Sophie Countess of Wessex & Prince Edward: Couple broke royal tradition at wedding

Sophie Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward married on June 19, 1999. The Earl of Wessex is the youngest of the Queen’s children and the last to get married of his generation. The Earl and Countess of Wessex will celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary this summer.

However, the couple opted to break with tradition when it came to their big day.

So how did the wedding break royal tradition?

Prince Edward and Sophie married in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in 1999.

His older sister Princess Anne was the first of the Queen’s children to get married back in 1973.

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Prince Charles followed suit in 1981, and then Prince Andrew tied the knot with Sarah Ferguson in 1986.

But Edward’s wedding differed slightly.

Prince Edward’s elder siblings, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, all opted for large, formal London weddings for their first marriages.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana married at St Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.


Whereas Princess Anne and Prince Andrew all had their respective weddings at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen’s youngest son and his future wife, Sophie Rhys-Jones, chose to tie the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on June 19, 1999.

But why did Sophie and Edward decide against London for their wedding, unlike the royal’s siblings?

In their engagement interview, which took place at St James’s Palace in January 1999, the couple outlined their reason for their decision.

When asked what kind of wedding they were planning, Edward replied: “A family one, hopefully.

“I mean there’s no such thing as a private wedding, but I hope that it will be predominantly a family wedding.”

Speaking about his wish to have their nuptials in Windsor, the Prince said: “I have always enjoyed St George’s and Windsor especially, it’s a wonderful setting, it’s a glorious piece of architecture and it’s somewhere slightly different.”

Sophie appeared to nod as one reporter asked if they were opting for a low-key, less public wedding.

The royal bride said at the time: “I think any marriage is a very personal thing, naturally there’s going to be more interest in us than there would be in any other people, but it is a personal matter and it’s a family occasion.”

Sophie wowed in a long-sleeve wedding dress designed by Samantha Shaw and borrowed the ‘Anthemion’ tiara from the Queen on her big day.

Edward chose to make a statement with his wedding attire, accessorising his morning suit with a cat-printed tie.

The Wessexes, who reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey, welcomed their daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, in 2003, and their son, James, Viscount Severn, in 2007.