A wedding fit for TWO princes: Last minute preparations under way as Wills and Harry set to watch best friend wed Holiday Inn heiress in costume party wedding in Memphis
- Royal group had the general public removed from the site while they took a private tour of the historic landmark where Elvis died
- Royal brothers last night spotted having dinner at a Rendezvous restaurant in Memphis
- Were attending a wedding rehearsal dinner held at barbecue-style bar
- Security costs of Royals’ vacation is costing the British taxpayer an estimated £50,000 ($84,000)
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry will watch one of their closest friends get married today before celebrating into the night at an outlandish fancy dress party.
Last-minute preparations are under way at the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club where nightclub owner Guy Pelly and Holiday Inn heiress Elizabeth ‘Lizzy Wilson’ will tie the knot.
The couple will say their vows in front of their family and friends at the picturesque venue that overlooks a lake.
Dressed to impress: Prince William at a reception with other guests at The Memphis Country Club in Memphis, Tennessee
Dapper: The Duke of Cambridge will watch his friend, nightclub owner Guy Pelly, tie the knot with Holiday Inn heiress Elizabeth ‘Lizzy Wilson’
Wardrobe change: For the reception, the wedding guests, including the two princes, will put on costumes
Then the guests, who also include Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, will change into costumes for the fun-filled wedding party, organized by the groom.
The Jimmy Church Band will serenade the wedding party to the classic sounds of Motown. The 10-piece band’s set list includes hits by Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, as well as songs by Robin Thicke, Ke$ha and Katy Perry.
A large white tent has been erected on a lawn next to the club beside an outdoor pool.
It is not known what the princes will wear as their costumes, but Prince Harry and Pelly have a history when it comes to dressing up.
In 2005, Pelly paraded around dressed as the Queen when Harry was infamously photographed wearing a Nazi uniform at a party.
The 32-year-old, a close friend of the pair for many years, was often cited as a bad influence on the brothers in their youth and dubbed William and Harry’s ‘court jester’ for his wild ways.
Pelly, who is the son of wealthy Kent landowners, also helped organize the Duke’s bachelor party.
The wedding comes at the end of three days of celebrations that yesterday included a visit to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion.
On Thursday night after arriving in town, the guests enjoyed ribs at a barbeque restaurant before some, including the princesses, partied into the night on the town’s famous Beale Street.
Even though the princes’ trip was supposed to low-key, fans of the royals have gathered in the city to try and catch a glimpse.
Meghan Riley, 22, a University of Memphis student, said she was hoping to marry the 29-year-old.
Al fresco: A large white tent, pictured earlier this week, has been erected on a lawn next to the club beside an outdoor pool
She said: ‘He’s so handsome and rich and a really nice guy. I would love to be a princess. I’m friendly and outspoken, I think I would get along with the Queen and I know a lot about the monarchy and the traditions.
‘Harry is so sexy, I like to go out and he likes to go out. I really like gingers. I saw he was single and then I heard he was going to be in Memphis, I freaked out, it is a miracle.’
Beverley McPhail, 29, who is 15 weeks pregnant, has travelled from her home in Orlando, Florida, with her mother-in-law Sheryl, 58, to see the princes.
She said: ‘I booked to come after first hearing about the wedding six months ago. I went to London for the royal wedding, so this was not that far to go.
‘I just want to see them. We’re not used to royalty. I’ve liked the royal family since Princess Diana.’
Kaye Clark, 57, from Memphis, has also been trying to see the royal visitors. She said: ‘I absolutely adore the royals, I have followed them since I was a little girl and have two pugs named Prince Will and Princess Kate. I adored their mother who I loved with with all my heart. I follow everything they do.
‘Before I die I want to give them a hug and tell them how much I love them. Memphians love the royals.’
Harry’s former girlfriend Cressida Bonas was originally expected to attend the wedding, but the couple split after it is thought they had arguments about the trip. The Duchess of Cambridge has stayed in England with Prince George.
On Friday, Princes William and Harry paid homage to the king of rock n’ roll Elvis Presley with a private tour of Graceland.
The princes were dressed casually and wearing sunglasses as they wandered around the white-columned mansion in Memphis.
The royal group, which also included Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, had the general public removed from the site while they took a private tour of the historic landmark where Elvis died on August 16, 1977.
Prince William and Prince Harry attend Elvis’ home Graceland in Memphis as part of Guy Pelly’s wedding weekend. The group had the general public removed from the site while they took a private tour
No thanks: Prince William was one of the only visitors that did not don a pair of Elvis’ sunglasses
Prince William seen here walking down the stairs at the Graceland mansion, the beloved home of Elvis Presley where he died in 1977
Prince Harry walks around the grounds of Graceland wearing an audio headset, presumably for the official tour of Elvis’ home
Princess Beatrice and Eugenie attend Graceland wearing Elvis sunglasses for Guy Pelly’s wedding weekend along with one fun-loving friend who lifted her shirt for the cameras
Prince Harry got into the spirit of the Elvis tour and donned the King’s trademark sunglasses, seen at right in September 1972 on the King himself in Las Vegas
Princess Beatrice, left, and Princess Eugenie, right, also looked fetching in the iconic frames
Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion served as his family home throughout most of his adult life and he is buried there in the Meditation Garden.
During the visit, Harry, casually dressed in a blue polo neck, was spotted with a pair of black headphones and an orange lanyard round his neck as he listened intently to the audio tour guiding him around the 14-acre estate’s mansion.
A staff member at the visitor attraction said: ‘It is pretty special to have a future king take time to come to visit The King.’
All good fun, but questions are already being asked about the price of keeping them safe, put at £50,000 (around $84,000).
Prince William was alone for the tour as sadly his wife is not with him on the trip to Memphis
Princess Beatrice also joined in the fun with some Elvis glasses like her sister after jetting into Memphis to attend the wedding of Guy Pelly and American heiress Lizzy Smith
Princess Beatrice and Eugenie attend Graceland wearing Elvis sunglasses for Guy Pelly’s wedding weekend while crowds gathered around the historic home in the hope of getting a glimpse of the young royals and their crew
Although the cost of the trip itself is being met privately by the princes, they are accompanied round-the-clock by a team of around eight taxpayer-funded officers from Scotland Yard’s Royalty Protection Squad.
Some of those will have traveled to Memphis in advance to ‘recce’ the private residence where they are staying and the wedding venue. Others traveled with the brothers personally.
One senior industry source estimated the cost of guarding the princes during their five-day trip would be in the region of $84,000, including business class flights and hotels for all of the officers.
Princess Beatrice gets into the spirit – and perhaps enjoys the shade – with her Elvis sunglasses. Her and sister Eugenie were seen enjoying drinks in a Memphis street the night before
Guy Pelly, pictured center in sunglasses, looked dapper and relaxed ahead of his wedding on Saturday and enjoyed a trip to Graceland with longtime friends William and Harry
Princess Eugenie takes in the sights at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis along with other members of the high-society wedding party. No doubt she was a bit tired from the Thursday night out beforehand
THE HOME OF AMERICAN MUSICAL ROYALTY: ELVIS’ GRACELAND
With its white columns, rolling green acres and fountains, Graceland was the palatial home of the king of rock ‘n’ roll Elvis Presley.
It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard, roughly 9 miles from downtown Memphis.
The property was bought by Elvis’ parents for $100,000 in 1957 as the singer’s popularity grew and he needed a place to retreat from fans.
The mansion has twenty-three rooms, including eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Elvis adapted it to his own quirky tastes – the basement TV room is where the king would watch three sets at once, and was within close reach of a wet bar. The ‘Jungle Room’ is just one example at the home of Elvis’ fabulously, kitschy taste.
It is one of the most visited private homes in the U.S. with more than 600,000 visitors trudging its lavish hallways with audio guides each year.
The front gate is one of its most iconic images, shaped like sheet music, with green colored musical notes and a silhouette of the king himself.
The brothers dined along with friends and family at popular BBQ restaurant Rendezvous on Thursday evening before heading home for an early night.
Young father William and newly-single Harry headed off at 11pm, leaving cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to party into the early hours at an outdoor bar.
Clearly in good spirits, Beatrice, 25, danced on a table, and could also be seen with her 24-year-old sister and other members of the wedding party drinking from plastic glasses which read: ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish.’
It should have been a romantic trip away for Prince Harry with his girlfriend, Cressida Bonas.
But days after the couple split, Prince Harry was looking far from distraught as he was spotted dining with his brother Prince William in Memphis one day after partying at an exclusive Miami club.
Just hours before, newly single Harry, 29, had danced into the early hours of Thursday at a fashionable nightspot known as the ‘flashiest club in Miami’.
Later on Thursday, Harry looked relaxed and carefree as he climbed into an SUV in the 32C Florida sun.
With a backpack slung casually over his shoulder, and wearing sunglasses and a checked shirt, he showed no signs of missing Miss Bonas.
The royal group left Graceland today in their SUV convoy with their security convoy leaning out the windows to keep on eye on the crowds
Entourage: The princes will no doubt be safe in Memphis. The local police confirmed that royal protection officers reached out in advance of the visit
Members of the media and the public line up along a wall in front of some graffiti at Elvis Presley’s Graceland to try to catch a glimpse of British princes William and Harry
Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, which served as his family home throughout most of his adult life. The house includes a bright yellow TV room, in which Presley used to watch three televisions simultaneously
The King: Elvis Presley at his beloved Graceland mansion in 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee
Harry is in the US for the wedding of his friend, London club owner Guy Pelly, who was at his side in Miami Beach.
Mr Pelly will marry Holiday Inn heiress Lizzy Wilson in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday, with Prince William also in attendance.
The palace today confirmed the royal trip to the U.S is privately funded.
This would include all of Harry’s transport from the UK to Memphis via Miami – including trips on a private jet with starting prices for a jet from Miami to Memphis costing from around $18,000 (£10,600).
Mad for plaid: Prince William arrived joined his brother and thir mates to honor the bride and groom two nights before the big event. Kate stayed at home in London with Prince George
Newly single Prince Harry was photographed leaving the Rendezvous BBQ restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee
Party Princes arrive at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous BBQ in Memphis
It would also include a convoy of SUV vehicles, accommodation while in Miami and Memphis plus visits to bars, clubs, and restaurants.
It is unclear whether the royals themselves have paid for the visit – or whether it is partly or entirely funded by the wedding party.
However, taxpayer funded bodyguards from Scotland Yard were provided to protect Harry while he was staying in Miami. It is unclear as to whether they will remain by his side for the duration of his trip.
Harry is thought to earn around £38,000 a year for his role as a Captain in the British Army.
Prince William would also have paid for his transport in from the UK – including a commercial flight from the UK via Chicago’s O’Hare airport. William was an RAF pilot until late last year when he quit to spend more time with his wife the Duchess of Cambridge.
On Thursday night the brothers were both greeted by crowds of excitable royal watchers in Memphis as they arrived at a popular barbecue restaurant.
Harry walks towards a car with members of his entourage shortly after leaving the building
It is thought the royal brothers headed back to their accommodation after dinner for an early night
Scores of people wait outside BBQ joint Rendezvous in Memphis for the arrival of the two princes
Crowds gather on the street outside the restaurant where the brothers dined last night (pictured centre right)
Earlier in the day, William had been seen in the airport lounge at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, during a stopover on the way to Memphis.
Still looking tanned from his recent Royal tour of New Zealand and Australia, he was seen in a private Swiss Air Lounge tucking into a plate of chicken nachos and chicken wings while waiting for a connecting flight.
‘A hostess and server from the restaurants took great care of him before he jetted off,’ a fellow traveller told People magazine.
He and brother Harry were later spotted arriving at the Rendezvous restaurant in Memphis, where eager residents had gathered on the sidewalk to cheer.
As body guards opened the passenger doors on a fleet of SUVs, the crowd cheered wildly as they jostled for a chance to see Harry and William.
Princesses Beatrice (left) and Eugenie (right) of York enjoyed drinks on Beale Street in Memphis on Thursday evening with their friends Sam Pelly and Lizzy Wilson ahead of their wedding this weekend
Both princes had dressed down for the occasion, wearing jeans and casual shirts. William appeared to have opted for a country look, with red and blue checked shirt.
While the royal brothers appear to be enjoying themselves, the trip to Memphis was supposed to have been a romantic getaway for Harry and Miss Bonas, 25, his girlfriend of two years.
They suddenly split at the weekend with Miss Bonas, a former dance student now working in marketing, cancelling her plans to travel to the US.
The wedding celebrations, including some boys-only events, are believed to have been part of the reasoning behind Harry’s split with Stowe-educated Miss Bonas, a source told Mail Online.
As well as being ‘panicked’ after she discovered she would be expected to sit at the top table with Prince Harry during the high-profile wedding, Miss Bonas was said to be unhappy at the party plans.
Sources close to the couple insist the split is amicable, although Miss Bonas looked glum as she walked to work in the West End this week.
Her soon-to-be husband Guy looked relaxed in a crisp blue shirt and royal blue trousers
Meanwhile her former boyfriend appeared not to have a care in the world as he flew in to Miami on Wednesday, on route to Memphis, for the first of several nights out.
He first enjoyed dinner at the Hakkasan restaurant in the Fontainebleau Hotel and Resort with a group of male and female friends.
The party ate in a private dining room, enjoying stir-fried Chilean sea bass, Bahamian lobster and cocktails.
A fellow diner said: ‘It seemed like a really civilised dinner, it was pretty low-key. Harry was sitting next to a tanned brunette woman and they were chatting away, but it was hard to tell if it was flirtatious or not.’
Later the group headed to the resort’s LIV nightclub, where Mike Tindall held his stag party before his marriage to Zara Phillips.
The Prince looked casual in a checked shirt and sunglasses as he headed to a waiting SUV
Onlookers said Harry and seven friends could be seen ‘having the best time’ in the club, which stays open until 5am.
Harry’s group had the run of a private box overlooking the dance floor.
It is believed Harry’s friend Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip was among the group. He prides himself on being the prince’s ‘wingman’ and was with him when he famously stripped naked in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2012.
On that Vegas trip Harry was photographed on a mobile phone playing ‘strip billiards’ with an unidentified blonde.
This time, however, security officers tried to stop night clubbers taking photos of him.
Several hours later Harry emerged from his hotel, hiding any signs of exhaustion behind a pair of sunglasses.