Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Might Miss a Big Part of Princess Eugenie's Wedding
Two key players may be missing from a portion of Princess Eugenie‘s royal wedding weekend — but for a good reason.
Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will tie the knot on Friday, October 12 at 6 a.m. ET at St. George’s Chapel — the same venue where her cousin Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle in May. The future newlyweds will then be feted by a lunch hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle and then a black tie evening reception at Royal Lodge.
But unlike Harry and Meghan’s day-long celebrations, Eugenie and Jack are extending the party for another full day. The party will continue on Saturday afternoon with a festival-style event complete with a fairground and food stalls.
Meghan and Harry kick off their 16-day tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand early next week, meaning there’s a good chance they’ll skip Saturday’s wedding festivities to allow for adequate travel time. (After all, it’s a nearly 22-hour flight non-stop from London to Sydney, where the couple will start their jam-packed adventure.)
Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, won’t be the only royals missing in action. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is unable to head down for Friday’s ceremony from Scotland, where she and Prince Charles are currently staying, because she has a day of duties. The 71-year-old royal is set to attend a harvest festival, visit a school and step out for another engagement close to the home she and Charles, 69, share in the Highlands, PEOPLE understands.
Her diary was already set when the wedding date was set: “These are long-standing invitations,” says a source at the couple’s Clarence House office.
There’s also a question as to whether Prince Philip will attend his granddaughter’s wedding. Philip, 97, who is retired from public life and underwent a hip replacement operation in April, has been on frosty terms with Eugenie’s mother Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, since she separated from Prince Andrew in 1992.
He did, however, make it to Harry and Meghan’s nuptials. “He does what he wants,” a well-placed insider previously told PEOPLE. “He made a supreme effort for Harry. I would be very surprised if he did go, because he is so estranged from Fergie. I think he will decide at the 99th hour.”
While the guest list for the wedding hasn’t been confirmed, around 800 people are expected in St. George’s Chapel to witness to nuptials.