The latest updates on the upcoming nuptials of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall: a royally-funded palace venue and two wild bachelor/bachelorette weekends.
The Daily Mail reports that although Phillips lacks a royal title, her grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is donating the use of Holyroodhouse, the royal residence in Scotland, for her July 30 wedding reception.
The venue will reportedly cost the Queen about $65,000 out of pocket as she will personally reimburse the palace, a popular tourist attraction, for the money they will lose by shutting its doors to visitors for five busy summer days, the Mail writes.
It's a generous gift to Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne, and her rugby-player fiance, who do not exactly fit the royal mold. Tindall hails from a solidly middle-class background and recently celebrated his impending nuptials with a wild "stag" party weekend (that's bachelor party weekend to you Americans) at the W Hotel in Miami, guzzling beer in an "eight-hour drinking marathon" one day and hitting up high-end clubs the next, reported People.
His bride also celebrated with a three-day party in Portugal, playing drinking games and donning crazy costumes with a large group of girlfriends, wrote the Daily Mail.
While it seems Zara managed to avoid the paparazzi during rowdy weekend, Tindall did not, with snaps landing in tabloids. The couple has shown no resistance in the past to photographic intrusions: as previously noted, Buckingham Palace thwarted Phillips' plans to sell wedding day photos to tabloid magazine Hello! for over $800,000.
It's just another contrast in style between Phillips and Tindall and their royal counterparts William and Catherine. As Zara's first cousin, William and his wife will attend this weekend's celebrations, which include a Friday night cocktail party aboard the Royal Britannia yacht and Saturday's ceremony at the Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, reports Marie Claire UK.
One detail we still don't know? The dressmaker. Although it was previously reported that Zara's wedding gown would be designed by Stewart Parvin, a favorite couturier of the Queen, those reports have been dismissed and speculation continues over who will dress the sporty bride.