The wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly will be remembered by the Royal Family as a wonderful family celebration of the wedding of the Princess Royal’s only son. His bride was the image of loveliness and the day was one of the happiest royal events of recent years. Peter and Autumn are a very likeable couple and their joy was clearly shared by the three hundred guests, including most members of the Royal Family, writes Janette Aldace. It will, however, also be remembered for the media storm caused by Peter and Autumn’s decision to sell the rights to the event. The exclusive in HELLO! Magazine will no doubt have given the magazine’s sales a boost but the newlyweds and the Royal Family as a whole came under fire for using a royal wedding held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, for commercial purposes. The media fallout from that decision was considerable but that should not detract from the event itself and the happiness of Peter and Autumn, whose relationship began when they were introduced at the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Peter at the time was working for the BMW Williams formula one team and Autumn was working at the BMW hospitality tent. Romance followed but Peter kept his royal status a secret for eleven months until Kelly found out when she saw a TV programme about Prince William’s 21st birthday celebrations. As their relationship developed Peter and Autumn kept a low profile and it was not until 2006 that Kelly was invited to join the Royal Family on a tour of the Hebrides. The following year their engagement was announced.
The wedding ceremony was held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The weather was chilly but the celebratory atmosphere ensured all thoughts and eyes were on the bride and groom. Peter of course arrived first, joking that if Autumn was more than five minutes late he would know that he was in trouble. She arrived right on time, looking stunning in the dress created by Sassi Holford, the well known London based couture designer. Autumn’s father Brian walked his daughter down the aisle with the three bridesmaids – Zara Phillips and Autumn’s two friends, Jacquilien Aubie and Susannah Toynbee – in attendance. On either side of the stalls sat the Windsors and the Kellys. The hymns sang during the ceremony were ‘Now Thank we all our God’; ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ and ‘Love Divine, all loves Excelling’. After the couple had taken their vows, Autumn’s half brother Patrick Kelly read from Colossians, after which Princesses Eugenie read Shakespeare’s sonnet 116 ‘Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds’. As the newlyweds and guests left the chapel they were greeted by children from local primary schools who cheered the couple and waved union jack and Canadian maple leaf flags. Peter and Autumn were then taken by open carriage to Frogmore House for the reception. Frogmore House was a splendid venue for the reception. The 17th century country house is situated at the centre of the Frogmore Estate, less than a mile south of Windsor Castle in the Home Park at Windsor. The grade II Listed building was once home to Queen Charlotte and subsequently her daughter, Princess Augusta. Thereafter it was an occasional royal residence until Queen Mary turned it into a private museum. Frogmore was opened to the public in 1990. The reception was as lavish as one would expect – a sumptuous meal, spectacular wedding cake, entertainers for the children and a band – all enjoyed in the grandeur of Frogmore House. By all accounts a great time was had and the party went on into the early hours of the morning. (Extract from Royalty Magazine Vol 21/02)