Harry and Meghan’s attendance could have ruined Duke of Westminster’s wedding, any encounter would have been deeply awkward

Tam
-
June 08, 2024

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle would have ruined the Duke of Westminster’s wedding, a royal expert says.

Hugh Grosvenor, 33, today tied the knot with fiancee Olivia Henson, 31, in a lavish ceremony at Chester Cathedral.

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The Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson shared a kiss outside Chester Cathedral
The Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson shared a kiss outside Chester CathedralCredit: Getty
Olivia beamed at crowds when she arrived at the chapel
Olivia beamed at crowds when she arrived at the chapelCredit: Getty
Prince William this morning led guests into the society wedding of the year
Prince William this morning led guests into the society wedding of the yearCredit: i-Images
Prince Harry in London on May 8. He chose to stay away from today's wedding
Prince Harry in London on May 8. He chose to stay away from today’s weddingCredit: AP

The happy couple beamed as they left the chapel before sharing a kiss while thousands of people cheered.

Crowds lined the streets for hours to try get a glimpse of the couple on their big day, which has been dubbed the society wedding of the year.

Not even Just Stop Oil eco jobs, who let off an orange fire extinguisher near the church, dampened Hugh and Olivia’s big day.

But Royal commentator Katie Nicholl said one thing could have ruined the day – Harry and Meghan.

Speaking to The Sun’s Royal Exclusive Show, the expert said that Hugh would have been relieved it was Prince William who went.

Katie told Royal Editor Matt Wilkinson: “All of the headlines would be about the brothers and this rift when this is actually a really important society wedding and I think it would detract from certainly the bride and groom of the day and no one would want that.

“Knowing that Hughie is quite close with the brothers he was obviously in a difficult position and I think he was never going to invite one and not the other.”

Had Hugh been forced to pick between having one brother or the other, he would have wanted Wills, the expert added.

Prince William was an usher at the wedding and was one of the first to arrive this morning – looking dapper in a pale blue waistcoat with a black jacket and dark grey tailored trousers.

Katie continued: “I think his hope was that Harry would gracefully bow out of this one, which is exactly what happened.

“I suppose if you were the Duke of Westminster and your wedding’s going to be all over the front pages are you going to want the spare there, or are you going to want the heir and the future King.

“The optics of course is it’s better are it’s better for Prince William to be there and I think it just highlights this divide doesn’t it.”

Katie said there are “two royal camps operating”, the “court of Montecito” and Wills.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.644.0_en_gb.html#goog_1771599930Play Video

Just Stop Oil try to disrupt Duke of Westminster’s wedding by blasting orange fire extinguisher yards from William

She continued: “When it comes to everything that’s royal or aristocratic and British I think it’s going to be William that comes top in the pecking order.”

Katie said had both brothers been there today, it would have been “hugely awkward”.

She said: “William was an usher at today’s service so can you imagine the awkwardness if he had to show Harry and Meghan, or even just Harry to his pew.

“I think any encounter would have been deeply awkward.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in Nigeria on May 11
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in Nigeria on May 11Credit: Getty
The newly married couple beamed as they left the chapel
The newly married couple beamed as they left the chapelCredit: Zenpix
They waved to well-wishers who had gathered to see them
They waved to well-wishers who had gathered to see themCredit: Goff
Wills was an usher at the wedding
Wills was an usher at the weddingCredit: Goff
Guests had smiles from ear-to-ear as they waved to well-wishers
Guests had smiles from ear-to-ear as they waved to well-wishers

Prince Harry was said to have agreed not to attend to avoid clashes with his brother amid their rift.

William and Harry have always had a close relationship with Hugh, and were both ushers at his sister’s wedding in 2004.

And while it’s reported Harry would have loved to have been there for Hugh’s big day – he snubbed the event after “challenges” came to light.

A source close to the Sussexes told People magazine: “There was an acknowledgement on both sides that it would be difficult for Harry to attend.

“It was an understanding between the two friends.

“The decision certainly avoided the inevitable clamour had estranged brothers Prince William and Prince Harry both attended the nuptials, eliminating the possibility of the big day being overshadowed for the couple.”

The Duke, who was once dubbed the UK’s richest bachelor, is King Charles‘ godson, and the godfather of both Prince George and Archie.

Bride-to-be Olivia wowed crowds in a custom-made lace-edged satin wedding dress by designer Emma Victoria Payne.

A family statement revealed: “The bespoke embroidery design on the bridal gown and veil was hand drawn and re-imagined by Emma Victoria Payne, incorporating floral motifs and edgings from Olivia’s great great grandmother’s veil from around 1880.”

Ahead of the star-studded ceremony Hugh beamed and waved at the masses when he arrived in a forest green Land Rover – similar to the late Prince Philip’s.

He greeted the Dean of Chester, the Rev Dr Tim Stratford, at the entrance to the cathedral at 11.30am, around half-an-hour before the glamorous bride’s arrival.

Dozens of well-wishers cheered as Olivia’s dress and veil billowed in the wind when she made her way inside the church.

Source: The Sun

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