The streets of Windsor are gripped by royal fever today as the Queen’s granddaughter counts down the hours to her lavish wedding.
Princess Eugenie has just one day to go until she says her vows to tequila brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank in the Gothic surrounds of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Some 850 guests will gather in the historic surroundings where the Duke andwed five months ago, while around 1,200 members of the public have been given balloted invites to the castle’s Lower Ward, as have charity representatives, children from Eugenie’s old schools, and royal household staff.
Police have stepped up security measures around the town and were seen today checking drains and patrolling with sniffer dogs.
Undeterred by the stringent security, fans have been hanging bunting from shops and setting their banners up in anticipation of the couple’s carriage procession.
This keen fan was out early this morning putting up bunting and banners ahead of the big day on Friday
Police with sniffer dogs have been seen carrying out regular patrols through the town centre
Weeks of planning have gone into keeping the royal couple and the public safe and all drains on the route have to be searched and armed and plainclothes officers brought in
Royals fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride can wait for the newlyweds’ carriage procession through Windsor town centre — but the couple will not be travelling up the Long Walk to the Castle like Harry and Meghan did.
But Republic, a campaigning group working for an elected head of state, has criticised the security cost to the taxpayer, saying estimates have put the bill at £2 million.
Harry and Meghan and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to be among the guests on Friday, along with the Queen and a host of royals.
Celebrity guests will include former Take That singer Robbie Williams and his wife and fellow X Factor judge Ayda Field.
Williams’ six-year-old daughter Theodora is taking a starring role as a bridesmaid, alongside five-year-old Prince George and three-year-old Princess Charlotte.
Royal fans will be hoping for some fun-filled antics from the young helpers in the bridal party, which include Zara and Mike Tindall’s spirited four-year-old Mia and Peter and Autumn Phillips’ daughters Savannah and Isla.
Cordons around the gothic surrounds of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle have been put in place
The decision of Princess Eugenie to go for a carriage ride through the streets of Windsor after the wedding means Thames Valley Police must carry out a major security operation
Princess Eugenie, 28, and tequila brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank will marry inside St George’s Chapel on Friday — the same place where Prince Harry and Meghan wed
Police vehicles and CCTV vans are in place around the town centre and the castle in a bid to keep members of the royal family and the public safe
‘They call it a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but not for us’: Schoolboy choristers’ excitement at performing at their second royal wedding
Alexios Sheppard, 11, (left) and Leo Mills, 12, (right) both performed at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding and now will be centre stage for the nuptials of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
Young choristers who will sing at the royal wedding have described their excitement ahead of the big day.
Alexios Sheppard, 11, and Leo Mills, 12, both performed at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding and now will be centre stage for the nuptials of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.
It is the first time in living memory two royal weddings have been staged in the same year at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel, so the two choristers will be part of an historic double.
The boys could not hide their joy, with Alexios saying: ‘It’s one of the best experiences we’re ever going to have — it’s just amazing.’
Leo added: ‘I think it’s really cool we get to sing at two royal weddings in one year. No one ever really gets to do that much — it’s a very rare occasion so we’re very lucky.’
Alexios joked: ‘They call it a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but not for us.’
The pair, who attend St George’s School at Windsor Castle, said they both enjoyed the experience of singing in St George’s Chapel when Harry and Meghan married in May.
Alexios said about the earlier wedding: ‘There was just this warm buzz going around the chapel — it just felt amazing and I feel this one is going to be as good as well.’
Leo added: ‘It was a bit nerve-racking at the start but then when we got in I felt fine, it felt like a normal service, with added bits.’
Republic, a campaigning group working for an elected head of state, has criticised the security cost to the taxpayer, saying estimates have put the bill at £2 million
Timings for Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding service
Guests to meet at the Farm Shop, on the edge of Home Park
10.15am: Congregation to be seated in St. George’s Chapel
10.25am – 10.55am: Members of the royal family and Jack Brooksbank’s family arrive at St George’s Chapel. The Queen is expected to be the last royal to arrive ahead of Princess Eugenie, who will be accompanied by Prince Andrew
11.00am: Princess Eugenie arrives and service begins
The happy couple will exchange vows in front of the Dean of Windsor, the Right Rev David Conner.
Eugenie appears to have paid a sweet tribute to her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York, by choosing the Archbishop of York John Sentamu to lead the prayers.
11.55am: Service ends
12.10pm: Guests will make their way on foot to the reception hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank embark on a 15-minute carriage ride around Windsor.
They will leave from the Royal Mews out of Windsor Castle and travel on to part of the High Street, before returning via Cambridge Gate, but they will not travel down the Long Walk like Eugenie’s cousin and his bride.
3.30pm: Reception at Windsor Castle ends. Motor coaches will return guests to the Farm Shop
Evening: Although the venue has not officially been confirmed by Buckingham Palace, Eugenie and Jack are reportedly having their evening party at her father Prince Andrew’s home, The Royal Lodge at Windsor.
Maud Windsor, who is Eugenie’s goddaughter and the daughter of Lord Frederick Windsor and his actress wife Sophie Winkleman, is also a bridesmaid.
Future king George will be joined by fellow page boy Louis de Givenchy — the six-year-old son of JP Morgan banking executive Olivier de Givenchy and his wife Zoe.
The Queen’s youngest grandchildren, 14-year-old Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and 10-year-old Viscount Severn, who are the children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, will take on the role of Special Attendants.
William and Kate’s youngest child Prince Louis, who is only five and a half months old, is too young to attend and will be staying at home.
The Duchess of Cornwall will also be missing, having a long-standing engagement at a school in Scotland.
Proud parents the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York will be gearing up for the celebrations.
Andrew has remained on very friendly terms with his ex-wife the duchess amid speculation they might even remarry.
However, her relationship with her former father-in-law the Duke of Edinburgh is said to be non-existent.
Philip is said to have never forgiven ‘Fergie’ for the scandal she caused when she was caught in the infamous ‘toe-sucking’ incident, having her feet kissed by financial adviser John Bryan in 1992.
The groom Jack has asked his brother Thomas to be his best man while Eugenie’s older sister Princess Beatrice will be her maid of honour.
Stars predicted to attend the second royal wedding of the year include singer Ellie Goulding and fiance Caspar Jopling, supermodel Cindy Crawford, David and Victoria Beckham, Harry’s exes Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy, model Cara Delevingne, singer James Blunt and wife Sofia Wellesley, and George and Amal Clooney.
The lawns leading up the stunning castle are being tended to today to make for a picture-perfect wedding
Well-wishers and business owners are already blowing up balloons as they get set for the wedding and arrival of thousands of members of the public
Royals fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride can wait for the newlyweds’ carriage procession through Windsor town centre — but the couple will not be travelling up the Long Walk to the Castle like Harry and Meghan did
Jack works as a drinks executive for Casamigos tequila, which was founded by Clooney and Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber.
Italian singer-songwriter Andrea Bocelli will perform two pieces during the ceremony which begins at 11am, with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra also featuring.
The wedding service will include a personal prayer written by Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
Dean of Windsor David Conner will give the address and also officiate as the couple make their marriage vows.
The Queen is hosting an afternoon reception afterwards in the castle’s St George’s Hall, but the festivities are expected to continue into the early hours with an evening party at the York family home, the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
Eugenie is ninth in line to the throne.
The wedding is being screened in full on ITV as part of a special three-hour This Morning show live from Windsor, hosted by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.
Broadcast footage will also be live streamed on The Royal Channel and The Duke of York’s YouTube channels, and the royal family and Andrew’s Facebook pages.
The Great Royal Bake Off! Cook behind Eugenie and Jack’s red velvet and chocolate cake offers a glimpse of her regal creation
Let’s get cracking! Baker Sophie Cabot, who’s been commissioned to create Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding cake has released photos of herself creating the celebratory creation, which everyone from celebrities to A-listers will feast on
By Jo Tweedy for MailOnline
London-based cake designer Sophie Cabot has spent months conceiving the red velvet and chocolate cake, which is set to be the centrepiece of Princess Eugenie’s wedding feast and inspired by their Kensington Palace cottage.
New photos released two days before the couple marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor — in front of royals, the rich and the famous — show Cabot’s masterpiece will reflect the changing seasons.
Cabot describes her culinary creation as ‘special and unique’, and promises it will feature rich, autumnal colours and detailed sugar work.
It’s thought to have been inspired by the foliage surrounding Ivy Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace, where the couple live together — a stone’s throw from this year’s other royal newlyweds, Meghan and Harry.
The photos show Cabot knee-deep in industrial quantities of eggs, flour and caster sugar, with silk leaves in autumnal colours, berries and sugar-craft snowdrops carefully placed in boxes before adorning the cake.
The London-based star baker 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 Pitch@Palace programme for entrepreneurs.
The costume designer turned cake designer is seen painstakingly creating berries and sugarcraft flowers to go on the cake
That’s a lot of eggs! The London-based baker is seen at work, with vital ingredients including eggs, caster sugar and a crucial bowl of red colouring seen before her
Delicate silk leaves in autumnal colours will adorn the cake, reflecting the changing seasons at Windsor Castle
A small group of royal super-fans has descended on Windsor, sleeping rough outside the castle to bag the best patch of pavement for the wedding. Bartley Graham, 30, a former civil servant, and his sister Sandra, 21, a factory worker, travelled all the way from County Durham for the big day.
They arrived last night and slept on the pavement in sleeping bags.
‘People call us the crazy corner. They call us all sorts of things,’ he said.
‘We have been compared to the migrant camps in Calais. It gets a bit annoying after a while. But we just love the royals and are proud to be British.’
His sister, Sandra, added: ‘We wouldn’t be British if we didn’t have the royals. It’s enjoyable. We’re not going to see many more of these events.’
Writer and career Kerry Evans, 54, travelled from Hull for the big day.
‘It wasn’t too cold overnight,’ she said. ‘We’d have liked to pitch a tent but we’re not allowed, so we just had to sleep rough.
‘We’re not too tired, not with the adrenaline. We expected a big queue and are quite surprised that there’s nobody else here.’
A small group of royal super-fans has descended on Windsor, sleeping rough outside the castle to bag the best patch of pavement for the wedding
Her friend, teacher Catherine Rohan, 61, added: ‘We love all the royals. It doesn’t matter whether they are A list or Z list.’
Windsor remained quiet overall today, with just two barriers around press areas as evidence of the festivities tomorrow.
Joseph Afane, 55, from Battersea, was wearing a Union Jack suit, glasses and hat.
‘Nobody is as committed to the cause as me,’ he said. ‘I don’t care if the crowds aren’t here yet. I am here and my friends are here. We have our flags and that is what matters.’
Here come the Bridesmaids! As Princess Eugenie prepares to wed at Windsor Castle we reveal the adorable bridal party who are preparing steal the show… including Mia Tindall, four, and Robbie Williams’ daughter Teddy
By Rebecca English for the Daily Mail
They range from the cheekiest of little bridesmaids to a daughter of pop royalty.
The full bridal party for tomorrow’s wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank was revealed by Buckingham Palace yesterday.
As well as adorable Mia Tindall, the bridesmaids at Windsor Castle will include singer Robbie Williams’ daughter Teddy.
Princess Beatrice, pictured filming as an extra in Young Victoria at Lincoln Cathedral will be her elder sister’s maid of honour during tomorrow’s wedding in Windsor
Savannah Philips, Mia Tindall and Isla Philips, will be among the bridesmaids. Savannah and Isla are daughters of Peter Philips and his Canadian wife Autumn, while Mia is the daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall
Princess Charlotte, three, will be making her fourth appearance as a bridesmaid, having already made star turns at the weddings of her uncle, Prince Harry, auntie Pippa Middleton, and godmother, Sophie Carter. She is said to rule the roost back at the Cambridge family home. Her brother Prince George, five, is more wary of the cameras than his sister, but is also an old hand at weddings
Prince George, a wedding veteran at the age of only five, will be one of the page boys while little sister Princess Charlotte, three, will be a bridesmaid.
Their antics will be sure to pile the pressure on Princess Beatrice as she follows in the footsteps of the most famous royal wedding maid of honour – Pippa Middleton.
But royal insiders say that thanks to her ‘fantastic’ way with children, Beatrice, 30, will be able to keep the eight bridesmaids and pageboys in check.
As well as Mia, four, Teddy, six, and Charlotte, the bridesmaids are Savannah Phillips, seven, her sister Isla, six, and Maud Windsor, five.
Maud, pictured, is the daughter of Lord Freddie Windsor, son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
Mia, daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall, is well known for her high-spirited antics. Her cousin, Savannah, is equally mischievous, and was spotted putting her mouth over Prince George’s mouth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during June’s Trooping the Colour.
As the only non-royal, Teddy – short for Theodora – is an intriguing choice.
Her father and his actress partner Ayda Field, both judges on The X Factor, are good friends of Eugenie and her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York. Former Take That star Williams credits Teddy with helping prevent his life from spiralling into drug addiction.
Alongside George as page boy will be Louis de Givenchy, six, son of Olivier de Givenchy, managing director at JPMorgan Private Bank.
Tom Brooksbank, pictured, younger brother of groom Jack will be the best man
Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, 14, left, is the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex and attends St George’s School, Ascot. She was a bridesmaid for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Gracious and well-mannered, she is a firm favourite of the Queen. Her brother James, Viscount Severn (right), ten, is considered shy but is said to be a ‘delightful’ boy in private. They are both the stewards
And, in a charming touch, Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank have involved her uncle Prince Edward’s children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn.
At 14 and ten, they are slightly too old to be a bridesmaid or page boy. But their role as ‘special attendants’ is a thoughtful way to involve them.
‘It was a really sweet thing to do and I know the children and their parents are very touched,’ a source said.
Mr Brooksbank, 32, has asked his younger brother Tom, 30, to be his best man. The ceremony will take place at 11am at St George’s Chapel in front of up to 800 guests.
Most members of the Royal Family will be present, except the Duchess of Cornwall, who has declined citing a prior engagement in Scotland.
There have been suggestions that Prince Philip, 97, who has a notoriously fractious relationship with the Duchess of York, will ‘see how he feels on the day’. But royal sources insisted last night that he will be there for his granddaughter’s big day.