Pippa Middleton is getting married Saturday and you are not invited.
Also barred from the celebration: Most of the media mob hoping to sneak a peek of her nuptials, her dress and her royal relations — especially nephew and niece Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who will be page boy and bridesmaid respectively — on the big day.
Another prime target for the media: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's American actress (Suits) girlfriend. Will she be in the church or just the reception? And what will she wear?
Although this is a private wedding, as Pippa's publicist, Joy Milloy, has insisted, the presence of the young royals — older sister Duchess Kate of Cambridge, her husband, Prince William, Prince Harry, and her children, George and Charlotte — makes it a semi-public affair, if for nothing else but the security issues.
The second, third, fourth and fifth-in-line to the throne will be there, so royal security will be there, along with a media pool jostling for position.
Why do we care? Because Pippa, 33, became an unexpected star as a bridesmaid at sister Kate's 2011 royal wedding. Now she's the headliner at her own nuptials, anointed by the media as Britain's society wedding of the year, and who's to say if there might be another star to emerge from the celebrations?
Because the Middleton clan has worked hard to keep a lid on blabbing and leaks, not much is known officially about the wedding, leaving the British media to speculate with cheeky abandon. One leading wedding planning website, Bridebook.co.uk, estimated the total cost of the nuptials will likely amount to about $320,000, almost 15 times more than the average British wedding.
"There will be 4,333 other weddings happening in the U.K. on Saturday 20th May, but Pippa and James’ will certainly be the most talked about, and likely to be the most expensive," the website said.
Here's what we know so far:
The groom: Pippa is marrying James Matthews, 41, millionaire scion of a wealthy family and a former race car driver-turned-financier, who runs a London hedge fund, Eden Rock Capital Management. They announced their engagement in July. They are longtime pals; he was her boyfriend when they dated briefly back in 2012, and he only returned full time to Pippa's life in 2015.
The dress: A big secret, so far, but the name Giles Deacon keeps coming up. According to multiple British media reports, he was spotted visiting Pippa and mother Carole Middleton before Christmas, laden with garment bags. The designer, favored by celebrities (Kendall Jenner walked his runway in February 2015 for London Fashion Week), has refused to comment.
Naturally, all are agog about Pippa's dress because a dress is what helped make her so famous she nearly stole the show at her sister's royal wedding. Her clingy bridesmaid dress, by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, fit her to a T, especially her derriere, which soon had its own Twitter account.
The rings: We already know about her engagement ring, an Art Deco-style 3-carat Asscher-cut center diamond in an eight-sided halo setting, probably made by jewelry designer Robinson Pelham (he's not commenting), according to The Telegraph, and worth more than $250,000, according to People. But the wedding ring is still a mystery.
The church: The wedding will be at St.Mark's Church, Englefield, the local church for the Middleton family estate in Bucklebury, about 50 miles from London, where Pippa was raised. The resident priest, Rev. Nick Wynne-Jones, is officiating. The exact number of guests invited (estimates range from 150 to 350) is unconfirmed but the church is small and for sure it won't be anywhere near the 1,900 guests who packed Westminster Abbey for the royal extravaganza on April 29, 2011.
The receptions: The wedding will be followed by a cocktail reception at Englefield House, the private estate nearby (the church is part of the estate), followed by an evening reception at the Middleton manse, where dinner will be served in a large outdoor tent, or marquee as the British call it, on the lawn.
The royals: We know what roles George and Charlotte will play, which is different from typical American weddings where ring-bearers are more common and bridesmaids are usually adults. But the presence of a flock of little bridesmaids in their frilly best has long been a tradition at royal weddings.
No matter what, we know that whatever cute outfits the little royals are wearing will be covered in detail by the websites that track their clothing, and will sell out immediately assuming they're even available by then.
Kensington Palace confirmed the children's' roles but said nothing about Kate's role in the wedding party, which under ordinary circumstances would be matron of honor. Since that runs the risk of overshadowing her sister, she will likely do a reading, as her brother, James Middleton, did during her own wedding, according to royals watcher Judy Wade. (James Middleton will be there with his longtime girlfriend, singer/actress Donna Air. )
As the wedding approaches, attention is shifting to the presence of Prince Harry's girlfriend, especially after Markle, 35, was spotted earlier in May cheering on Harry, 32, at a charity polo match. But is she an invited guest at the ceremony and the receptions? The Telegraph and the Express reported over the weekend that she is, despite not being officially engaged to Harry.
This is being taken as a sign that Markle is more ensconced than ever in her royal romance with Harry, and ratchets up her style profile to the same level as Kate, Pippa and their stylish mother-of-the-bride, Carole Middleton.
"As a relatively little-known style entity, Markle's choice of look for the day will be a key moment in her gradual transition from philanthropic, social-media star to de facto member of the royal family," declared Telegraph fashion editor, Bethan Holt, on Monday.
The wedding party: Matthews' best man will be his younger brother, Spencer, a reality star in Britain with a colorful reputation (he claims to have slept with 1,000 women, admitted to taking steroids, and has been photographed snorting cocaine).
If Kate is not going to be the matron of honor, who will be matron or maid? Still a mystery but Pippa has plenty of close girlfriends among the rich and aristocratic circles she moves in.
© 2017 USATODAY.COM