The second royal wedding of the year is just round the corner, on 12th October and yet how many people know about it? Following the country’s excitement surrounding the marriage of Harry and Meghan’s back in May, the atmosphere now is completely different. Style of the City has to question why there’s less buzz for the couple to say “I do”.
The whole nation was buzzing with anticipation ahead of the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, earlier this year. There was huge speculation about what the wedding dress would be like, who would be in attendance at the wedding; the country couldn’t wait to watch along as the day progressed. But how many have heard about the upcoming Royal Wedding of Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew and ninth in line to the throne?
If you haven’t heard much about it yet, it won’t be long. The wedding is set to be an extremely high-profile and elaborate affair: with the Princess and her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank having invited 850 guests. That’s 250 more than Harry and Meghan. With names such as George Clooney, Robbie Williams and Kate Moss (to name just a few) set to be in attendance, as well as all the senior members of the Royal family, this is sure to be no quiet affair but a star-studded event to remember. An event which is spread over two days – with the bride’s father, Prince Andrew, hosting an additional reception the following day to allow the celebrations to continue.
It’s a major event, for someone who is considered by most to be a rather minor member of the Royal family.
Like Harry and Meghan, Eugenie and Jack who have been together for seven years, will be wedded at St George’s Chapel and have insisted in incorporating a carriage ride around Windsor following the ceremony; a flourish to the day which repeats the path of Harry and Meghan back in May. Planning this carriage ride has meant that a lot of extra security measures are having to be put in place to ensure that no harm comes to the couple of the day. This elaborate affair has resulted in a whopping £2 million security bill; a bill which is being footed by taxpayers. It is therefore understandable that the release of this information to the public has not been greeted well: why are we funding an over-the-top celebration for a minor royal who many of us do not know by name?
Rather ironically, Princess Eugenie and her older sister Beatrice have commented that they “just want to be seen as real”, but following this up by planning such an extravagant wedding celebration – a large part of which is being supported by taxpayer’s money – is far from real or normal. It is the complete opposite.
But is it fair of us to criticize Eugenie for planning such an indulgent affair? Although not a major member of the Royal family, she is still a member of the prestigious institution and a granddaughter of the Queen. I think what it comes down to is the following question: how much value does the Royal family hold for us as a nation; how much do we really respect those who hold this birth rite and status? It is easy to see how this kind of ornate celebration crosses a line and could be the cause of the change of attitudes of the public who are left questioning how much extravagance the couple really needs to have at someone else’s expense.
The blow of such an extortionate sum of money may have been reduced if the wedding were being broadcast so that the public could at least enjoy celebrating what they’ve contributed towards, but even the BBC have turned down the opportunity to live-stream the event, believing the viewership would not be high enough to make it worthwhile. Although there are claims that ITV might produce a broadcast, nothing has been confirmed yet. This uncertainty surely evidences that the couple are not well-known enough and intriguing to the public to warrant televising the event. And if this is the case, why was this not considered significant enough to turn down, or at least tune down, the plans for the elaborate carriage ride and lengthy guest list which requires so much public-funded security?
Whether we’re happy or excited about this Royal Wedding or not; whether we get to the opportunity to watch the whole event, or just catch snippets from Instagram photos, there is one thing for sure: for those involved, it’s set to be huge. For the rest of us, it’s just another day and expense.