Windsor gears up for its second UK royal wedding of the year

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Bunting flutters in the wind in front of Windsor Castle, on the day before the royal wedding of Britain’s Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, in Windsor, Britain, October 11, 2018. (Reuters)
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Princess Eugenie arrives at Windsor Castle a day ahead of her wedding to Jack Brooksbank in Windsor, Britain, October 11, 2018. (Reuters)
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Windsor Castle stands under a blue sky ahead of the wedding of Britain's Princess Eugenie in Windsor, England, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (AP)
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A worker opens one of the gates to Windsor Castle a day ahead of the royal wedding between Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in Windsor, Britain, October 11, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Windsor gears up for its second UK royal wedding of the year

  • Eugenie will tie the knot with Jack Brooksbank, at the monarch’s Windsor Castle home on Friday.
  • The couple met in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier in 2010 and got engaged in Nicaragua in January.

WINDSOR: Final preparations were being made in the English town of Windsor on Thursday for Britain’s second major royal wedding this year, this time involving Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie.
Eugenie, younger daughter of the queen’s third child Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, will tie the knot with Jack Brooksbank, at the monarch’s Windsor Castle home on Friday.
The nuptials come just five months after the glittering wedding of Prince Harry, younger son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, and US actress wife Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, at the same location.
Eugenie, 28, ninth-in-line to the throne and a director at London’s Hauser & Wirth art gallery, and Brooksbank, 32, who works in the drinks and hospitality industry, are copying some of her cousin’s plans.
The couple, who met in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier in 2010 and got engaged in Nicaragua in January, have likewise invited 1,200 people from across Britain to join in the celebrations in the castle grounds and to watch the newlyweds leave St. George’s Chapel after the service.
They will then take an open-top carriage ride through Windsor, although it will be shorter than the one Harry and Meghan took in May when thousands thronged the streets and hundreds of millions worldwide watched on television.
“We think we’ve been blessed this year with two royal weddings,” said Phillip Bicknell, the local council deputy leader.
“We’re hoping she’s going to have a great day and we’re very pleased that she’s shared her day with us.”
Stars from the world of showbusiness and sport attended Harry’s wedding and Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday that one of Eugenie’s bridesmaids will be Theodora Williams, the six-year-old daughter of ex “Take That” singer Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field.
Three-year-old Princess Charlotte, daughter of second-in-line to the throne Prince William and his wife Kate, will also be a bridesmaid while her brother Prince George, 5, will be a page boy. Eugenie’s older sister Beatrice, 30, will be her maid of honor.
Nearly all Britain’s senior royals are expected to attend although Prince Charles’s wife Camilla will be absent as she has a prior engagement in Scotland. It was not certain whether the 92-year-old queen’s husband Prince Philip, 97, who no longer carries out official duties, would be present.
The Dean of Windsor will officiate the ceremony while Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform during the service. Also among the guests will be the surgeon who carried out an operation to straighten Eugenie’s back when she was 12, British media reported.
The ceremony will be broadcast on British TV and live streamed on the Royal Family and Prince Andrew’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels.


Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

Updated 21 October 2018
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Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

  • The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31

SYDNEY: Meghan, the pregnant wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, is scaling back her engagements during the royal couple’s 16-day Pacific tour, Kensington Palace said Sunday, ahead of their visit to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
The royal couple have had a gruelling schedule since arriving in Australia on Monday, visiting Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo, as well as opening the Olympic-style Invictus Games for disabled and wounded soldiers.
“After a busy program, The Duke and Duchess have decided to cut back The Duchess’s schedule slightly for the next couple of days, ahead of the final week and a half of the tour,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
The opening ceremony for the Games at Sydney’s Opera House on Saturday night was delayed after an intense thunderstorm, and the Duchess of Sussex did not attend a cycling medal presentation with Harry on Sunday.
At the event, held in The Domain gardens, the prince was asked by someone in a crowd of onlookers where his wife was.
“She’s resting at home,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported him as saying. “Being pregnant takes its toll.”
Meghan rejoined her husband for lunch with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, before watching a Games sailing event from a boat on Sydney Harbor.
They are due to attend a private reception for the Invictus Games Foundation at Government House late Sunday before heading off to Fraser Island in Queensland state.
But Meghan is not expected to take part in official engagements at the World Heritage-listed site on Monday, with Kensington Palace adding that “The Duke will continue with the engagements on Fraser Island as planned.”
The pair are due to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island.
The news came as Harry received an unusual request from some members of the Australian cycling team at Sunday’s presentation — if he could sign an Invictus pair of budgie smugglers.
“Budgie smugglers” is the colloquial term Australians use for Speedo-style swimwear.
The Duke of Sussex declined the offer.
“He told us he’d love to sign them but he wasn’t allowed to,” athlete Damien Irish told the ABC Sunday.
The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31.