Backstage at Pippa Middleton’s wedding
Grab your hat because we're going to the event of the year. Here's the gawpers guide to James and Pippa's big day
This weekend, Saturday 20 May, Her Royal Hotness is getting hitched to hedge fund manager James Matthews (big brother to Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews). Not that you would notice, it’s a quiet country affair, no fuss, just a little get together for closest friends and family. NOT!
West Berkshire is swarming with paparazzi, journos and, of course, actual wedding guests. The county has gone Middleton mad – peaking over hedges for a glimpse of the wedding preparations reporting on the delivery of the posh Portaloos, the comings and goings of floristry vans and the slightest hint of a clothing bag. But let’s be honest, we’re all getting a little giddy (although I have had a few glasses of bubbles to toast the happy couple) thinking about what Pippa’s bridal gown.
Giles Deacon is the designer, rumour has it Pippa’s had at least five fittings to ensure her perfectly pert bottom will be looking peachy on the big day. Whether this is down to pre-wedding weight loss, or simply wanting the dress to be perfect (der, obviously), five fittings does seem a lot. But good on her. All eyes and camera lenses will be on the bride and the images will be going round the world in a social media frenzy.
The wedding ceremony is taking place at 11.30am at St Mark’s Church Englefield, Berkshire. It’s on Tory candidate Richard Benyon’s mahoosive Englefield Estate, so you’re not going to get the chance to slip through the door and take a pew at the back. Especially when there’s likely to be 350 guests to shoe horn in and the only access road will be closed to traffic.
Afterwards, a reception will be held at Carole and Michael Middleton’s home, Bucklebury Manor, a Grade II-listed house with lots of grounds and spectacular views. The marquee is something else (only the blingy best for Pip). Shipped over form Belgium and made of panels of glass – it looks like Kew Gardens! But with thunder storms due, the reception could be interesting when you’re partying in a glorified greenhouse. Guaranteed to be more than a few muddy stilettos at this bash.
We’ll be trying to catch a glimpse of flower girl Princess Charlotte, pageboy Prince George, Kate and William (of course), but all eyes will be on Prince Harry and the new royal squeeze Meghan Markle. She’s officially invited but it’s unconfirmed if she will attend the church service for fear of upstaging the bride – awkward. MIC star Spencer Matthews is best man and lots of double-barrelled posh pals will make up the guest list.
Eyes on the prize
If you’re wanting to rock up at the church, you’re unlikely to get anywhere near the action. Guests are being taxied in by a fleet of Land Rovers (nice to see the Chelsea tractor get a bit of branding in), the press will have their pen and then there’s the hired help. But but but… there are plenty of places you might just get a goosey gander.
If you see anything good, get on the Muddy hotline… I’m just off to the Post Office to see if my invite got lost in the back room.