Eugenie ‘could have saved taxpayer £2m’ if she had wedding at lodge

Princess Eugenie ‘could have saved taxpayer £2million by holding wedding at royal chapel in father Prince Andrew’s own back garden’

  • The Duke of York and his family live at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park
  • It has its own neo-gothic church and is where the Queen regularly goes to pray
  • Insiders claim Eugenie could have saved taxpayer £2m by holding wedding there
  • Police ask Home Office for more money to help cover cost of two royal weddings 
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Princess Eugenie could have saved the taxpayer £2million by holding her wedding at the royal chapel in her father Prince Andrew’s back garden, it can be revealed.

The Duke of York and his family live at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, which has its own romantic neo-gothic church in the grounds and is where the Queen regularly goes to pray.

A royal insider revealed that if Princess Eugenie held her wedding there instead of inside Windsor Castle, police would not have to foot the multi-million pound bill.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, pictured in January, will marry in Windsor this Friday

The Duke of York and his family live at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, which has its own romantic neo-gothic church in the grounds (pictured) where the Queen regularly goes to pray

Just yesterday MailOnline reported that police are applying for more money from the Home Office to help cover the cost of the wedding.

Thames Valley Police is responsible for the huge security operation around the second royal wedding of the year at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

The force said it was requesting the extra money following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding in May, with the cost for that having ‘not yet been finalised’.

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The cost of policing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s day was between £2million and £4million, but police have declined to give an estimate for Eugenie’s wedding.

Princess Eugenie, 28, and tequila brand ambassador Jack Brooksbank will marry inside St George’s Chapel on Friday – the same place where Prince Harry and Meghan wed.

The royal source however insisted it made perfect sense both cost and security wise for the royal wedding to be held at the same venue as the reception at Royal Lodge.

He said: ‘If the Royal Chapel of All Saints is good enough for the Queen to go to church in every Sunday then it should be good enough for the 9th in line to the throne to marry in.

‘It is a wonderful chapel and when the Queen Mother who lived in Royal Lodge before Prince Andrew died in 2002, she was laid out on the altar there before her funeral.

St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Final preparations will be put in place this week ahead of the royal wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Friday

Police officers patrol Windsor ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May

‘Princess Eugenie is having her wedding reception at Royal Lodge so it makes perfect sense to have the wedding there as well as it would be all self-contained for the whole day.

‘Royal Lodge is inside Windsor Great Park so there would be no need for anything like the major security operation that is in progress for her wedding inside Windsor Castle.

‘The security would be simple and cheap because it would all take place on a secure royal estate and it would not need such a massive police operation as it would not be public.

‘There would be no need for a carriage procession through the streets of Windsor for a minor royal so no police protection headache and £2m saving to hard-pressed police.

Mounted police on the Long Walk in Windsor in May ahead of Harry and Meghan’s wedding

‘The Royal Wedding for Prince Harry and Meghan was a very different affair and their status entirely different and it generated a huge amount of money to the UK economy.

‘But is there really a need for Princess Eugenie to have an open top carriage ride for half a mile through the High Street when she could have the whole shebang in her own garden?

‘She would have won herself a lot of supporters if she chose that option’ he said.

Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York live in Royal Lodge with daughters Eugenie and Beatrice and it is in Windsor Great Park three and a half miles from the Castle itself.

The Royal Chapel of All Saints is a Grade II listed building and was built on the orders of George IV in 1825 by Jeffry Wyatville and nestles in the grounds of the Royal Lodge.

Royal Lodge was popular with William IV and King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth and when she was widowed and became Queen Mother she moved in.

The Queen visits the Royal Chapel every Sunday without fail to pray when she is staying at Windsor Castle then had lunch with her mother afterwards until her death aged 101.

Pews for the Royal Family run down the right hand side of the church and Crown Estate workers who live in Windsor Great Park use the pews that run down the left hand side.

The cost of policing Harry and Meghan’s day in Windsor was between £2million and £4million

The source said: ‘The chapel holds 225 people and there are lots of marquees being set up in the grounds for the reception so the wedding could have easily been relayed’.

The Royal Family are paying for the wedding inside Windsor Castle and the reception but the taxpayer has been left to pick up the bill for policing the wedding day operation.

The decision of Princess Eugenie to go for a carriage ride through the streets of Windsor after the wedding gave Thames Valley Police a major security operation headache.

Weeks of planning have gone into keeping the royal couple and the public safe and all drains on the route have to be searched and armed and plainclothes officers brought in.

Snipers will be on roofs and the force helicopter will be overhead watching for threats.

Her decision to also invited 1,200 members of the public to the wedding and to stand outside St George’s Chapel but inside Windsor Castle also helped rack up the police bill.

They will all have to be vetted and security searched before entrance is allowed.

It was also claimed yesterday that Princess Eugenie and husband-to-be Jack Brooksbank were having difficulty trying to find 1200 people to actually turn up for the wedding.

On top of the 850 guests she has invited to be inside St George’s Chapel – compared to 600 that Prince Harry invited – she has invited 1200 people to watch from outside.

But a Windsor resident revealed on a local Facebook page that wedding planners were so desperate for guests they were inviting people who had car park passes at a royal gardens.

Carolyn Osgood said: ‘You could they were scraping the barrel when they started sending out invites to people whose only connection was that they have a car park pass for Savill Gardens. True story. You couldn’t make that up!’.

Savill Gardens is part of Windsor Great Park and was created by Sir Eric Savill in the 1930’s and is operated by the Crown Estate and a car park pass costs £70 a year for entry.

Deborah Poole said on the same Facebook page:’She is a minor royal yet because she is a member of royal family she wants to marry in St George’s Chapel and have a certain level of pomp like her cousin.

‘I guess she is entitled to it and it is her special day. We all want a lovely wedding day. But I can’t help but feel she’s being a bit of a hanger on’ she said on Windsor Past & Present 2.0

The Queen has agreed to a drone ban being implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority over the grounds of Windsor Castle and the Windsor Castle Estate for the royal wedding.

It forbids the use of unmanned aerial vehicles which can both take photos and video being flown on both the wedding day and the following day when guests leave Royal Lodge.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: ‘A Restriction of Flying Regulation has been granted and this will be enforced and any offenders with drones will be prosecuted’.

They are calling for local residents to be their ‘drone rangers’ and report drone pilots.

The spokesman said: ‘Please call us immediately if you see a drone being flown’.

Police not only fear that drones could information to terrorists but that they could run out of power and drop out of the sky and injure the royal couple or well wishers on the route.

They could also put police helicopters watching from above at risk of a collision. 

MailOnline has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment. 

Everything you need to know about Eugenie and Jack’s royal wedding



Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will be married at Windsor Castle

Princess Eugenie will soon wed fiance Jack Brooksbank – the latest grandchild of the Queen to marry their long-term partner.

Eugenie and Jack may not be household names like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who married in May, but their big day will be just as important to the monarchy.

At its heart, the wedding will be a happy family event with the proud parents the Duke and Duchess of York watching as their daughter marries.

But the world will be watching the occasion, eager to see the bride and groom, the royal women – from the Queen to the Duchess of Cambridge – and the pomp and pageantry of the day.

Eugenie has already spoken of her nerves ahead of the royal nuptials and how the day will be an ‘anti-plastic’ wedding.

She said in a recent interview: ‘It’s very nerve-wracking because you want it to be perfect but then you realise that you’re going to be with the person you love forever and nothing else really matters.’

Princess Eugenie, the Queen’s granddaughter, shows her engagement ring in January

Some details have been released about the wedding ceremony which will take place on October 12 in the medieval surroundings of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where royalty have married for decades.

The Dean of Windsor, David Conner, will marry the couple while the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, will lead the prayers. It has been reported that 800 guests will be at the wedding service.

Like Meghan and Harry’s wedding, also staged at St George’s, 1,200 members of the public have been invited into the castle grounds to enjoy the occasion, and it is likely the service will be broadcast live to the lucky group.

Buckingham Palace said they had received more than 100,000 applications from members of the public wanting to share in the couple’s big day.

Princess Beatrice (left) Princess Eugenie (centre) and Jack Brooksbank (right) at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in May

There may be a few famous faces among the guests from singer Ellie Goulding and model Cara Delevingne, to the children of Sir Richard Branson, Holly and Sam, who are all friends of the princess.

Harry’s former girlfriends, Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas, are also likely to attend as they know the bride-to-be well.

Eugenie’s sister Princess Beatrice is likely to be the maid of honour and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are expected to be among the pageboys and bridesmaids.

Mr Brooksbank’s younger brother Tom is reportedly his best man while the Queen’s party planner and cousin Lady Elizabeth Anson is said to be helping the bride and her mother Sarah, Duchess of York, prepare for the big day.

Eugenie and Jack at the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews in May 2017

After the service the newlyweds will ride in a carriage through the streets of Windsor as Harry and Meghan did, but their route will not be as long.

Crowds are expected to watch the couple as they travel along Castle Hill, High Street and Park Street.

The Queen is expected to host a wedding reception for her granddaughter at Windsor Castle and it has been reported the evening celebrations will be staged at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

The property is the family home of Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, who remain close despite being divorced.

The cost to the taxpayer of the royal nuptials has been criticised by Republic, a campaigning group working for an elected head of state. Republic claims estimates have put the security costs alone at £2 million for the event. 


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