Friday, July 29, 2011

By DEBORAH ARTHURS, EMILY ALLEN, REBECCA ENGLISH and REBECCA EVANS

Happy: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laugh as they leave the Royal Yacht Britannia following a pre-wedding cocktail party hosted by Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stole the show last night as they boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia for a pre-wedding cocktail party ahead of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall's wedding.

They were among scores of guests invited on board the vessel for drinks ahead of the couple's big day today.


Zara Phillips laughs as she enjoys a cocktail party on board the Royal Yacht Britannia with fiancé Mike Tindall


The newlyweds looked a picture of happiness as they mingled with guests and family members - including Prince Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Zara and England Rugby star Mike did not hold back expressing their clear affection for each other, posing for one last kiss in front of well-wishers following their wedding rehearsal at Edinburgh's Canonbury Kirk yesterday.


Zara flashes some leg as she negotiates the steps on board the yacht before being guided down by fiancé Mike Tindall who looked smart in a blue suit and cream tie


Zara, who arrived at the rehearsal wearing flip-flops, jeans and a hoodie, swiftly transformed herself in a £500 tie-dye silk dress from the U.S. label Alice and Olivia for the evening celebration - although it did reveal a white mark where he bikini top had been.

Once on board the yacht, she was spotted laughing and joking with friends - many of whom were rugby player friends of her fiancé.


All aboard: Prince William and Kate, with Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice in red and purple with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Bea's boyfriend Dave Clark (centre)


The couple were also joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Zara's brother Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn - and of course the bride's mother Princess Anne and her father Captain Mark Phillips.

Guests were photographed in dinner suits and evening suits sipping pink champagne as the sun set over Edinburgh.

Princess Beatrice looked stunning in a purple dress and belt, while Princess Eugenie opted for a red number.



The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge make their way off the yacht with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Prince Harry and the Countess of Wessex


The Duchess of Cambridge looked striking in a bright green dress which she teamed with black heels.

The yacht, permanently moored in the historic port of Leith, served the Queen for 44 years - although she did not attend the festivities.

During that time Britannia carried the monarch and the Royal Family on 968 official voyages, from the remotest of the South Seas to the deepest divides of Antarctica.


All smiles: The Royals leave the yacht with the girls gripping the bannister as they made their way down the steps


Zara's parents honeymooned on the ship, cruising the West Indies in 1973.

During the pre-wedding rehearsal Zara - the Queen's eldest granddaughter - was joined by Zara's father, Captain Mark Phillips, and his second wife, Sandy Pflueger, and Zara's brother Peter Phillips.

Earlier, the bride had spent the day putting her own final touches in place.

She spent the afternoon with sister-in-law Autumn Phillips at The Balmoral hotel where she is staying in Edinburgh's city centre ahead of the wedding ceremony.


Party time: Zara looked elegant in a stunning £500 tie-dye one-shouldered dress from U.S. label Alice + Olivia as she supped on a glass of pink champagne


Mingling: Zara is hugged by a friend as friends and family enjoy drinks in the sunshine


Princess Anne laughs with motor racing legend Jackie Stewart whilst Prince Harry catches up with his brother Prince William and his new sister-in-law



Affectionate: Zara Phillips rests her arm on her fiancé's shoulder and then around his waist whilst the couple mingle with guests ahead of their big day today


Rehearsing all the important bits: Zara and husband to be Mike Tindall share a kiss in front of the crowds at their wedding rehearsal


All smiles: Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall looked happy as they arrived at Canongate Kirk for their wedding rehearsal ahead of their wedding ceremony


Support: Crowds of well-wishers gathered to cheer the couple as they emerged from their chauffeur-driven Jaguar


Dressed down: Zara and Mike Tindall leave the church after their wedding rehearsal - Zara opting for jeans a hoodie


Standing on ceremony: Police guard the gates of Canongate Kirk as preparations are made for Mike and Zara's wedding

source: dailymail

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