A History of Royal Weddings At Windsor: Mr. Peter Phillips and Miss Autumn Kelly
The last “Royal” wedding held at Windsor Castle was ten years ago when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s eldest grandchild, Mr. Peter Phillips, married his Canadian girlfriend Autumn Kelly. Peter is the only son of Her Royal Highness Anne, The Princess Royal. He met his bride at the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and their engagement was announced in July 2007. Miss Kelly converted from Roman Catholicism prior to the wedding, which at the time was necessary for Peter to keep his place in the line of succession (he’s 13th until the new Cambridge baby is born).
Since Peter does not hold a Royal title, his and Autumn’s May 17, 2008 wedding was a more intimate family affair. The ceremony was held at St. George’s Chapel before approximately 300 guests and conducted by the Dean of Windsor. Of course plenty of the British Royal Family were present, including Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and The York Princesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex with their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and The Duke of Kent. During the ceremony Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.
Autumn wore a classic gown of Italian duchesse satin and Chantilly lace by British bridal designer Sassi Holford and was loaned The Princess Royal’s Diamond Festoon Tiara. Her delicate pearl and diamond necklace and earrings were a gift from Peter. The bridesmaids (including Peter’s sister Zara Phillips) donned Vera Wang. After the ceremony the new couple enjoyed an open carriage ride followed by a reception at Frogmore House, on the grounds of Windsor.
This wedding was as close to “normal” as one can get if your grandmother is The Queen. Although there are still several parallels we can draw between these nuptials and what we are looking forward to so much on May 19, 2018. First of all, there is the link to Canada, from which Autumn Phillips hails and where Meghan Markle has lived the last seven years while filming ‘Suits’. While the venue of St. George's Chapel is the same, Prince Harry and Meghan will be wed by the highest clergyman in The Church of England, The Archbishop of Canterbury and in front of more than twice as many guests, with a couple thousand more waiting outside on the grounds of Windsor. Both couples will have utilized the ultra-exclusive Frogmore House for their receptions; the difference being that on May 19 there will also be an earlier reception immediately following the ceremony at Windsor Castle. Frogmore House will be the site of a smaller evening reception for roughly 200 lucky guests, and The Queen is not expected to attend it. We also expect a grander gown from Ms. Markle as the daughter-in-law of The Prince of Wales – along with a priceless Royal tiara. After all, the upcoming and thoroughly Royal Wedding at Windsor will be televised globally and give us a chance to witness history being made!
- By Marcia Masenda Mack