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PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle would have ruined the Duke of Westminster’s wedding, a royal expert says.

Hugh Grosvenor, 33, today tied the knot with fiancee Olivia Henson, 31, in a lavish ceremony at Chester Cathedral.

The Duke of Westminster and Olivia Henson shared a kiss outside Chester CathedralCredit: Getty
Olivia beamed at crowds when she arrived at the chapelCredit: Getty
Prince William this morning led guests into the society wedding of the yearCredit: i-Images
Prince Harry in London on May 8. He chose to stay away from today’s weddingCredit: AP

The happy couple beamed as they left the chapel before sharing a kiss while thousands of people cheered.

Crowds lined the streets for hours to try get a glimpse of the couple on their big day, which has been dubbed the society wedding of the year.

Not even Just Stop Oil eco jobs, who let off an orange fire extinguisher near the church, dampened Hugh and Olivia’s big day.

But Royal commentator Katie Nicholl said one thing could have ruined the day – Harry and Meghan.

Speaking to The Sun’s Royal Exclusive Show, the expert said that Hugh would have been relieved it was Prince William who went.

Katie told Royal Editor Matt Wilkinson: “All of the headlines would be about the brothers and this rift when this is actually a really important society wedding and I think it would detract from certainly the bride and groom of the day and no one would want that.

“Knowing that Hughie is quite close with the brothers he was obviously in a difficult position and I think he was never going to invite one and not the other.”

Had Hugh been forced to pick between having one brother or the other, he would have wanted Wills, the expert added.

Prince William was an usher at the wedding and was one of the first to arrive this morning – looking dapper in a pale blue waistcoat with a black jacket and dark grey tailored trousers.

Katie continued: “I think his hope was that Harry would gracefully bow out of this one, which is exactly what happened.

“I suppose if you were the Duke of Westminster and your wedding’s going to be all over the front pages are you going to want the spare there, or are you going to want the heir and the future King.

“The optics of course is it’s better are it’s better for Prince William to be there and I think it just highlights this divide doesn’t it.”

Katie said there are “two royal camps operating”, the “court of Montecito” and Wills.

Just Stop Oil try to disrupt Duke of Westminster’s wedding by blasting orange fire extinguisher yards from William

She continued: “When it comes to everything that’s royal or aristocratic and British I think it’s going to be William that comes top in the pecking order.”

Katie said had both brothers been there today, it would have been “hugely awkward”.

She said: “William was an usher at today’s service so can you imagine the awkwardness if he had to show Harry and Meghan, or even just Harry to his pew.

“I think any encounter would have been deeply awkward.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in Nigeria on May 11Credit: Getty
The newly married couple beamed as they left the chapelCredit: Zenpix
They waved to well-wishers who had gathered to see themCredit: Goff
Wills was an usher at the weddingCredit: Goff
Guests had smiles from ear-to-ear as they waved to well-wishersCredit: i-Images

Stunning Olivia’s custom-made wedding dress

Olivia Henson’s wedding dress and veil have been designed by Emma Victoria Payne.

The bespoke embroidery design on the bridal gown and veil was hand drawn and reimagined by Emma Victoria Payne, incorporating floral motifs and edgings from Olivia’s great great grandmother’s veil from around 1880.

Olivia is wearing the Faberge Myrtle Leaf Tiara made for Grosvenor brides to wear on their wedding day. It has been in the Grosvenor family since its creation in 1906.

She is carrying a bouquet of flowers, picked from the Easton Hall gardens, comprising Meadow grass, Ox eye daisies, Iris, Rose, Clematis, Mock orange, Scabious, Sweet pea, Astrantia, Martagon lily and Love in a mist.

The dress was constructed in ivory silk crepe satin, ivory silk organza with bespoke embroidered detailing. Featuring a scalloped edge neckline with a delicate bespoke hand appliquéd embroidery comprising of floral and leafy motifs.

The bespoke embroidery design was hand drawn and reimagined by EVP incorporating floral motifs and edgings from Olivia’s great great grandmothers veil circa 1880.

A sleek silhouette with a bias cut skirt, pleated waistband, gathered sleeves, wide embroidered silk organza cuffs with a scalloped edge repeat motif and button detailing.

The back of the bridal gown features a dropped waist, key hole back and scalloped edging embroidery embellishments fastening with rouleau loops. It features a detachable 2m silk crepe satin train with a panelled construction.

Olivia’s exquisite EVP bespoke waterfall veil features intricate bespoke and personalised embroidery. Graduating motifs of cascading scalloped edges and incredibly delicate floral motifs with foliage and scrolls adorn the design.

Each original antique motif from Olivia’s family veil was hand drawn and reimagined into a new repeat pattern of graduating scalloped edges and oval shapes to reflect Olivia’s engagement ring setting. Personalised initials and wedding date complete the design in the centre back.

– Grosvenor family

Prince Harry was said to have agreed not to attend to avoid clashes with his brother amid their rift.

William and Harry have always had a close relationship with Hugh, and were both ushers at his sister’s wedding in 2004.

And while it’s reported Harry would have loved to have been there for Hugh’s big day – he snubbed the event after “challenges” came to light.

A source close to the Sussexes told People magazine: “There was an acknowledgement on both sides that it would be difficult for Harry to attend.

“It was an understanding between the two friends.

“The decision certainly avoided the inevitable clamour had estranged brothers Prince William and Prince Harry both attended the nuptials, eliminating the possibility of the big day being overshadowed for the couple.”

The Duke, who was once dubbed the UK’s richest bachelor, is King Charles‘ godson, and the godfather of both Prince George and Archie.

Bride-to-be Olivia wowed crowds in a custom-made lace-edged satin wedding dress by designer Emma Victoria Payne.

A family statement revealed: “The bespoke embroidery design on the bridal gown and veil was hand drawn and re-imagined by Emma Victoria Payne, incorporating floral motifs and edgings from Olivia’s great great grandmother’s veil from around 1880.”

Ahead of the star-studded ceremony Hugh beamed and waved at the masses when he arrived in a forest green Land Rover – similar to the late Prince Philip’s.

He greeted the Dean of Chester, the Rev Dr Tim Stratford, at the entrance to the cathedral at 11.30am, around half-an-hour before the glamorous bride’s arrival.

Dozens of well-wishers cheered as Olivia’s dress and veil billowed in the wind when she made her way inside the church.

The dress featured floral motifs and edgings from Olivia’s great great grandma’s veil, which was worn in around 1880.

Her Faberge Myrtle Leaf Tiara has been in the Grosvenor family since it was created in 1906.

Princess Eugenie beamed as she arrived at the chapelCredit: Max Mumby

Who are the bride & groom?

Hugh Grosvenor was once dubbed “Britain’s most eligible bachelor” owing to his billions in the bank and royal connections. But he has been swept off his feet by the duchess.

The 33-year-old is a British aristocrat and businessman.

He was born Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor on January 29, 1991, to Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster, and his wife Natalia Phillips.

He is close friends with royals, including Prince WilliamPrince Harry and Kate Middleton.

He studied at Newcastle University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Countryside Management.

Previously, Hugh was in an on-off relationship with Harriet Tomlinson for several years.

The pair met at college and split up, only to get back together on numerous occasions.

Meanwhile, his now-wife Olivia Henson was born on September 1, 1992, in London, which makes her 31.

During her childhood, she attended Marlborough College, the same school as the Princess of Wales.

The couple met in 2021 through friends and dated for two years.

The Duke proposed to her at Eaton Hall, his sprawling family estate in Cheshire.

Their wedding was announced in April 2023 and she is now the new Duchess of Westminster.

They waved to well-wishers who had gathered to see themCredit: Goff
Hugh Grosvenor had a smile ear-to-ear as he arrived for his big dayCredit: Goff
The groom arrived in a green Land Rover similar to the late Prince Philip’sCredit: Zenpix
The Duke married Olivia (pictured together)Credit: PA

How Duke & fiancee’s day is inspired by Kate

By Jane Matthews

THE Duke of Westminster tied the knot with his fiancee today – in a wedding that took inspiration from Princess Kate’s big day.

Hugh Grosvenor, 33, married Olivia Henson, 31, at Chester Cathedral, in the society wedding of the year.

The Duke, once dubbed the UK’s richest bachelor, is King Charles‘ godson, and the godfather of both Prince George and Archie.

Prince William was an usher at the wedding, while Prince Harry was said to have agreed not to attend to avoid clashes with his brother amid their rift.

The King and Princess Kate were said to have been invited to the big day, too, but it’s understood they didn’t due to their health.

Instead, it felt like the Princess of Wales was there in spirit after the couple appeared to have drawn decorative inspiration from when she and Wills wed in 2011.

Snaps of preparations at Chester Cathedral showed van loads of flowers being brought in, with scaffolding surrounding parts of the church.

Workers could be seen hauling trees towards the venue, while bouquets of flowers lined the streets nearby.

The happy couple are said to have ordered 10,000 flowers in for the occasion, which 400 of their nearest and dearest attended.

The greenery mirrored that of Kate and Wills’ wedding, where they filled Westminster Abbey with trees.

Six field maple trees and two hornbeams lined the aisle and were placed near the altar for the Royal wedding.

Kate was also said to have brought in nearly 30,000 flowers for the wedding.

The Duke of Westminster is said to have paid to have 10,000 flowers planted throughout the city for the occasion – and they’re all 100% British.

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