Pippa Middleton’s dream wedding set to be soggy as Met Office predicts rain

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It is one element of a bride’s big day that she has no control over: the weather.

So Pippa Middleton will be hoping that the forecasters are wrong to predict showers that threaten to hit during her wedding on Saturday.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister is to tie the knot with James Matthews in what will be the society wedding of 2017.

Their ceremony is due to start at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire, at 11.30am on Saturday.

The Met Office is predicting rain for the area on Saturday – the same time Pippa and her new husband are likely to pose for wedding pictures.

Saturday weather forecast for Reading area

Credit:
Met Office

But the couple will no doubt be hoping they can dodge the showers and enjoy some of the predicted sunshine that is likely to break through the clouds throughout the afternoon.

After making an unforgettable appearance at the royal wedding of big sister Kate, Pippa will take centre stage on Saturday at the picturesque 12th century church.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be among the guests as their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte play starring roles as a page boy and bridesmaid.

But Kate has already confessed to a Buckingham Palace garden party guest that she is a little apprehensive about how her children will behave.

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews departing after attending a Christmas Day service at St Mark's Church in Englefield – where they will marry on Saturday

Credit:
 ANDREW MATTHEWS/AFP

Prince Harry will also be sitting among the congregation, but royal-watchers will be waiting to see if he brings his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.

Kate’s controversial uncle, Gary Goldsmith, who was a guest at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding, is also said to be attending.

Hedge fund boss Mr Matthews got down on bended knee during a trip to the Lake District last summer to propose to Miss Middleton.

At the time, the couple had been dating for less than a year, but had moved in together and a thrilled Pippa was said to have been totally surprised by the proposal.

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews prepare to marry: in pictures

Pippa leaped into the public consciousness in 2011 when she was Kate’s maid of honour during the Westminster Abbey royal wedding and appeared in a figure-hugging dress.

The flattering comments about her bottom on social media turned her into a celebrity almost overnight and led to book deals and requests to write newspaper and magazine columns.

The Reverend Nick Wynne-Jones, who is the church’s resident priest, is expected to officiate at the wedding.

Who is Pippa marrying?

Chelsea-based multi-millionaire Mr Matthews, 41, is the chief executive of Mayfair-based Eden Rock Capital Management Group, which he co-founded in 2001. 

An ultra-marathon runner in his spare time, Mr Matthews, who was educated at Uppingham, Rutland, eschewed university opting to pursue a career as a racing driver, competing up to Formula 3 level, before becoming a trader and starting his own hedgefund. 

James Matthews in 60 seconds

01:03

Haven’t they dated before?

Yes. The pair dated briefly in 2012, before going their separate ways after a few months. They remained close friends through her three-year relationship with the stockbroker Nico Jackson and when that ended in 2015, Mr Matthews came back on the scene.

Where is the ceremony?

Miss Middleton and Mr Matthews will wed at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire, just six miles from the quaint village of Bucklebury where the bride grew up with elder sister Catherine, now the Duchess of Cambridge, and younger brother James.

The Rev Nick Wynne-Jones will be conducting the star-studded service.

St Marks Church in Englefield where Pippa Middleton will tie the knot.

Credit:
 David Rose

The 12th century church, which only seats 130 people, is away from prying eyes, on a private estate near Englefield House which is owned by MP Richard Benyon.

Village of Bucklebury prepares for Pippa Middleton's wedding

01:14

What about the reception?

After the service, the newlyweds will travel to Miss Middleton’s parents’ Bucklebury home for a marquee reception. Carole and Michael Middleton bought the Georgian Grade II-listed manor house, which has an 18 acre garden, in 2012.

This week, a huge glass marquee has been set up in the garden, apparently shipped from Belgium, to host the wedding breakfast and evening reception. Luxury portable toilets have also appeared on the site. 

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews prepare to marry: in pictures

Who are the bridesmaids?

In April, Kensington Palace confirmed Miss Middleton’s niece and nephew Prince George, three, and Princess Charlotte, two, will take starring roles as page boy and bridesmaid. 

The Duchess of Cambridge has already admitted she is a little worried about how her children will behave. She told a guest at a Buckingham Palace garden party this week that she was "hopeful that they would be good but you never know at that age".

Prince George and Princess Charlotte will have a starring role at the wedding of their auntie Pippa.

Credit:
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Kensington Palace omitted Miss Middleton’s sister, the Duchess of Cambridge’s name from the list of official duties bestowed on her children in a statement released in April, so it’s unlikely she will be a bridesmaid.

Bridesmaids are traditionally unmarried women of marriageable age in the bride’s family, so really it wouldn’t be right or proper for Kate to take up this role. Maybe she’ll do a reading instead?

Will other royals be going?

The Duchess will of course be attending, along with her husband Prince William and Prince Harry.

Prince Harry’s girlfriend the Suits actress Meghan Markle, 35, has been invited to the wedding too and it will be the couple’s most high profile outing to date. 

Miss Middleton was said to have decided on a “no ring no bring” policy – meaning married couples only, no girlfriends or boyfriends – to limit the number of guests at the parish church.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Credit:
Ian West/PA Wire

But in an apparent exception to the rule, sources have told The Daily Telegraph that Miss Markle will attend the wedding, despite being neither married nor engaged to the prince.

Harry, 32, has been dating divorcee Miss Markle since last summer.

Who is the best man?

Mr Matthew’s younger brother Spencer, 27, will be best man at the wedding, but his model girlfriend Vogue Williams, 31, has reportedly not made the cut for the guest list.

The ex-Etonian and notorious London socialite, 27, shot to fame on reality TV show Made in Chelsea. He also once claimed to have slept with more than 1,000 women and hit the headlines in 2015 after quitting I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, blaming an addiction to steroids. 

Spencer Matthews

Credit:
Rex Features

Who are Pippa’s new in-laws?

His parents are David Matthews and Jane Parker who own the five-star Eden Rock Caribbean hotel in St Barths where they have hosted various members of the Middleton family over the years.

Yorkshireman David, 73, left school to join his father’s garage business, before becoming a door-to-door salesman and eventually – like his eldest son – a racing driver. It was in the sport he met his first wife, glamorous fellow driver Anita Taylor, whom he married in 1966. The pair had a daughter, Nina, but divorced three years later.

Miss Middleton, Mr Matthews and Miss Middleton's father Michael Middleton leave St Mark's Church, Englefield on Christmas Day 2016.

Credit:
Andrew Matthews – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Retiring from racing in the late 70s, David made millions through the sale of his car dealership business, and married the Zimbabwean-born artist Jane Spencer Parker. Together, they purchased Caunton Manor, an 18th-century mansion in 30 acres of Lincolnshire countryside, before starting their own family.

 In 1995, he and Jane purchased Eden Rock Hotel on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Barths, and spent a decade building it into one of the most luxurious hotels in the region, as well as the family home. 

Is this Pippa Middleton’s honeymoon hotel?

The couple added to their portfolio in 2008 with the purchase of Glen Affric, a Victorian lodge and estate in just north of Loch Ness.

In purchasing the property, David became Laird of Glen Affric, and the title – which isn’t a peerage ­– will be passed down to his eldest son. That means the future Pippa Matthews could call herself Lady Glen Affric one day, should she wish.

Who will design Pippa’s dress?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips – what will the bride wear? Here are our best guesses.

Giles Deacon: British designer Deacon has been seen visiting Pippa and Mum Carole at home. He and his assistant came armed with what looked like bulky dress bags- the kind which might carry a full-skirted wedding gown. Deacon would be an inspired choice by Pippa; he recently refocussed his business on couture pieces and is known for his beautifully gothic creations.

Amanda Wakeley: As the go-to designer for Prime Minister Theresa May, Wakeley knows a thing or two about dealing discreetly with VIP clients and the demands of catering to occasions which will be beamed around the globe.

While she specialises in work-ready tailoring and pared-back evening gowns, Wakeley also has a thriving bridal collection which offers everything from sleek and revealing column designs to church-worthy, more covered-up gowns. 

  • Who will design Pippa Middleton’s wedding dress?

Bridesmaid Pippa holds her sister Kate's train moments before her wedding to Prince William on April 29, 2011.

Credit:
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Who will do Pippa’s hair?

This week, the Duchess of Cambridge’s personal hair stylist Amanda Cook Tucker was seen arriving at Miss Middleton’s house with her kit bag, along with several women carrying dress bags.

It wouldn’t be entirely surprising if Cook Tucker is creating Miss Middleton’s bridal hairstyle, as she has been doing Kate’s hair since 2012, and cutting Princes William and Harry’s hair since they were children.

Cook Tucker also accompanied the Duke and Duchess on last year’s Royal tour of Canada and is well adept in creating her signature up-do’s and tousled blow-dries.

Pippa Middleton by numbers

00:56

How did Mr Matthews propose?

Mr Matthews popped the question during a trip to the Lake District in June 2016. 

The couple had only been dating for a year when he proposed, though they have been friends for more than 10 years. They enjoyed a brief relationship in 2012. 

Mr Matthews presented Miss Middleton with an octagonal ring featuring a three-carat Asscher-cut diamond understood to have been purchased from the London jeweller Robinson Pelham.

Pippa Middleton shows off her art-deco style engagement ring.

Credit:
PA

The company has been a regular source of jewellery for the Middleton family, and provided the diamond earrings the Duchess of Cambridge wore on her wedding day.

The Telegraph’s jewellery expert Annabel Davidson described Pippa’s ring as “quite Art Deco in style” with a central stone that is “upwards of three carats”.

Diamond experts valued the ring at between £150,000 and £200,000. ​

Pippa Middleton: best looks

Has Pippa had a hen do?

Miss Middleton went skiing for her hen do, taking a small group of her friends – including sister Kate – to the French resort Meribel on a private jet earlier this year.

Will the couple sell their wedding pictures?

Royal fans may be given a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the big day if Miss Middleton agrees to a magazine deal but it’s unlikely. 

Pippa has written for Hello! magazine in the past, telling of her experience running a marathon in Kenya for the conservation charity Tusk. Her brother James once appeared in a glossy spread in Hello! by baking several cakes featuring key front pages of the magazine to mark its 21st anniversary.

And Miss Middleton’s uncle Gary Goldsmith became the first member of the Middleton family to cash in on his royal connections in 2013 when he gave an exclusive interview to the same magazine, talking about his relationship with Kate.

In 2008, William’s cousin Peter Phillips was criticised for selling photos of his wedding to Canadian bride Autumn Kelly to Hello! for a reported £500,000.

Pippa Middleton grid

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