No wedding is complete without a last minute panic, for Sophie Rhys Jones yesterday it was her shoes, the £5,000 bridal dress is a delicate shade lying in that hard to describe recognition between ivory and pale coffee. The £250 accompanying shoes were, strangely peach. They just would not do. Samantha Shaw, the dress designer, threw a bit of a fit for her; today is almost as big an occasion as it is for the bride.
Like Cinderella, the hunt was on to match the bride with the correct footwear, but in this case the happy ending was reached by altering the shoes. Yesterday Arty Achilleous, who runs Baboucha shoes in Barnet, North London was given the emergency job of changing the shoes to match the dress, after a desperate Ms Shaw had arrived on his doorstep with the offending pair.
“The shoes were made by a different company. They were made in the wrong fabric and didn’t match” Mr. Achilleos said last night. “The heels need to come off and the soles need to come off, we literally have to take the shoes apart and cover every section with the new fabric which is not a traditional fabric for the wedding shoes. “It’s a Matt, stretchy jersey. I would describe it as a very light coffee cream of an antique ivory. It’s the same colour as the dress but I’m not sure if the actual fabric is the same.”
The size five plain court shoes, with sweetheart toe, scalloped edges and slender three inch flute bottom heels, should be back at royal lodge Windsor, by this morning in good time for the bride to drive from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s weekend retreat in Windsor Park Home to her 5pm wedding in St George’s Chapel. Police erected crowd barriers in Windsor yesterday in anticipation of many thousands of sightseers eager to see the newlyweds on their 15-minute carriage drive around the town. Windsor is already bedecked with flags but they are there for the state visit next week of the President of Hungary.
At this time of year Windsor is already thronged with tourists and yesterday those sightseeing in the castle had the added bonus of glimpsing Prince Edward and Miss Rhys Jones arriving for their final rehearsal in St George’s’ Chapel with the Right Rev Peter Nott, Bishop of Norwich, who will marry them.
In Common with the wedding the atmosphere on the streets will be low-key with even Windsor’s’ leading souvenir sellers taking the day off. Generations of Toomeys have made a living selling royal souvenirs from their stall. James and his brother David, who have been in the family business for nearly 30 years, are the only street traders licensed for the town centre. Today James will not be flogging merchandise. He will be at home watching the wedding on television.
James Toomey said, “We haven’t got any Edward and Sophie Souvenirs. There has been no build up to this wedding and the importers did not want to spend money-producing things that might not sell. “Perhaps because of the dearth of cheaper souvenirs, official memorabilia is selling well, according to Buckingham palace, Royal collection enterprises has produced a seven item set which is available at two shops in Windsor. The cheapest and most popular item is a £7 bone-china coaster.
Prince Edward spoke of his love for his royal bride yesterday in an ITV interview. “We manage to have a good laugh about things most of the time and we happen.