On April 29, 2011, Pippa Middleton gained worldwide attention as maid of honour when her elder sister Kate Middleton wed Prince William at Westminster Abbey, but soon all eyes will be on her when she marries hedge fund manager (and Eton grad) James Matthews on May 20th in Berkshire, England. With her wedding still almost six weeks away, it is quickly becoming one of the more anticipated ceremonies of the year.
One reason for the anticipation is the belief that her royal sister is set to return the favour as her maid of honour, as well as speculation whether Prince George and Princess Charlotte might play roles in Aunt Pippa’s ceremony – scheduled for St. Mark’s Church in Englefield, with a reception to follow at her parents Grade II-listed Georgian mansion in Bucklebury. Matthews’ younger brother Spencer has been tipped as best man – whom British TV audiences will know as one of the original stars of structured reality program Made in Chelsea. It’s speculated that Pippa’s younger brother, James Middleton, will have an usher role.
It’s reported that Pippa is planning the wedding with her mother Carol Middleton, who co-owns an online party supplies business with her husband Michael – but very little in the way of specific details has leaked out. It’s believed that Giles Deacon is her wedding dress designer, but all camps are mum.
It has also been rumoured that Pippa, in an effort to ensure she’s the centre of attention on her big day, has banned a few glamorous women from attending. Spencer Matthews’ reality star/model girlfriend Vogue Williams has been forced to announce she has a long-scheduled work engagement that day that will keep her from attending, while the British tabloids are salivating over Pippa’s purported “no ring, no bring” policy regarding plus-ones. Although it has not been confirmed that Prince Harry will attend the wedding of his sister-in-law, it is presumed he will not be permitted to bring his girlfriend, Suits actress Meghan Markle.
The Sun also reported earlier this week that Pippa, Kate, and several girlfriends spent a March weekend in Meribel, France for the bride-to-be’s hen ‘do, skiing by day and partying by night – albeit managing to keep their imbibing from the tabloids. Prince William already made headlines last month for ‘dad dancing’ with beautiful women during his own ski trip in Verbier with friends – The Sun, publishing pictures of the sisters on the slopes, revealed that Pippa’s hen party was the same weekend, and that a private jet delivered both skiing parties to their respective destinations, while George and Charlotte stayed with their maternal grandparents.
The Sun cites a friend of Pippa’s, who said, “Pippa loves skiing, so it was her first choice for a hen weekend. They stayed in a really exclusive catered chalet with maids and chef, who ensured that they were totally spoilt. The owners also wanted to impress their royal guests, so the girls were showered with gifts. They were given Swatch watches, Ugg slippers, leather-bound notebooks, and bespoke fragrances. It was a very small, private party, and they had an amazing time.”
Pippa, 33, and Matthews, 41, were engaged in July 2016, two months after she moved in to his London mansion. While the couple was on vacation in England’s picturesque Cumbrian Lake District, he proposed with an art deco-style three-carat Asscher-cut diamond ring from London jeweller Robinson Pelham – who also designed Kate’s acorn-shaped wedding earrings.
The soon-to-be newlyweds had been friends for a decade before they began dating in 2015. His family operates Eden Rock Capital Management, which holds the Eden Rock Hotel in St. Barths among it’s many investments. The exclusive property is regularly voted among the Top 100 hotels worldwide by travel and hospitality publications, and has played host to the Middleton family countless times over the years. The Telegraph reports that the couple intends to head there for a pre-wedding break.