Zara Phillips comes to the rescue of those starving for another bite of royal wedding cake: The woman 12th in line to the throne was prepping Friday to marry Mike Tindall in a private ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Saturday.
This wedding won't be a lavish feast for royal watchers, however. "It's a private family wedding," said a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman. "We're not giving out any details."
That said, here are some details. They'll say their vows at Canongate Kirk, the parish church of Edinburgh Castle, with a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the queen's official residence in Scotland. Phillips and Tindall, as well as Princess Anne, were photographed Friday leaving the church after their rehearsal. Zara had also been spotted earlier in the week getting a rare-for-her spa treatment, and some business-as-usual exercise.
That's a bit different than the wedding seen round the world in April -- that of Prince Charles' son Prince William to Kate Middleton, now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Being closer to the front of the line for the throne does have its implications, among them a million people hanging around in the streets for your big day.
Players from England and Gloucester Rugby Club will be mingling with royal guests, including Prince William and Kate, Prince Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
Then it’s all back to the Queen’s Holyroodhouse for a party. But for the bride-to-be, the celebrations started three days ago. Zara, who will wear a stunning Stewart Parvin ivory dress, was spotted clubbing at Edinburgh’s swanky Tigerlily hotel and later in its Lulu bar, on Thursday.
She followed it up with a boozy three-hour breakfast with 10 female friends in the five-star Balmoral Hotel, where 300 of the 400 wedding guests are staying.
Zara’s group – including Natalie Pinkham, Sky Sports presenter Di Dougherty and brother Peter’s wife Autumn Kelly – sank six bottles of £95-a-pop pink champagne. She told them: “I’m nervous, excited but very happy.” She also admitted she’d been texting Mike that very morning as he celebrated with his rugby pals including Lewis, Iain and Ben Foden.
In the early evening they met up for their dressed-down wedding rehearsal – Zara in jeans and a striped top, Mike, 32, in a white shirt and torn denims.
They kissed after spending an hour in the Kirk being put through their paces by Rev Neil Gardner, watched by Princess Anne and her husband Tim Lawrence, and Zara’s father Mark Phillips.
Then last night, Zara and Mike held a drinks party on the Royal Yacht Britannia, moored at nearby Leith. Close friends and family – including Prince William and Kate, who wore the emerald number first seen on her trip to LA earlier this month – saw the sun set to the strains of a jazz band.
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