Our veteran royal reporter Judy Wade was there to share in the happy day.
Three months ago, as she was driven to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s grand royal wedding, Zara Phillips gazed in horror at the crowds and formal procession, and vowed, “I’m not having all this fuss!” And she got her wish on July 30, when she married England rugby captain Mike Tindall in a charming but very private ceremony in Edinburgh, a world away from the pomp and pageantry of her cousin’s nuptials.
In stark contrast to any other wedding in recent Windsor history, Zara, 30, and Mike, 32, invited only the immediate royal family. Most of the 400 guests were close friends from the worlds of rugby and horse-riding. Of course, Zara, the Queen’s eldest and rumoured favourite granddaughter, has always been a rebel royal, famously shocking her family with tongue and tummy piercings.
But as she arrived a stylish seven minutes late at Canongate Kirk on the arm of her proud father, Mark Phillips, the champion equestrienne looked every inch the traditional eye-mistingly gorgeous bride in her timeless ivory silk gown, designed by the Queen’s favourite couturier Stewart Parvin. In the simple, 45-minute Church of Scotland ceremony, Zara vowed, “I now take you, Michael, to be my husband. In the presence of God and before these witnesses, I promise to be a loving, faithful and loyal wife to you, so long as we both shall live.”
Then, with a skirl of the bagpipes, the newlyweds walked out into the Edinburgh sunshine and kissed in the doorway of the church, much to the delight of gathered royal fans, who also let out a loud cheer when Wills and Kate emerged from the church on their way to the reception. Held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, which had been turned into a temporary nightclub for the occasion, it was a chance for Zara and Mike to let down their hair among their nearest and dearest.
Read more of Judy Wade's royal wedding experience in this week's Woman's Day on sale August 8, 2011.
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