Princess Raiyah of Jordan Marries Roald Dahl’s Grandson—Other Royal Weddings To Expect
In what was the first royal wedding in the United Kingdom (UK) since the lockdown measures were lifted, Princess Raiyah bint Al-Hussein—the youngest daughter of Queen Noor and the late King Hussein of Jordan—tied the knot with British journalist and author Roald Dahl’s grandson, Ned Donovan, last Tuesday.
As lockdown measures ease in the UK, weddings are now allowed with up to 30 guests. The wedding was an intimate and socially-distanced outdoor ceremony in a courtyard, attended by the couple’s nearest and dearest, including Queen Noor.
Sharing photos from the big day on Twitter, Raiyah, who is the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, was stunning in a high-necked embroidered lace gown and sapphire circlet, while her groom Ned was dashing in a blue-on-blue morning suit.
Originally planned for April in Jordan, Raiyah said in her Twitter post that “the pandemic derailed those plans and it was safer for my husband’s family to hold it in the UK.” She added that she was looking forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows.
The newlyweds were not the only royal couple who had to change their plans. Here are other royal couples whose postponed weddings may just take place in the coming months.
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Princess Beatrice and her fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s nuptials, which was set to be the last high-profile royal wedding for the decade, was originally due to take place on May 29.
The couple has originally planned to wed at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, London, followed by a reception hosted by the Queen in the gardens of the Buckingham Palace.
In March, the palace announced that Beatrice and Edoardo will not go ahead with the reception, and will consider a more intimate service “amongst a small group of family and friends instead.”
But as lockdown measures were implemented, it became clear that the nuptials had to be postponed indefinitely. No official announcements have been made since then, but a spokesperson for the couple told People in April that “there are no plans to switch venues or hold a bigger wedding.”
“They aren’t even thinking about their wedding at this time. There will come a time to rearrange, but that’s not yet.”
It remains to be seen if the couple, who has had to postpone their wedding numerous times, will take Raiyah’s lead and hold a small-scale wedding—albeit without the presence of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, who are still isolating—or wait it out for the dream wedding they deserve.
(Related: Is Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s Royal Wedding Still Happening This Year?)
Princess Theodora and Matthew Kumar
Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark was expected to marry fiancé, American lawyer Matthew Kumar at the end of May, but the couple was forced to cancel because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The princess, who goes by the stage name of Theodora Greece in her acting career, first announced her engagement on Instagram in November 2018.
The wedding was set to take place on the Greek island of Spetses with a star-studded guest list. Theodora, who is the youngest daughter of Constantine II, former King of Greece, and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, is a goddaughter of Queen Elizabeth and the niece of Queen Sofia of Spain. Her father is also the godfather of Prince William, who was expected to attend.
On what would have been her wedding day, Theodora took to Instagram again with a photo of the couple having a cosy meal at home. She captioned it, “On what should have been our wedding weekend—the love and support from friends and family have been so appreciated. We can’t wait to celebrate with all of you in Greece once it’s safe.”
Greece lifted lockdown restrictions on June 1 and restarted its tourism industry on July 1. However, with a spike in coronavirus cases this month, some lockdown measures may be re-introduced.
Flora Alexandra Ogilvy and Timothy Vesterberg
When Flora Alexandra Ogilvy announced her engagement to Swedish financier Timothy Vesterberg via Instagram in November last year, many news outlets speculated that it could be the second royal wedding of 2020 in the UK, after Beatrice’s. Flora is the granddaughter of Sir Angus Ogilvy and Princess Alexandra of Kent, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin.
56th in line to the throne, she was spotted arriving with Lady Amelia Windsor and her cousin Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding last year. The couple has not announced an official wedding date, however, so perhaps they could wait for more restrictions to lift before they hold their wedding.
(Related: 21 European Royals You Should Follow on Instagram)
James Middleton and Alizee Thevenet
Granted, the younger brother of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton isn’t technically a royal, but the announcement of his engagement to French financier Alizee Thevenet in October last year has evidently generated much fanfare.
Originally planning for a summer wedding this year, a friend of James told Daily Mail in March that the wedding would be postponed amidst the pandemic. “It's very sad, but it's just not practical to hold it in this crisis,” the source was quoted saying. “Holding an Anglo-French wedding is impossible in the coming months and is still likely to be difficult in the summer…They would prefer to wait until all their guests are able—and happy—to attend.”
When the wedding does take place, however, it is likely to be an intimate low-key event—James has reportedly “had enough of big weddings”—with a stellar guest list that will see royals such as Kate Middleton and William in attendance. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Princess Eugenie, who were present at Pippa Middleton’s wedding, attended too. Royal children Prince George and Princess Charlotte are expected to reprise their roles in the wedding party, and perhaps Prince Louis may be able to join his siblings for this one.