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Edward and Sophie’s ‘low-key’ wedding

The Story

Britain is abuzz with wedding fever as Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones prepare to tie the knot. But compared with the grand-scale royal weddings of the recent past, this is expected to be a more "low-key" family wedding. "It's as near as the Royal Family can get to a family wedding. As they say, there are 'only' 500 guests," explains the BBC's David Pickthall in this 1999 CBC News report. Still, thousands of spectators will line the streets to cheer for the royal couple, while millions worldwide will be watching on TV.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: June 18, 1999
Guest(s): Sue Barnes, Martin Clare, David Pickthall
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Ann MacMillan
Duration: 2:53
This clip has been edited for copyright reasons.

Did You know?

• A guest list of 500 was indeed small compared to previous royal weddings. At the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, for instance, there were 3,500 guests at the ceremony. And at the 1986 wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, there were 2,000 guests.

• Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones were married at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England on June 19, 1999. On their wedding day, they became the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

• Prior to marrying Edward, Sophie -- who was 34 at the time of the wedding -- had already established a successful career in public relations, and had even opened up her own public relations firm in 1996. She continued working in PR for several years after getting married, but quit in 2002 in order to focus more on her royal duties.

• The couple has two children: Louise, born in 2003, and James, born in 2007.

• There have been numerous reports in the British media about the Queen's fondness for the Countess of Wessex. A 2007 article in the Daily Mail called Sophie "the Queen's favourite" daughter-in-law, while a 2010 item in the same paper said the Queen is "particularly close to Edward's wife Sophie, who is the first of her children's spouses with whom she has been able to develop what she feels is a permanently warm relationship."



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