Gemma StrongRoyal bridesmaids and pageboys: Gallery of all the time the royals have appeared in the wedding party, from a young Kate Middleton, to Prince George and Princess Charlotte and the Queen
As she counts down the days until her own royal wedding, Princess Eugenie took to Instagram this week to share a sweet throwback photo of her and her big sister Princess Beatrice as bridesmaids. The image was taken in 1993 at the wedding of the sisters' former nanny, Alison Wardley, and shows the girls all dressed up for the occasion in embroidered white gowns, complete with ruffled skirts, and with floral headbands in their hair. Alison had worked as a nanny to the royals from Beatrice's birth in August 1988 through until August 1993 – seven months after Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew announced their separation. Alongside the snapshot, Eugenie wrote: "90s throwback… wedding planning starts!"
With not one, but two royal weddings to look forward to this year, we are taking a trip down memory lane to see all the times young royals acted as bridesmaids, flower girls or pageboys….
The little royals took on starring roles at aunt Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Matthews in May 2016. George was a pageboy on the big day, and looked adorable in an ivory double-breasted shirt and silk knickerbockers from the Duchess of Cambridge's go-to bespoke Spanish childrenswear designer, Pepa & Co. Princess Charlotte, meanwhile, joined the bridal party dressed in an ivory silk smocked dress with a large satin bow, an ivory bolero cardigan, cream tights and Mary-Jane shoes, and wore a floral headband in her hair.
Long before her own wedding, Duchess Kate and her younger sister Pippa acted as bridesmaids at the wedding of their uncle, Gary Goldsmith. The then nine-year-old future royal and her sibling played key roles at the 1991 nuptials, with a very little James Middleton appearing as a pageboy. A sweet home video from the wedding shows the two sisters dressed in matching pastel pink bridesmaid dresses and floral headdresses as they celebrate the big family occasion. Kate, who is referred to as 'Katie' in the footage, can be seen waving and smiling to the camera, and is clearly in her element as she poses next to bride Miranda Foote outside St Peter's Church in Burnham, Buckinghamshire.
Lady Louise, the eldest child of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, had the honour of acting as a bridesmaid at the April 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate. In total there were four bridesmaids and two pageboys; Lady Louise, then seven; Margarita Armstrong-Jones, the eight-year-old daughter of the Viscount and Viscountess of Linley; Grace van Cutsem, the three-year-old daughter of the couple's friend, Hugh van Cutsem; Eliza Lopes, the three-year-old daughter of the Duchess of Cornwall; William Lowther-Pinkerton, the ten-year-old son of William's private secretary; and Tom Pettifer, the eight-year-old son of William and Harry's former nanny, Tiggy Pettifer.
Prince William looked adorable at his uncle Prince Andrew's wedding to Sarah Ferguson in July 1986. William, who was four at the time, was dressed in a sailor's outfit, complete with a straw boater as he joined the rest of the wedding party, including fellow pageboy Peter Phillips, then eight, and bridesmaid Zara Phillips, who was five at the time.
Prince Harry took on a starring role when his maternal uncle Earl Spencer married Victoria Lockwood in September 1989. The royal, who will tie the knot with Meghan Markle on 19 May, was dressed for the occasion in a frilled white suit, complete with a maroon sash tied around his waist, and a large black hat.
Zara, only daughter of Princess Anne, was among the bridesmaids at the 1988 wedding of Zara Legge-Bourke and Captain Richard Drax. The bride and her family certainly had strong connections to the royals; Zara's mother Shan Legge-Bourke was appointed lady-in-waiting to the Princess Royal in 1987, while Zara's elder sister Tiggy was Prince William and Prince Harry's beloved childhood nanny.
Prior to that, Zara acted as a bridesmaid at Prince Andrew's 1986 wedding to Sarah Ferguson. The then five-year-old royal later joined the happy newlyweds on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following the marriage at Westminster Abbey, dressed in an elaborate, embellished peach dress and with flowers in her hair.
Zara's older brother Peter Phillips acted as a pageboy at his aunt, Sarah Phillips' wedding in 1981. Princess Anne's firstborn was dressed in a ruffled white shirt and a tartan kilt, complete with a little sporran and took the hand of one of the bridesmaids as the wedding party arrived for the ceremony.
Princess Anne – the Queen's only daughter – joined the bridal party at the 1960 wedding of Lady Pamela Mountbatten and David Nightingale Hicks. Through her father, Lady Pamela is a first cousin of Prince Philip and a great niece of the last Empress of Russia. She also acted as a bridesmaid to the then-Princess Elizabeth at her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip, and was formerly lady-in-waiting to the monarch.
Princess Elizabeth, as she was then, was one of the bridesmaids at the 1946 wedding of the Hon. And Rev. Andrew Charles Victor Elphinstone and Jean Hambro – one of her former ladies-in-waiting. The groom's mother, Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon, was the sister of the Queen Mother, while his younger sister, Margaret, acted as a bridesmaid at Elizabeth's wedding to Philip in 1947.