The ‘other’ royal wedding of the year took place on 30th July at Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk on the city’s Royal Mile. A stylish affair, with 300 guests and a 6,000-strong crowd celebrating the couples nuptials
On Saturday 30th July, the Queen’s eldest granddaughter Zara Phillips wed her partner of six years, England Rugby star Mike Tindell, in a private ceremony at Edinburgh‘s Canongate Kirk on the city’s Royal Mile.
The second royal wedding of the year may not have been on the same scale as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s in April but an expectant crowd of 6,000 queued outside the venue to catch a glimpse of the bride, 13th in line to the throne.
Few details were released about the ceremony, but it is known that Canongate Kirk was filled with hundreds of scented white stargazer lilies, white roses and carnations. Similar to William and Kate’s wedding, branches of beech trees were hung in a modest and stylish flower display by London florist Paul Thomas. A choir of 15 from Zara’s old boarding school Gordeonstoun sang Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, Love Divine All Loves Excelling, Amazing Grace and Jerusalem, as well as a Gaelic blessing.
The bride arrived at the 17th Century venue in a Bentley, accompanied by her father Captain Mike Phillips. A huge cheer from the expecting crowd was heard as she stepped out in an ivory silk gown by The Queen’s favourite couturier Stewart Parvin, elegant in a full veil, train and her mother’s Greek diamond tiara.
Zara chose five bridesmaids and a pageboy dressed in traditional Balmoral tartan kilt. Her bouquet was made up of white blooms and thistles as an acknowledgement to the Scottish venue.
Three hundred guests were invited, among them senior members of the monarchy and leading figures from the world of sport. However no heads of state were in attendance and no cameras were allowed inside the church, creating an intimate and private occasion for the royal bride.
After tying the knot, the excited crowd were rewarded by a kiss on the steps of the church, before the newlyweds left for the reception at The Queen’s official Scottish residence Holyroodhouse. There, a giant marquee awaited them and a dinner of lobster, venison, chocolate fondant and strawberries with Laurent Perrier champagne.
Zara will break with royal tradition by keeping her surname to preserve her sporting identity as a show jumper and eventing rider. The couple, both with careers in sport, are postponing their honeymoon to prepare for training – Zara for the Gatcombe Park horse trials later this week and Mike for the England Vs Wales rugby match next Saturday.