Royal approval for society wedding
IT WAS the society wedding of the year and it has created one of the wealthiest couples in Britain.
Lady Tamara Grosvenor, 24, daughter of the Duke of Westminster, and Edward van Cutsem, the Prince of Wales’ godson, married yesterday uniting two of high society’s grandest families.
The father of the bride is Britain’s biggest landowner and richest man with a personal fortune of more than 4bn. His holdings include swathes of Mayfair and Belgravia.
The groom, a 29-year-old City banker, is the eldest son of Norfolk landowners Emilie and Hugh van Cutsem.
About 650 guests attended the wedding at Chester Cathedral including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Princes William and Harry, who are both close friends of the groom, acted as ushers.
However, one notable absentee from the lavish celebration was Prince Charles, who refused to attend after he discovered his companion Camilla Parker Bowles had been assigned a seat several rows behind him at the ceremony.
Charles was to have been seated on the front row but his companion was relegated to seats on the other side of the aisle towards the back. She and Charles were expected to arrive at Chester Cathedral separately and travel in different cars to the reception.
Officially both the Van Cutsem and Grosvenor families insist that the separation of Charles and Camilla is a matter of Royal protocol.
But Parker Bowles and the bridegroom’s family are reported to have had a long-standing disagreement over their children a number of years ago.
The rift began when Hugh van Cutsem warned Prince Charles about the drug-taking habits of Parker Bowles’s son, Tom.
Charles had encouraged both Tom Parker Bowles and Edward van Cutsem to act as unofficial ‘older brothers’ to the princes since adolescence and van Cutsem considered asking William to act as best man.
But Parker Bowles was furious over van Cutsem's allegations about her son.
Tom Parker Bowles later admitted taking cocaine but the damage to Charles's friendship with the van Cutsems seems to be unrepaired
The Prince of Wales and Parker Bowles abruptly withdrew from the wedding and the Prince spent the day visiting the families of Black Watch troops stationed in Iraq.
It has also emerged that two of van Cutsem’s aunts on his mother's side were absent from the wedding ceremony following a long-running family feud.
Princes William and Harry arrived early wearing black and grey morning suits with a single red rose in their lapels. Harry sported a salmon pink tie while William wore a deep red tie, with beige waistcoats.
It was the first official public outing for Prince Harry since his infamous spat with a paparazzi photographer outside a nightclub in London.
To a cheer from the crowd who had stood in the drizzle awaiting the Royals, the Queen, wearing deep purple, and Prince Philip, in morning suit, arrived with an escort of police outriders.
Both entered the cathedral along the red carpet to be greeted by their grandson, Prince William, who showed them to their seats.
The bride and her father arrived shortly afterwards in a vintage Rolls Royce. Lady Tamara was helped from the car by her dress designer, Bruce Oldfield, as the Duke waved to well-wishers.
There were hundreds of onlookers lining the narrow streets around the cathedral, in a city which rarely hosts such a high-profile occasion. Security was tight with 150 police officers on duty. Family and friends were also reportedly instructed to turn up with a passport photograph before being permitted entry to Chester Cathedral. Only the Royals, the Queen, Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales and Princes William and Harry, were excluded from the requirement.
A statement issued by the Duke and Duchess of Westminster said: "This is a very special day for us all. Both families are proud and delighted and we wish Tamara and Edward every possible happiness together."
Lady Tamara is the eldest daughter of the Duke of Westminster and was given away by her father.
Both families have been friends for many years and the bride and groom have known each other since childhood.
The bride wore a dress made of ivory silk georgette embroidered with rows of tiny antique silk velvet rosebuds, with a two metre train. Her shoes were made by Jimmy Choo couture.
She also wore a tiara in her hair designed by Carl Faberge in the style of a laurel wreath, set with cushion shaped diamonds.
The six bridesmaids wore ivory silk taffeta empire line dresses with fur collar and cuffs.
Lady Tamara carried a bouquet of garden roses in white and pale cream, white jasmine stephanotis and lily of the valley with myrtle leaves.
The Dean of Chester, The Very Reverend Dr Gordon McPhate, the Bishop of Chester, the Right Reverend Dr Peter Forster, and Canon Lawrence Skipper officiated at the ceremony. As the groom is Catholic, the Bishop of Brentwood, Bishop Thomas McMahon also attended.
Lady Tamara will assume her husband’s name but retains her title, so her married name will be Lady Tamara van Cutsem.
The bride and groom emerged from the cathedral at 12.35pm after the hour-long service and posed on the red carpet for photographs.
The Duke escorted the Queen and Prince Philip to their waiting car, before a cheer went up from Royal well-wishers as Prince William and Prince Harry emerged.
The two princes chatted on the red carpet for a few moments as hundreds of young girls chanted, "Marry me, William".
The princes waved to the crowds before leaving for the reception.
The service was followed by a reception at Eaton Hall, home of the Westminster family, where there was a fireworks display.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
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Wind direction: South