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Sunday, June 20, 1999 Published at 04:25 GMT 05:25 UK

Press declares wedding a success

The royal wedding gets blanket coverage

Beaming pictures of the royal couple Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, now the Earl and Countess of Wessex, are used big and bold in the UK's Sunday papers.

Royal Wedding
Some include souvenir pull-outs devoted to the wedding, while others opt for extensive coverage and pictures.

But many of the themes across the range of tabloids and broadsheets are the same - the happiness of the couple, the success of the day, and the message that this is a royal marriage that has to work and stands a very good chance.

'Wessex girl'

Several of the papers dub Sophie the "Wessex girl" after the Queen bestowed the titles of Earl and Countess of Wessex on the couple to mark their marriage.

[ image: So happy declares the Sunday Express]
So happy declares the Sunday Express
"Sophie joins royals as Edward's Wessex girl" is the headline on the front page of The Sunday Times, which says the couple made their vows in a way so intense and intimate that "it was impossible not to be moved".

It describes the nature of the ceremony as "slightly confused", a mixture between public and private, but comments that the event showed that the "old magic" of the monarchy still exists after a rocky ride.

Edward and Sophie's new titles are what interests The Observer most, which leads its comparatively brief royal wedding coverage with the clever headline "Earl formerly known as prince gets his Wessex girl".

The report notes that the choice of title had been criticised by constitutional experts, because the title of Earl is usually only bestowed on commoners who marry into the Royal Family.

Horoscope analysis

"So Happy" declares the front page of the Sunday Express, as does that of the Sunday Mirror.

The Express describes the wedding as a "dream come true" and Sophie as "simply stunning".

[ image: Sophie's face smiles out from the Sunday papers]
Sophie's face smiles out from the Sunday papers
The paper, like some others, also carries an analysis of the couple's horoscopes, which, it claims, show that Sophie is more likely to be giving orders to Edward than "obeying" them.

And it warns that the press and the public must not turn the new royal bride into a "genetically-modified" Princess Diana with endless comparisons.

'Turning point'

"Ed over heels in love" is the front page offering from the News of the World. The paper goes on to describe Edward as "cheeky" when he winked at his bride as she arrived by his side in St George's Chapel.

It also tells how the Duchess of York had the only "glum" royal face on Saturday, as she flew off to attend a different wedding in Italy after not being invited to the royal event at Windsor.

The Sunday Mirror describes the wedding as a "fairytale come true", but a later article by a social historian asks why Sophie had to "submit" and promise to obey her husband in her wedding vows.

The paper's editorial column says it is a shame the couple cannot be "plain Mr and Mrs", instead of Earl and Countess, to prove that the Royal Family is evolving into a "modern, slimmed-down monarchy".

But nevertheless, the paper says their union is likely to prove a turning point in the fortunes of Windsor marriages, and wishes them a long and happy life together.

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In this section

Honeymoon over for Edward and Sophie

Balmoral honeymoon - then back to work

Royal couple join waxworks

Edward and Sophie begin married life

Radiant Sophie marries her prince

Sophie stunning in ivory silk

Traditional service for royal couple

Stars and royalty at wedding of the year

Something old, something new

Hats off to wedding fashion

Wessex titles for Edward and Sophie

Shoes hitch for Sophie

Marriage and monarchy move with the times

Fan fare: Monarchist memorabilia worldwide

Shattering the royal marriage myth