Most weddings come with some family politics to a degree, but when it comes to the royal family, everything is under the microscope.
While Princess Eugenie is getting ready to wed long-term boyfriend Jack Brooksbank in front of over 850 guests at St George’s Chapel tomorrow, there has been speculation surrounding absent family members at the nuptials and rumoured rifts.
Prince Charles will be attending solo on the day, without his wife Camilla. Buckingham Palace have confirmed that the Duchess of Cornwall has prior engagements in Scotland, which were scheduled before the date of the wedding was announced.
Camilla will visit a community centre and two primary schools, where she will watch a Harvest Festival performance, and didn’t want to let anybody down. Eugenie is said to be understanding of the situation.
However, The Daily Telegraph reports that the real reason behind her absence is because Camilla has organised a house party for a few of her friends this weekend at Birkhall, the Prince of Wales’s home at Balmoral.
An insider reportedly said: “She only told the Duke and Duchess of York recently and they were quite upset. The date of the wedding was known eight months ago so they don’t understand why Camilla organised her house party this weekend. It’s fair to say it’s created a bit of a bad feeling.”
There have also been long-standing rumours of a rift between Camilla and Sarah “Fergie” Duchess of York, because of the latter’s loyalty to the late Princess Diana.
According to insiders, she feels that the Duke did not speak up for her and Charles when they were battling to get royal acceptance for their relationship after Diana’s death.
While Camilla is expected to be the only senior member of the royal family absent from the ceremony, there have also been questions raised about whether Prince Philip will attend his granddaughter’s wedding.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, retired from royal duties last year and had a hip operation in April. He recovered in time to be able to attend his grandson Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle the following month.
However, there have also been rumours of a long-standing rift between the Duke and the Duchess of York, after the breakdown of her marriage to his son Prince Andrew.
Philip has apparently snubbed Fergie since 1992, when pictures emerged of her having her toes sucked by her ‘financial advisor’ John Bryan. It was the same year she separated from Andrew.
Fuel has only been added to the fire since, with reports of money troubles and extravagant spending, as well as accusations of “selling access” to Prince Andrew for money in 2010.
A source told The Daily Telegraph: “The Duke of Edinburgh may not go to the wedding, just as he and the Queen did not attend Prince Louis christening in July.
“There’s not a three line whip on these family occasions.
Not unreasonably, when you consider his age, the Duke of Edinburgh will decide on the morning of the wedding if he’s going to be there.
“He now very much operates on a ‘wake up and see how I feel’ basis.”
But Buckingham Palace have not said that the Duke of Edinburgh will be absent from the day.
And while Eugenie and sister Beatrice were present at their cousin Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May, it’s been speculated that the newlyweds might have to make an early exit from the bash.
The couple are expected to be at the ceremony, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but according to Marie Claire, they may have to bow out of the evening’s afterparty and the festival-inspired celebrations on the Saturday.
They say it’s because they need to allow themselves sufficient time to catch their flight to Australia, for the couple’s upcoming royal tour, which begins on Tuesday 16 October.
However, Kensington Palace have not revealed the guest list of the evening reception or Saturday’s proceedings, so it’s unknown whether Harry and Meghan will need to dash off early.
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