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On Saturday, 19th June 1999, the Queen's youngest son, HRH The Prince Edward married Miss Sophie Rhys-Jones in St George's Chapel, Windsor. In a break with the tradition of previous Royal Weddings, the emphasis was on informality and so this special day was a celebration amongst family and friends rather than a formal state occasion. With exclusive access to the grounds of Windsor Castle granted to the BBC, this unique video incorporates complete coverage of the wedding day, including magnificent scenes of the castle grounds and chapel, Edward and Sophie's drive through the streets of Windsor in a horse drawn carriage, and an interview with the royal couple. Edward and Sophie, A Royal Celebration is a beautiful and moving record of the last royal wedding of the twentieth century. Color, Stereo, Not Rated, Approximate Running Time 99 Minutes.
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Billed as the "last royal wedding of the 20th century" (barring elopements, one presumes), this BBC-produced lovefest features a half-hour interview with the engaged couple followed by 69 minutes of wedding coverage. Don't look for hard questions from interviewer Sue Barker on the role of royals or their economic support (Barker played a part in the meeting of the Queen's youngest son and commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones). The biggest issues broached are whether Rhys-Jones will keep her name for business purposes and why she kept "obey" in the vows. (Her answer: "I'm saying I trust him to [make] those decisions that will be for the good of us.") At times her resemblance to Princess Di is haunting, and the topic does receive three minutes of discussion early on. Although the couple at first resisted the idea of a televised wedding, they relented on that point but kept the relatively small venue of St. George's Chapel in the town of Windsor. The wedding party arrival features brief glimpses of the Princes William and Harry, the Queen's ostrich feathers, and the Queen Mum's inevitable hat--despite the "no hat" dictum on the invitation. Quiet commentary keeps viewers abreast of the action during the wedding, and there's a brief photo-op on the chapel stairs. Then it's on to a carriage ride through the picturesque town where the new Earl and Countess of Wessex are cheered on by 6,000 ticket-holding Britishers. --Kimberly Heinrichs
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