In many ways, the two ceremonies will be surprisingly similar: Harry had 800 guests, Eugenie is having 850. Harry invited 1,000 members of the public, selected by ballot, Eugenie is having 1,200. Harry and Meghan had a carriage ride through the streets of Windsor, Eugenie and Jack are having one too. Harry and Meghan had glorious weather; Eugenie and Jack no doubt want the same.But some things will be very different.
Most notably, don’t expect the streets to be thronged with cheering well-wishers. To say that the nuptials of the eldest daughter of the queen’s third child, Prince Andrew, and his controversial ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, are unpopular is to put it mildly; 20,000 people have signed a petition started by anti-monarchist group Republic demanding the royals foot the estimated £2 million security bill themselves.
Even usually reliable pro-royal commentators and newspapers have been ridiculing the plans, which, fairly or not, they have characterized as being driven by envy, petty jealousy and York status anxiety (Andrew is said to have never got over being left out of the balcony gathering at the queen’s diamond jubilee, when Prince Charles unveiled the new “slimmed-down” monarchy).
Eugenie and her parents, according to gossip, demanded a wedding just as grand as Harry’s as the price of delaying her marriage until after Harry and Meghan had wed.
So Eugenie will get her big day. But public indifference was starkly illustrated by the lack of anything approaching a bidding war for TV rights to the ceremony.
Indeed, it looked at one stage like the mid-morning wedding was not going to be screened on British television at all; eventually ITV’s This Morning show sniffed an opportunity and has now said it will broadcast live from Windsor next week. The event will also be screened in the U.S. by TLC.
A source who worked on the production of Harry and Meghan’s wedding and is similarly involved in Eugenie’s told The Daily Beast that the lack of interest had been a source of anxiety, “It was all very ‘will-they won’t-they’ for a long time. It was definitely a slap in the face to the Yorks that the BBC didn’t want it, and there is a sense of relief that ITV has now stepped in.”