Prince Edward & Sophie Rhys-Jones

The marriage of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones - June 19, 1999

engagementPrince Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex, born March 10, 1964, is the third son and fourth child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was granted the title Earl of Wessex upon his marriage.

Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones was born in Oxford, England, on January 20, 1965. She was granted the title Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex, on her marriage to Prince Edward, which is usually shortened to Sophie Wessex.

Family life

The couple have two children:

The Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Windsor, born November 8, 2003 and James Alexander Philip Theo, Viscount Severn, born December 17, 2007.


The engagement

The couple’s engagement was announced on January 6, 1999 after a five-year courtship.

The wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony was held at St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle, Windsor on June 19, 1999. The wedding was a relatively low-key affair, respecting the couple's wish for their wedding day not to be a state occasion.

Prince Edward winked at his bride-to-be as she arrived at the altar, escorted by her father Christopher.

Both the bride and groom delivered their vows faultlessly, including the bride's promise to obey her husband, although Edward appeared to experience some difficulty putting on Sophie's wedding ring, made of Welsh gold as is the tradition in the English royal family.

The wedding guests

Some 560 people attended Edward and Sophie’s wedding. The royal guests included the Sultan of Brunei with two of his wives, Queen Anne Marie of Greece with her son Prince Nikolaos, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Prince Felipe of Spain and Prince Georg of Hannover.

Celebrities on the guest list include Prince Edward's former boss Lord Lloyd-Webber, his ex-girlfriend actress Ruthie Henshall, Stephen Fry, Billy Connolly and John Cleese, singers Tom Jones, Michael Ball and Harry Connick Jnr, actors such as John Travolta, Charles Dance, Robbie Coltrane, Robert Powell and Michael Elphick, and sports personalities like Nigel Mansell, Duncan Goodhew and Barry McGuigan.


The wedding reception

carriagest_georgesEdward and Sophie traveled to the reception in an open-topped, horse-drawn carriage, past crowds of several thousand people who clapped and shouted good luck messages.

The wedding reception was held at George’s Hall, Windsor Castle, restored after the 1992 fire. Over 9,000 canapés were served before a buffet-style dinner which consisted of coulibiac (smoked haddock baked with rice and mushrooms in pastry), beef stroganoff, followed by a dessert of fresh raspberries.

Their seven-tier wedding cake, adorned with sugar roses and fruit, was made by Upper Crusts Country Kitchen, Wiltshire.

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