In possibly the least unexpected
announcement in advance of April’s royal wedding, Clarence House has announced
that Prince Harry is to be the best man at his older brother Prince William’s
marriage service and Kate Middleton has asked her younger sister Philippa –
known to her family as Pippa – to be her maid of honour.
The couple have also asked young
relatives, assorted godchildren and friends’ offspring to be bridesmaids and
page boys for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 29 April.
They are: Lady Louise Windsor, the
seven-year-old daughter of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex; the Hon
Margarita Armstrong-Jones, eight, daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley;
Grace van Cutsem, three-year-old daughter of Hugh and Rose van Cutsem, friends
of the couple; Eliza Lopes, also three, the Duchess of Cornwall’s
granddaughter; Billy Lowther-Pinkerton, the 10-year-old son of Jamie
Lowther-Pinkerton, the former SAS officer who is William and Harry’s private
secretary; and eight-year-old Tom Pettifer, son of William’s former nanny,
Tiggy Legge-Bourke. Grace van Cutsem and Tom Pettifer are godchildren of Prince
Bridegrooms in royal weddings
traditionally chose a “supporter” instead of a best man.
The Prince of Wales chose his
brother Prince Andrew to be his supporter when he married Diana at St Paul’s
Cathedral in 1981. Prince
William has opted to call his
brother his “best man”, rather than a supporter.
Prince Harry had welcomed the
couple’s engagement. In a statement following the announcement, Harry said:
“I am delighted that my brother has popped the question! It means I get a
sister, which I have always wanted.” Harry, who is training to fly Apache
attack helicopters, will have the role of planning William’s stag do.