The Queen arrived at the ‘society wedding of the year’ between Mounbatten heiress Alexandra Knatchbull and her fiance Thomas Hooper today with Prince Charles giving the bride away.
Her Royal Highness was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh as she made her way into Romsey Abbey, in Hampshire, as Charles accompanied Miss Knatchbull, the daughter of his close friend Norton Knatchbull, who holds the title of Lord Brabourne, into the church.
The Queen wore a peach floral dress with a matching coat and hat as she entered the service with the Duke wearing tails and a gold waistcoat. Charles cut a smart figure as he walked the bride into the Abbey in a grey three-piece suit with a light blue shirt and tie.
Prince Charles leads bride Alexandra Knatchbull, the daughter of his close friend Norton Knatchbull, who holds the title of Lord Brabourne, into Romsey Abbey in Hampshire
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attend the wedding of Alexandra Knatchbull and Thomas Hooper today at Romsey Abbey
Th Queen, wearing a peach floral dress and coat, waves as she enters Romsey Abbey this morning accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Charles grips the hand of bride-to-be Alexandra Knatchbull as he leads her into Romsey Abbey prior to her wedding today
Lord and Lady Brabourne enter Romsey Abbey and their daughter takes the hand of Prince Charles as she walks into the service
Alexandra and Prince Charles pause for a moment of reflection just before he leads her into the atmospheric Abbey to meet her groom
It is smiles all around for the happy couple Alexandra Knatchbull and Thomas Hooper as they lean in for a kiss after their wedding
Alexandra Knatchbull and Thomas Hooper enjoy a kiss as newlyweds after they get married at Romsey Abbey in Hampshire today
The Queen holds a service order as she leaves the wedding ceremony, while the Duke of Edinburgh waves to crowds outside the Abbey
The Queen speaks to the Rev Canon Tim Sledge, who led proceedings, while the Duke of Edinburgh shares a joke with a guest
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh leave the Romsey Abbey and Prince Charles chats to a bridesmaid after the ceremony finishes
The bride’s brother Nicholas Knatchbull looked very dapper at the ceremony, but made no attempt to conceal the small tattoo behind his ear
Two of the younger bridesmaids, wearing beautiful vintage-style tulle pale pink dresses, lean against a stone pillar at the historic Romsey Abbey
The bride’s father, Norton Knatchbull, Lord Brabourne, did not give his daughter away as he was too ill to perform the necessary duties.
Princess Anne also attended the wedding, making her way into the service after her parents and brother, wearing a pink outfit with a matching hat.
Among the family members enjoying the big day were Alexandra’s brother Nicholas, who has previously battled heroin and crack addiction, her two sisters and her wheelchair-bound grandmother Countess Mountbatten.
Her father and mother, Lady Penelope Brabourne, linked arms as they walked into the service, demonstrating a sign of strength after their marriage was rocked by Lord Bradbourne’s affair with businesswoman Jeannie McWeeny.
Among the other members of British and foreign aristocracy at the wedding included Queen Sophia of Spain, the Former monarchs of Greece, King Constantine II and his wife Queen Anne-Marie as well as Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and his wife Princess Sarvath al-Hassan.
Also among the well-wishers at the wedding was former girlfriend of Prince Harry Florence Brudenell-Bruce, who was seen wearing a navy dress and military style jacket
Former girlfriend of Prince Harry and lingerie model Florence Brudenell-Bruce leaves the wedding with her husband Harry St. George
Miss Brudenell-Bruce looked overjoyed to be celebrating the nuptials. She wore her long blonde hair loosely over her shoulders, and accessorized with a silver headpiece
Two of the bridesmaids holding hands as they make their way out of Romsey Abbey, with the adult bridesmaid wearing a Pippa Middleton-style draped column dress
Nicholas Knatchbull attends the wedding of his sister Alexandra at Romsey Abbey in Hampshire earlier today
Forensic accountant Alexandra is married her entrepreneur husband after the pair enjoyed a long-term relationship, with the service led by Rev Canon Tim Sledge.
While the arrivals of the Royals in the small market town of Romsey may have turned the heads of locals, the Knatchbull family are used to the company of monarchs and enjoy close links to Buckingham Palace.
Lord Brabourne is the godson of the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles was his best man, while his son Nicholas was a mentor to Prince William when the pair studied at Eton.
The Duke of Edinburgh cuts a smart figure as he enjoys the wedding of Alexandra Knatchbull and Thomas Hooper today
Former monarchs of Greece, King Constantine II and wife Queen Anne-Marie attended the ceremony as did Queen Sophia of Spain (right)
Lord and Lady Brabourne lead out flower girls after their daughter Alexandra Knatchbull married entrepreneur Thomas Hooper
Princess Anne (left) waves to the crowd as she walks into the service and Countess Mountbatten, the daughter of Lord Mountbatten, is helped into the service in a wheelchair
The 92-year-old Countess, Patricia Knatchbull, looked proud as punch to be celebrating her granddaugter’s big day (left) while King Constantine of Greece (right) looked dapper in a grey waistcoat that he matched with a pop of pink in his tie
Princess Anne looked elegant in a pale pink twinset, which she teamed with a fetching two-tone pink hat
Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and his wife Princess Sarvath al-Hassan of Jordan were among the many foreign royals at the wedding
Prince William’s old school friend and fellow Etonian James Tollemache attended the wedding with his wife, Princess Florence von Preussen – who is the great-great-granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhem II
The newlyweds take their first step as a married couple as they leave Romsey Abbey after their eagerly anticipated wedding earlier today
Lord Brabourne is also Prince William’s god-father, while Prince Charles was Lord Mountbatten’s godson.
Lord Mountbatten was famously killed in August, 1979, when IRA bombers blew up a small boat he was on in the sea off Mullaghmore, County Sligo.
The explosion also killed Lord Brabourne’s 14-year-old younger brother Nicholas, his paternal grandmother, the Dowager Lady Brabourne, and a local boy who was with the family. Nicholas’s twin brother Timothy, and his parents, were all injured.
THE TANGLED WEB OF THE KNATCHBULLS: CONFIDANTES AND COMPANIONS OF ROYALTY
Prince Charles has had a close relationship with the Knatchbull family ever since childhood. He was famously devoted to the first Earl Mountbatten – Alexandra’s great-grandfather – Louis, who had hoped that the Prince would marry his granddaughter Amanda. The Prince referred to Lord Mountbatten as his Honorary Grandfather, and consulted him on matters both of state and of the heart. When Lord Mountbatten was killed along with his grandson Nicholas by IRA terrorists in 1979, Charles was heartbroken and he read the lesson at his funeral.
Louis Mountbatten’s grandson is Norton Knatchbull, the bride Alexandra’s father. Norton, known as Lord Brabourne, and his wife Penelope – herself the carriage-racing partner of Prince Philip – had three children: Alexandra, her brother Nicholas, and a sister, Leonora, who died tragically of kidney cancer when she was just five years old.
Lord Brabourne walked out on his 31-year marriage to be with Jeannie Nuttall, but later returned the family home Broadlands. However, the couple are still estranged, and relations between Lord Brabourne and Alexandra are said to be strained.
He did not give away his first-born daughter at her wedding today as he was too ill to perform the necessary duties.