal wedding of the year, there will be two events held after the ceremony on Friday. As she did for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Queen is expected to host a champagne reception at Windsor Castle during the afternoon.
In the evening, selected guests will be allowed to celebrate with the newlyweds at an event hosted by the princess’ parents. The second wedding reception will reportedly be held at Royal Lodge in Windsor, which has been the official country residence of the Duke of York since 2004.
According to Vanity Fair, the Duke and Duchess of York are planning to erect a marquee in the grounds for the party to be held in.
There has been a house on the site of the Lodge since the mid-seventeenth century. In 1931, King George V granted the house as a country retreat to the Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen Mother continued to use the house following her husband’s death in 1952; she died at the Royal Lodge in 2002 with her daughter, the Queen, by her side.
There will also be celebrations on the Saturday, organised by by A-list party planning company Bentleys Entertainment.
“After the more formal celebration at Windsor Castle [reportedly planned and overseen by Lady Elizabeth Anson, the Queen’s cousin], the Saturday bash will be a relaxed party” a source told The Telegraph. “There will be dodgems and funfair rides, coconut shies, lots of food stalls, loads of cocktails, bloody Marys for the hangovers and a festival vibe.”
A red velvet and chocolate cake is set to be the centrepiece of Princess Eugenie’s wedding feast.
It is being crafted by London-based cake designer Sophie Cabot, who described it as “special and unique”, featuring rich autumn colours and detailed sugar work.
Ms Cabot, who was a costume designer before turning her hand to bespoke cake making, said: “I am incredibly excited to be given this wonderful opportunity to create such a special and unique cake.
“It has been lovely working with Princess Eugenie and Jack and I really hope they enjoy the cake on the day.”
She launched her business in 2014 and came to the attention of the couple after supplying specially-decorated biscuits to an event for the Duke of York’s [email protected] programme for entrepreneurs.
Will the wedding be televised?
The wedding will be televised in a live special edition of ITV’s This Morning, with coverage will from 9:25am until 12:30pm. You can find more details about how to watch all the action on TV here.
How much will the wedding cost?
While the wedding itself will be paid for by the couple’s family, security costs for the wedding, which fall to the public purse, have been reported to have reached £2million.
Thames Valley Police has said that visitors will see “an increase in both armed and unarmed officers in the run-up to the royal wedding”.
Insiders say the Yorks have been “dismayed” by reports the wedding is costing the taxpayer £2 million. Much has been made of the fact that the couple’s decision to have a carriage procession around Windsor – in the vein of Harry and Meghan’s May wedding – has added to the cost of the security bill.
A petition, organised by the anti-monarchy group Republic, urging the Government to commit no more money to the nuptials, has attracted more than 28,000 signatures.
A source said: “No one knows where the £2 million figure has come from but the wedding is all being funded privately. Yes there is a security cost but that is because it is a major royal event involving all the senior members of the royal family including the Queen.
“Princess Eugenie doesn’t have any bodyguards or personal protection. The carriage procession is going to be nothing like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s – it’s a much more low key affair.”
While official royal wedding figures are never released, it is estimated that the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex cost approximately £32 million.
The flowers alone for the first royal wedding of 2018 are expected to have been worth more than £110,000, with piles of sausage rolls stacked high on silver platters coming to £26,000 and a cool £1 million spent on a counter-drone system, according to calculations made by wedding planning company Bridebook.
Will Princess Eugenie receive a new title?
It is expected that Princess Eugenie will be known as HRH Princess Eugenie, Mrs Jack Brooksbank once is married. However Mr Brooksbank is not expected to be given a new title after the wedding and will remain a member of the public.
In December 2016, the Duke of York said it was “complete fabrication to suggest I have asked for any future husbands of the Princesses to have titles”.
Princess Eugenie’s wedding china
The Royal Collection Trust has produced a range of official commemorative china and memorabilia to celebrate the marriage, with images of a coaster, pillbox, tankard, teatowel and a tube of “handbag shortbread” released in advance of the wedding day.
Each displays the letter E for Eugenie and a design centred around the Princess’ coronet. It includes garlands of ivy to represent their home of Ivy Cottage at Kensington Palace, along with English wild bluebells, forget-me-nots and the white rose of York.
However fans have noted an absence of Mr Brooksbank in the range’s designs. The commemorative china for the weddings of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex featured their initials – C and W, and H and M respectively – intertwined under a coronet.
Yet while Princess Eugenie, who is not classed as a “working royal” and has her own job independent of the family, is entitled to use a coronet, Mr Brooksbank, as a man marrying a female member of the Royal family, is not.
Small gold writing inside reads: “Celebrating the marriage of Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank”.
Where will they go on their honeymoon?
While there have been no official comments on where the couple will honeymoon, the Telegraph Travel team have raised destinations the pair are likely to be considering.
Top of the list if Verbier, the Swiss ski resort where the couple met at the Duke of York’s 50th birthday celebrations eight years ago. Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank visit the area regularly, so if they want to spend their first few married weeks somewhere familiar, this is a likely option.
If they want to somewhere a little warmer, Necker Island could be on the cards. Virgin tycoon Richard Branson has reportedly offered the pair the use of his private island resort in the Caribbean. It is expected to be officially re-opened this November, following devastation from last year’s Hurricane Irma, meaning the royal couple might get a private preview of the renovations.
Where will the couple live?
The couple have already moved into Ivy Cottage, a three-bedroom home at Kensington Palace.
The move, which took place four months after the announcement of their engagement, marked the first time the couple have lived together over the course of their relationship. Princess Eugenie previously lived with her sister in a four-bedroom apartment in St James’ Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved in to Nottingham Cottage, another home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, following their wedding in May.
Other Royals who call Kensington Palace their home are the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
To celebrate Princess Eugenie’s wedding on October 12, we want to share your images of royal wedding festivities through the ages. Send your pictures and memories to [email protected] for the chance to be featured in the Telegraph’s gallery.
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