The June 19 marriage of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones is not an official state occasion. It's barely a royal wedding as these things go. In Britain, there's none of the hype that accompanied other such pairings. Still, there's lots to say about this ceremony. You've got the bride, a 35-year-old publicist, and the groom, also 35, who was born with a ton of titles but prefers the ever-so-humble Mr. Windsor. Both families approve. His think this union could do wonders for the tarnished image of The Firm (that's how they refer to their family enterprise). We won't talk about those topless photos. It all begins at 5 p.m. The details:
The setting: Sophie and Edward chose St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the queen's weekend place. The Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev. Peter Nott, will preside. It will be the first time since 1882 that a child of the monarch has been married at Windsor. The entire service will be televised live.
Who's not coming: Forget Camilla, Charles's lover; the queen won't stand for it. Fergie, Prince Andrew's ex, won't be there either. These two are a perennial problem at royal gatherings, since neither has official rank.
Who is coming: More than 2,000 invited guests, including Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie; Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber; actors Billy Connolly and Stephen Fry, and of course, the royal family, including the 98-year-old Queen Mum, Princes William and Harry and their dad, the queen and Prince Philip. An additional 1,000 people, mostly commoners who applied for tickets, will watch from just outside the chapel.
The reception: Guests will load up on coulibiac (fresh salmon baked with rice), mushrooms and spinach in pastry, beef stroganoff, salads and new potatoes. For dessert, fresh raspberries.
Gifts: They registered at Thomas Goode of Mayfair. Guests with deep pockets could choose from a silver tea service (£33,000 ), a silver Asprey & Garrad teapot (£8,800), 24 crystal glasses (£1,000) or a 26-piece china coffee and tea service.
Their starter home: They may aspire to a normal and unroyal life, but the newlyweds' home will be the grandest of any of Queen Elizabeth's offspring. Bagshot Park in Surrey is valued at £10 million and stands in 88 acres of park and woodland. It's expected to be ready by July 4, after nearly two years of renovation estimated to cost about £2 million.
New titles: Sophie will be known as Mrs. Windsor unless the queen makes the new couple the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as is widely rumored. Both say they don't want the title.
The competition: To many Brits, the real royal wedding this year will be the July 4 union of Victoria Adams, better known as Posh Spice, and footballer David Beckham of Manchester United.
The honeymoon: The location is still a secret, but they are both into scuba diving so it will probably be someplace tropical.
A definite faux pas in the receiving line: "Diana would have loved this."