13th Wedding Anniversary of Prince Edward and Sophie
Today is the 13th wedding anniversary of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones, which took place on 19 June 1999. Unlike the large and more formal weddings of Prince Edward’s older siblings, his was a relatively low-key one and took place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. It was the wish of the couple who let it known they didn’t want their wedding to be a state occasion; consequently, there was no military involvement and British politicians, including then Prime Minister Tony Blair, were not invited.
The wedding’s broadcast garnered an estimate 200 million viewers from around the world. Edward’s supporters were his two brothers, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew; the brothers walked to the Church, instead of traveling by car. Sophie arrived with her father Christopher Rhys-Jones in the Queen’s Rolls Royce; her attendants were the children of the couple’s friends.
Sophie looked beautiful in a wedding dress designed by Samantha Shaw. The gown featured a v-neck coat with long sleeves made of hand-dyed ivory silk organza with tulle and silk crepe. The coat was decorated with approximately 325,000 pearl and cut-glass beads. The ivory train was made from hand-dyed silk organza and hand-dyed silk crepe, and also had rows of pearls and crystal beading.
The bride wore jewellery that was meaningful to the couple; her pearl necklace was designed by Prince Edward, while the tiara came from the Queen’s private collection. The tiara, which had never seen before, was designed and remodelled by the Crown Jeweller; its origins have never been fully revealed, but it has been .speculated they were made from pieces from Queen Victoria’s regal circlet.
The entire British Royal Family attended the wedding. Foreign royals in attendance included the Sultan of Brunei, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, the Prince of Asturias, and Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra of Denmark. Other notable guests included Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Sir David Frost, and others.
After the ceremony, the newly-wed couple rode in a horse-drawn carriage to the reception at Windsor Castle. Just before the wedding, the Queen created her youngest son Earl of Wessex; although it was a break with tradition (since the Monarch’s sons are usually crested Dukes), it was later explained that the Earl of Wessex is eventually expected to inherit the Duke of Edinburgh title.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are now proud parents to two adorable children – Lady Louise (born in 2003) and James, Viscount Severn (born in 2007). The couple have become two of the hardest-working members of the Royal Family; they are also the Queen’s usual representatives during foreign royal gatherings. The Countess of Wessex enjoys particularly close relationship with her mother-in-law; she is reported to be the first of Her Majesty’s children-in-law with whom the Queen has enjoyed a permanently warm relationship. She is the only member of the Royal Family to have the privilege of riding the State Limousine with Queen Elizabeth at Sandringham on Christmas Day.
To read more about the wedding, visit this thread – Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones: 19 June 1999.
To learn more about the couple, visit their threads at British Royal Family Forum.Filed under British Royals
Tagged The Countess of Wessex, The Earl of Wessex, Wedding, Wedding Anniversary.