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January 6, 1999: Start of the Engagement

On 6 January 1999, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones publically announced their wedding engagement. It is still unknown exactly WHEN Edward popped the question to his intended, but from what everyone has been able to figure out, he asked her sometime between Christmas and New Years 1998, after each of them obtained permission from their respective families.

This page of the website is dedicated to all the pre-wedding information, if you want the wedding information, there is a page for that as well.

Edward and Sophie have been under pressure for the past five years, since they started dating back in the fall of 1993, to get married. But they wanted to do things their way, and, as Edward said "I don't think it would have been right before and I don't think Sophie would have said yes before..."

Part of the speculation has been about how Sophie will cope being a royal princess, and whether or not she will continue to work after she and Edward get married. Team Edward & Sophie has their own opinions about this, mainly that Sophie has had awhile to get used to the whole royal thing, unlike Diana and Fergie before her, so she should be fine. As for the work part, we think that she could, being a professional, pull it off, however, it is going to be difficult for her, as she is in public relations, and taking clients as a princess won't be very professional or royal. We concur that it remains to be seen what will happen, but we think that since she is a mature, well-balanced woman, she will do (a) the right thing and (b) just fine. She has the support of a lot of people, and that, naturally, will help as well.

The wedding itself will take place at 5 p.m. (London time) on 19 June 1999 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, with a reception in the castle afterwards. The ceremoney will be conducted by the Right Reverend Peter Nott, Bishop of Norwich. It has been revealed that Sophie has decided on non-royal attendants, which we think is a classy, smart move on her part. No one has any idea what Sophie's dress is going to look like, but we can assume it will be gorgeous and suit her perfectly.

Other wedding news: Buckingham Palace has vetoed Edward's idea that his own TV production company, Ardent, should film the wedding. It is known that the wedding will be televised and filmed, but now that we know Ardent isn't going to be in charge of it, we don't know who is going to do it. When we find out, we'll make sure and announce it. And, roughly two thousand lucky members of the public will get a chance to see the wedding procession up close and personal as well as have an opportunity to congratulate the couple after the ceremony. The press apparently thinks this is a bad move on the part of Edward and Sophie, but we beg to differ. What the press thinks is a snobbish stunt, we at Team Edward & Sophie think is a marvelously kind and thoughtful idea. Shows that they know just how much RoyalWatchers are looking forward to the wedding.

(WEBMISTRESS'S NOTE: Please remember that this particular page is the PRE-WEDDING page. Which is why it all seems rather redundant now, because the wedding has already taken place. Oh well.)

Some thought that the engagement announcement was lacking in a true show of actual romantic love, but RoyalWatchers know better. It's obvious to us that Edward and Sophie are very much in love and although Edward could have phrased it a bit better ("We are the very best of friends ... and it also helps that we happen to love each other also very much...") we believe that after five years, there should be no doubts in anyone's minds as to whether or not this union will work out. No tabloid story, no rumor, should be able to make anyone think that they're not going to last or that it's just a marriage of convenience. Clearly it isn't. Wait and see.

It has not been announced yet where Edward and Sophie will be spending their honeymoon (we have a feeling Florida may just figure in somewhere...after all, one of the first big vacations they took as a couple was to a private villa there), but they are going to get right back to work when it's over. Edward back at Ardent and Sophie back at R-JH, her public relations company. And, while they will contine to have a base in London, they've also got a private home of their own. It's called Bagshot Park, it's located in Surrey, and Edward has taken out a 50 year lease on it from his mother (which means that the Queen is his landlady! *grin*). The estate is under rennovations right now, getting ready for the royal couple to move in. Edward also plans on making the stable block his offices for Ardent. How's that for an easy commute to work?!

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