Say cheese! Camilla and the Queen of Chav enjoy two right royal weddings

Tom Parker Bowles was married in Berkshire yesterday. Jordan and Peter Andre did the same, close by, but in very different style. Sholto Byrnes reports
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The Independent Online

But there the similarities between the nation's two royal weddings yesterday ended as the battle of the magazine nuptials was played out at different ends of the regal county of Berkshire.

At the church of St Nicholas, near Henley, the groom was Tom Parker Bowles, stepson of our future king. At Highclere Castle, near Newbury, it was the king and queen of "chav", the pop singer Peter Andre and the topless model Jordan, who were plighting their troth.

As 31-year-old Parker Bowles is the food editor of Tatler, while his bride, Sarah Buys, 32, is a fashion editor of its arch-rival, Harpers & Queen, the first marriage represented a union of society magazines. The second was sponsored by a magazine, with OK! paying £2m in return for exclusive coverage of the wedding of the, er, weekend.

In the village of Rotherfield Greys, near Henley, yesterday, the groom arrived at 3.50pm with his best man and cousin Ben Elliott.

Half an hour later the groom's mother, the Duchess of Cornwall, and his stepfather, the Prince of Wales, arrived in a black Audi. Shortly after, Princes William and Harry arrived.

Many of the guests had been transported by bus from the heart of London while others, including the Parker Bowles party, had stayed overnight in Henley and enjoyed a pre-wedding dinner at the new Hotel du Vin.

More than traditionally late, the bride appeared at 4.50pm in a cream, low-cut dress by Alexander McQueen.

At Highclere Castle, home of the Earl of Carnarvon, who is not thought to know the couple socially, the music was more modern. After arriving in a carriage drawn by six miniature white ponies, the bride, married under her real name of Katie Price rather than her nom de plume, Jordan, was due to walk down the aisle in a gown by the celebrity designer Kyri while a gospel choir sung Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing".

Jordan, 27, and Peter, 32, who have courted publicity throughout their relationship, hired a team of burly security guards dressed in black to keep their wedding private.

But the fact just one hundred fans showed up will worry bosses at OK! Magazine who may wonder whether this was a good investment.

Charlie Bligdon, 13, and Jade Cochrane, 14, travelled from Yeovil in Somerset to see their idol Jordan.

Charlie said: "We met Jordan and Peter at a Westlife concert and she seemed very cool and she is our idol."

Jade added: "She is down to earth and we've followed them ever since the jungle."

Back at the royal wedding guests included Zach Goldsmith, Lord and Lady Howe, Lady Annabelle Goldsmith, billionaire socialite David Tang as well as members of the extended families.

After the service, the happy couple and guests sped to Henley for dinner and dancing until 2am at the bride's father's house.

Over at Highclere, festivities were not due to end until dawn. The likes of Wayne Rooney and his fianceé Coleen, and Uri Geller were treated to fire-eaters, acrobats, a balloon carrying trapeze artists and a performance by the X-Factor's Rowetta.

Peter bravely pressed his suit upon Katie in full view of the public, on ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. Tom and Sarah met at Oxford University. And whereas there is a suggestion that the Andres will be honeymooning in the Caribbean, the Parker Bowles newlyweds, it is rumoured, may be heading to the damper climes of Scotland.

Married on the same day, worlds apart

Thomas Blaikie, author of Blaikie's Guide to Modern Manners, offers some sophisticated tips for that special day.

Invitations: Sources close to both couples suggest that the wording and design were likely to be 'modern'. Jokey invites can sound desperate.

Dress Code: No chav-style matching outfits for the dinky Australian crooner and his busty bride - well done! And little Andre in a suit too, not stuffy old morning dress, to which all the male Parker Bowles guests conformed. Never put 'Morning Dress' on the invitation. It's rude.

Speeches: Gaffe-ridden territory for both best men. Don't mention: cocaine or Jordan's noble achievement in removing Gareth Gates's virginity. But no danger of the Dosh and Pecs' best man revealing details of their sex life - we've seen most of it on TV.

Special VIP room: Geri Halliwell's New Year Party featured a VIP room. Was there one for celebrities at the Andre/Jordan bash? We hope not. First rule of hospitality: all guests to be made welcome. At the Parker Bowles affair, the reverse was likely. Royalty, try to mingle as commoners are too terrified to approach.

Correct address: It was Pete and Katie. But what about 'Your Royal Highness... Ma'am....' ? If somebody has a title, it's more than a duty to get it wrong, it's a pleasure.

Whom to invite? Rumour has it that Pete and Jordan invited Kerry Katona but barred Brian McFadden. If so, this is fine. Never worry over which half of an estranged couple to invite.

'Blaikie's Guide to Modern Manners' was published by Fourth Estate on 5 September