Pippa Middleton dazzles in lace gown as she marries financier
Published Saturday, May 20, 2017 8:19AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:10AM EDT
Pippa Middleton may not officially be a royal, but her wedding Saturday to a wealthy hedge fund manager is turning out to be the high society event of the year. It was attended by at least one well-known tennis star, a reality TV star, and a prince and princess or two.
The 33-year-old Middleton married James Matthews, a 41-year-old financier, at the 12th-century church of St. Mark's in the village of Englefield, west of London.
Middleton looked radiant in an embroidered and beaded lace overlay gown. The dress, created by British designer Giles Deacon, featured cap sleeves, a high neckline and a corseted bodice.
The bride wore her hair in an up-do with a tiara, topped off with a flowing tulle veil designed by milliner Stephen Jones.
Deacon said in a statement he was honoured to have been chosen to design the dress, noting it was "a real testament to Pippa's support of British fashion."
Middleton arrived at St Mark's with her father Michael Middleton in a vintage, open-top Jaguar, just in time to pose for pictures in the sunshine. Minutes after the church doors closed, the weather shifted and rain poured down.
As luck would have it, the rain ended just as the ceremony wrapped up and the new husband and wife were able to step out under clear skies to wave to the 100 or so curious royal watchers who had gathered outside the church.
CTV royal commentator Richard Berthelsen said while the wedding was a private affair, there were plenty of British royalty in attendance.
“It’s not really a royal wedding, aside from the fact that you have the second, third, fourth, fifth and eighth in line to the throne in attendance,” he told CTV News Channel, referring to Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie, respectively.
Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, and his wife Mirka attended as well, as did Princess Eugenie, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Duchess of York, who arrived with her long-time partner, Jack Brooksbank.
Royal watchers were disappointed to see that Prince Harry did not bring his girlfriend Meghan Markle to the event, choosing instead to arrive with his brother William, while Kate, wearing a pink dress and cream fascinator, attended to all the children in the wedding party.
Berthelsen said Harry may have chosen not to escort Markle to the event for fear that her presence would cause so much fuss, it would overshadow the bride.
“There’s so much about her and seeing her and Harry together would really do that,” he said.
Prince William and his Kate’s two children were also there, with three-year-old Prince George acting as page boy and little two-year-old Charlotte acting as a bridesmaid.
Matthews proposed to Middleton last summer during a trip to England's scenic Lake District. They had dated for less than a year -- although had briefly been an item in 2012 as well -- when he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
Matthews’ brother Spencer Matthews, who starred in the reality TV show "Made in Chelsea," acted as best man at the nuptials. He attended solo, after the bride reportedly enforced a “spouses only” rule, meaning his girlfriend, Irish model Vogue Williams, was unable to attend.
Berthelsen said that country weddings in England typically feature a morning ceremony followed by a luncheon.
“This wedding is a bit of an exception in that there’s a reception following… and then a big, big party in a glass tent this evening. So it’s a little beyond a country wedding, in that sense,” he said.
The reception will be held at Middleton’s parents' country estate in Bucklebury, where the Middletons have built a glass marquee, similar to a greenhouse, for the event. Reports say Pippa has selected the menu, which includes lamb and recipes from her recent cookbook.
Guests have been urged to change outfits ahead of the dinner and there is also speculation Prince Harry will bring Markle to the event.
Few pictures of the reception and party afterward are expected, as the airspace above the Middleton estate has been closed to prevent press crews from flying overhead or launching drones to capture video.
With files from The Associated Press
All photos: AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool