Thoughts on Emily McCorquodale’s Wedding

It was a happy day for the Spencer family on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate were all out to attend their cousin Emily Jane McCorquodale’s wedding to James Hutt. Here are my thoughts on the wedding and how it links the Spencers with the past.

The Locals Showed Up

Yikes, it looks like some locals showed up to take pictures of the royals. Those folks in the background don’t look like they are dressed for a wedding, do they? Goodness me, at least try to blend in…

Maybe that’s why Kate and William got a little testy:

They clearly didn’t want to detract attention from the bride and groom.

Emily McCorquodale

The bride is the daughter of Princess Diana’s oldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale. She was born in 1983 and so is one year younger than Prince William and it seems that William and Harry are now closest to this part of the Spencer family.

Love this picture of the cousins frolicking on Necker Island back in the day. Emily has a younger brother named George Edmund (born in 1984) and a sister named Celia Rose (born in 1990). I think that Emily may just the girl looking out towards the camera. That is Diana is sitting in the sand with her mom Frances Shand Kydd:

The cousins also burried Diana in the sand.:

Cut to the lovely wedding today.

The Bride’s Tiara

Lady Sarah (the dame in the hat and pearls above) and Prince Charles stepped out a bit a few years before Diana was in the picture. It ended shortly after Sarah made a giant faux pas and spoke to the press, which is a whole other story. In the end, Sarah married Neil McCorquodale, which we discussed in our post on the Spencer tiaras and Diana of course ended up with Charles.

Here are Lady Jane (on the left) and Lady Sarah (on the right) in the tiara. Of course, Princess Diana wore the same tiara on her wedding day as well.

And here’s Emily in a new (to us, at least) tiara today:

This gorgeous tiara isn’t either of the two Spencer tiaras we are aware of, nor does it look like the tiara that her grandmother Frances Shand Kydd wore on her wedding day, does it?

Could there be a Spencer tiara we didn’t know about? Or perhaps this is a McCorquodale tiara or one that belongs to the groom’s family? Intriguing! I hope we get to the bottom of this tiara mystery. Whatever the case, it’s a beauty and Emily looked lovely.

Also, Emily’s bouquet looks a bit like Diana’s to me. Love that she didn’t go small and dainty with it. THAT is a bouquet.

Lady Sarah’s Earrings and Pearl Choker

Ok, before we dive into Lady Sarah’s jewels, check out the microphone on the groom’s lapel. This seems like a nice clue that the service was taped so they could have their own wedding video! That, or the acoustics are bad in that church…

Anyway, back to the jewels. As we’ve discussed in the past, the Spencer ladies like their pearl chokers. Click here for a refresher. Sarah wore a stand out choker today, which seems to be the one that she lent Diana for her going away outfit on her wedding day. It is five strings of pearls with a central gold clasp with an inset pearl. Another pearl dangles down from the clasp. Here’s a good look at it:

Lady Sarah wore it to Diana’s wedding ceremony (she’s wearing it in the wedding portrait below), and then seems to have handed it over because Diana wore it with her going away outfit.

Lady Sarah is in green on the bottom right in the wedding portrait:

And then here’s Diana wearing the choker a short while later:

And another look as they drove away in the carriage:

Let’s take another look at Lady Sarah at her daughter Emily’s wedding. Oh, look – she also has a pearl strand bracelet on that’s like the bracelet version of Diana’s two strand Spencer choker. Love that! That’s Sarah’s other daughter Celia on the left wearing quite the sparkly necklace herself:

As you can see, Lady Sarah was also wearing the dangly diamond earrings that Princess Diana wore on her wedding day.

These earrings were reported to have belonged to Frances Shand Kydd, but they have been on display with Diana’s wedding dress at Althorp, the Spencer’s family seat, which seems to imply that they actually are owned by the Spencer family.

Another look for good measure:

She also wore the earrings to Prince William’s wedding. Here she is leaving the Buckingham Palace reception all dolled up in her finery:

Hurray for wedding earring traditions!

The Attendants

Here are the flowers girls and page boy all ready to go:

Update: We just unearthed this photograph taken during Lady Sarah and Neil McCorquodale’s Althorp wedding reception, which took place on May 17, 1980. The page boys wore a very similiar jacket, so it seems Emily was keeping that tradition alive. It might even be one of the originals!

Also, that’s Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones as a bridesmaid! She’s standing in the back row on the far left. A few years later she was Lady Diana’s oldest bridesmaid. For our post on that, click here.

Side Note: Frances Shand Kydd’s green dress sure looks a lot like the one Sarah wore to Diana’s wedding, doesn’t it?? The neckline is slightly different, but the fabric looks identical! Could it be that Sarah had it tailored and wore it again? I really think so…

The little pageboy’s suit is also very reminiscent of the royal wedding, no? Please don’t yell at me for comparing; I can’t help it! They all looked great.

They even had an Grace Van Cutsem moment and covered their ears! Compare today when the noise was caused by bagpipes…

…with little Grace on the Buckingham Palace balcony when the noise was caused by cheering crowds and planes overhead:

Love the floral wreaths on the girls!

Other Spencers in Attendance

Earl Spencer was there along with his third wife, Karen Gordon, who is pregnant with his seventh child. That’s Lady Kitty in the back and the boy in front I believe is the Hon. Edmund Spencer, his son with second wife Caroline Freud.

Lady Jane was at the wedding as well, and like Lady Sarah she  wore a white blazer over her dresses and a hats with a flower on it. She attended the wedding with her husband, Sir Fellowes, and their three children Laura (born 1980), Alexander (born 1983), and Eleonor (born 1985), but we haven’t seen any pictures of them yet. She looks very nice, but why oh why didn’t she pull out one of her pearl chokers for the occasion?? Seriously. Those should not be kept locked up!

Notably, Lady Jane was one of the people spotted in a wide shot of the royal box during the Jubilee concert last weekend. Didn’t see Lady Sarah in the picture, though.

Kate’s Outfit

Kudos to Kate for once again making an effort not to outshine the bride by wearing all repeated items. Today she chose the Jenny Packham dress from her trip to Los Angeles,

the coat from last year’s Garter ceremony,

the hat that she wore to the Epsom Derby last June,

and her trusty LK Bennet pumps. In my opinion, this mishmash of items (which are all lovely on their own) didn’t go all that well together and looked a bit busy…plus the dress was longer than the coat. However, we can see what she was trying to do and thumbs up for that.

Also love the new ‘do:

Well, it was fun to see everyone out today! Congratulations to Emily and James. Let us know if you noticed anything else that we missed!


Categories: British Royal Family, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge

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19 replies

  1. Regarding the Spencer tiara: A friend and I viewed the (traveling) exhibit, “Diana: A Celebration”, at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut this past November. Diana’s wedding dress, shoes, tiara and other tidbits were on display. The tiara was, I’m sorry to say, in DIRE need of a good cleaning. Very sad to see something so beautiful in such sorry shape… Anyway, I wonder if this ‘traveling tiara’ is an original or a copy?
    Thank you for all the time and work that MUST go into this AMAZING site that you so generously share with all of us!! Jenniffer

    • I saw the same exhibit and I agree completely – the tiara was very underwhelming and in need of some serious TLC. I actually found the wedding dress underwhelming also – maybe simply because nothing can live up to 30 years of hype.

      • Oh how sad. Tatty comments. Diana’s wedding dress was stunning, dramatic and interesting. Maybe some here would prefer Waity Kate’s shroud looking thing , it could have come off the rack from an average department store from the way it looked.

  2. Here is a link to a website with a closer-up picture of the tiara…

  3. Lady Jane Fellowes’s husband is the man wearing glasses in the picture of the Cambridges looking testy. I agree with your feelings about Catherine’s outfit. The pieces are nice by themselves but don’t quite work together.

  4. I agree that Kate deliberately chose her look as a guest at this wedding. She chose items that go together well enough, but each individual item – the dress, the coat, the shoes, and the hat were all neutral colors. And all were instantly recognizable as having been worn before.

  5. Does anyone know who designed Emily’s dress?

  6. Emily looked lovely, but too much lace. She could have done better. I did like the tiara, and I beleive that her tiara is in the Spencer family. I too viewed the Diana Exhibit in the U.S. and I did feel that the metal of Diana’s tiara was very dark and looked like it needed some polish, but the diamonds on it were brilliant! I think the dress looked exactly like a victorian wedding dress should, the 25 foot train was exquisite, but let’s face it Diana made that dress look stunning, anything Princess Diana wore looked stunning, she made the clothes not the other way around. So, the dress without Diana in it is just a dress. Kate’s outfit at Emily’s wedding kind of looked like a burlap sack, she in general, is rather lack luster. She also has a very snarky look to her face, and when she doesn’t realize that the camera is on her she makes the meanest expressions. Not over the moon about her, here’s hoping Harry marries someone more like his mother.

    • I agree. Diana was stunning and I loved her clothes and wedding dress. There’s no “style” these days.
      I am very underwhelmed by anything and everything about Middleton. Bleah –

  7. Recently discovered Robert Fellowes is my distant cousin.

  8. kate again with bushy hair

  9. I am surprised to see the expression on Kate’s face where the article suggests she and William got a little testy. It’s good to see that ugly side of her. She tries to project an image such that one would think her incapable of giving anyone such a dirty look. Poor William; the more I see, the more I know he’s very naive.

  10. A snapshot is a nanosecond. Deliriously happy people can look “testy” in a snapshot. The media always try to leap to a conclusion about someone’s mood based on a snapshot.

  11. Enjoyed this very much. I am delighted to see “the boys” staying connected to their Spencer roots. Thank you for this article!

  12. One of the little flower girls was Lara Spencer, daughter of Earl Spencer and Caroline Freud.

  13. the earrings worn by Sarah are most probably hers now, passed on from her Mum, and on loan from her to the Althorp estate for the wedding display. I believe they did belong to Frances, and not a Spencer heirloom, because Frances wore those earrings to the 1985 21st birthday party of her Son Charles at Spencer house.


  1. Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress « The Royal Post

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