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Friday, January 22, 1999 Published at 19:39 GMT


Edward and Sophie name date

The wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones will take place at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Saturday, 19 June, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The occasion will be a family wedding in accordance with the couple's wishes, said the Palace.

The date of the wedding had earlier been predicted by the Sun newspaper, which broke the news of the engagement on 6 January.

[ image: St George's Chapel was restored after the fire at Windsor in 1994]
St George's Chapel was restored after the fire at Windsor in 1994
The Sun newspaper said the ceremony will be attended by 500 guests.

A further 500 guests will attend a buffet reception in the castle's St George's Grand Hall, and invitations will be sent out within weeks, it added.

It says that Sophie, 33, and Edward, 34, picked a date which did not clash with official duties by senior royals.

The date follows Royal Ascot week - one of the busiest periods in the Queen's calendar. Sophie is likely to join the royal party at the races in the run-up to the big day.

Family and friends

The job of ensuring the event runs smoothly has reportedly been put in the hands of the retired army officer who masterminded the Princess of Wales's funeral.

Royal watchers predict that former Scots Guards Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm Ross will have to strike a balance between keeping the ceremony private and satisfying the public.

While Edward and Sophie are thought to want a "family and friends" ceremony, tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets surrounding Windsor Castle for a glimpse of the couple.

The wedding is likely to see the largest gathering of Royals since the Queen and Prince Philip's golden wedding celebrations in November 1997.

Edward and Sophie will make their first public appearance together at Wembley next month, for the Five Nations rugby match between Wales and Ireland on 20 February.

Edward is due to visit the USA in March to drum up business for his television production company.

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