The Duchess of Cambridge will miss the society wedding of good friends as the final countdown to the birth of her baby begins.
Kate, who is more than eight months pregnant, will be staying at home but William and Prince Harry are expected to be among the congregation to watch Thomas van Straubenzee, 30, marry Lady Melissa Percy, 26, today.
The Duchess’s final official public appearance was last weekend when she attended the Trooping the Colour ceremony with other members of the Royal Family.
But with the wedding taking place in Northumberland and her baby due in mid-July, it is possible Kate has decided not to travel. The groom is a long-time friend of both William and Harry, and the brothers were at the chartered surveyor’s London stag party earlier this month.
Mr van Straubenzee travelled to New Zealand with William on a gap year and was reportedly on the phone to Harry when he was mugged in London last year. It was said that Harry alerted police and went out to find his friend after the ordeal.
Lady Melissa is the Duke of Northumberland’s second daughter and she will exchange vows with Mr van Straubenzee in a parish church close to her family’s ancestral home, Alnwick Castle, near Newcastle.
The bride will leave the castle in a restored horse-drawn carriage that is almost 200 years old. She will wear a Bruce Oldfield dress with flowers by local florist Caro Dickinson, who has also decorated the church and castle.
Lady Melissa, who is a tennis coach, will be attended by her sister and Chelsy Davy, who dated Prince Harry, as well as 12 pages and bridesmaids.