Oh, the joy of a commoner with the odd suspect connection marrying the heir to the throne. There are exes and mentors and siblings with strange judgment. With far more of a social cross-section than previous royal weddings, Friday’s event promises a colourful spectacle.
1. Belle Robinson
The fairy godmother. Jigsaw supremo Belle Robinson gave Kate her only real job (accessory buyer), hides the couple at her pad in Mustique and is on hand to offer her young friend sanctuary from the perils of (near-) princessdom. Robinson left school without A-levels and is now co-owner of the Kew clothing chain and The Shop at Bluebird on the King’s Road, as well as Jigsaw with her second husband John. She bounces between South Kensington, a 450-acre farm in Wiltshire, and Mustique with her five children – two of whom, Jessie and Izzy, are models.
2. Jecca Craig
The other woman. Leggy and fragrant Jecca is William’s friend – and former love. Her family owns a wildlife reserve in Kenya where William spent part of his gap year helping with rhino conservation. His Out of Africa-themed 21st birthday had Jecca as guest of honour and he chose to go to her brother’s wedding over his cousin Peter Phillips’s. Hmmm. But that’s all in the past now, and Wills proposed to Kate on Jecca’s turf in Kenya.
3. Gary Goldsmith
The guest to watch. Goldsmith, younger brother of Kate’s mother Carole, hit the headlines with tales of cocaine nights at his Ibizan residence Maison de Bang Bang (where Kate and William spent the summer in 2006). A financial whizz who made £25m in IT recruitment, he is now safely back in a £1m mansion in Marylebone. With his ex-wife Luan and 10-year-old daughter Tallulah, he will be celebrating his 46th birthday on his niece’s wedding day.
4. James Middleton
Kate’s little brother used to be a bit of a liability but he has since dusted himself off and set up the Cake Kit Company. A bit of an entrepreneur, his next project was Nice Cakes Ltd, then Nice Wine Ltd. A self-confessed party animal – his top tip is, “Never forget the party bags.”
5. Sam Waley-Cohen
The pocket Cupid. Sam Waley-Cohen, 29, is an amateur jockey who won this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup on his father’s horse Long Run, and came second at the Grand National. He was at Edinburgh when the happy couple were at St Andrews, and is also credited with bringing the pair back together after their brief split in 2007, when he invited them both to dinner at his family home in Oxford. He is the grandson of a baronet, and his father made millions from medical scanning equipment. He himself runs a chain of upmarket dental practices and likes Ducati motorbikes. Oh, yes, and he’s the one who got Kate to skate around in very hot pants for a charity rollerdisco in his late brother Thomas’s memory. Her one daring moment, for which we should be grateful.
Emilie McMeekan is deputy editor of Tatler magazine