Its the bridal of the year but from the roped-off part reserved for the villagers of Englefield, its not ever entirely clear whats going on

In these troubled periods, it is only fitting that the nation should become for solace to the one thing we can be sure to excel at, the core of our strong and stable way of life, a facet of our national character that will endure even beyond current challenges that lie ahead: the celebrity wedding.

And so to Berkshire and Englefield English battleground , no less for the nuptials of Pippa and James, she famous thanks to her brother-in-law and her bottom, he for being her fiance and his ability to fund hedges.

Welcome to Englefield! Have a lovely period! Welcome to Englefield! You look lovely madam! Welcome to Englefield! The female at the edge of the throng of spectators, gawpers and assorted media has taken it upon herself to enliven the sedate procession of frocks and top hat from car to church by bellowing encouragement at them.

Welcome to Englefield! Startled out of their aplomb, some pause in their studied progress to essay a cheery smile for the cameras. A few even wave while taking care not to disrupt the line of their frock.

James Matthews, Pippa Middleton and the Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: UK Press via Getty Images

Welcome to Englefield! she calls to a young pair, You look very elegant!

The man intermissions. Thank you, he calls back.

Not you, sir! Welcome to Englefield!

As the well-groomed guests descend from their well-groomed autoes, it is like watching a slow-mo style procession, the beautiful people putting on a present. A gaggle of villagers, distinguished by their blue wristbands, have been allowed to stand in a designated location on the lawn flanking the drive, the peasantry recognise their betters.

But who are they, these beautiful people? All weve had so far is Donna Air and some female off Byker Grove , grumbles a photographer.

Just then, a bellow goes out as a distinguished looking humankind in a gray frock coat walkings rather stiffly to the church.

Roger! Roger! Although no one is entirely clear why Roger Federer is here, we are all pleased: it casts aside the pall of disappointment that had threatened to deflate the exuberance of the modest mob. For while everyone present undoubtedly holds some affection for Pippa Middleton and wishes the lovely pair well, there is a new kid in town. The advent of Meghan Markle in London to accompany Prince Harry to the wedding threatened to upstage the society bridal of the year, the royal bridal of the year and the celebrity bridal of the year at a single stroke. Markle had unknowingly let herself to be photographed leaving a spa on Friday, inspiring speculation that, in the same way that the lovely bride had upstaged her own sisters wedding to Prince William, the American actress might use Pippas big period to expose to the world what the Sun described as her own toned behind.

But the quest to discovery Miss Markle descended into mystery. Where was she? Indeed, where were Harry and William? A brief flutter of excitement rippled through the throng as a helicopter winged overhead half an hour before the ceremony was due to begin. Lenses swivelled to the sky. Telephones were consulted. Did it contain the princes? Would we glimpse their royal egoes? Then the whispering operated through the crowd: Theres another entryway. Could it be so? Were we all here to watch the stars of Byker Grove parade past while the real flair was being spirited in by a side entrance?

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka arrive at the church. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/ AP

This is a little bit participate in the mickey, said one local, with a sniff. Its disappointing we cant get closer. The church is lovely.

Through the trees in the distance part of the church was just visible.

Theyre closing the gate, person told. The security men with their earpieces and thousand-yard gazes had shut the parking and became their backs on the drive. No more guests. Miss Markle, it turned out, was skipping the ceremony. But where was the bride? The groom? And what about the ones everyone had come to see: George and Charlotte, page son and bridesmaid respectively?

A minute before the scheduled start of the ceremony at 11.30, two vintage gray autoes approached the church in the distance and two small-scale figures could be briefly glimpsed. Small enough to be infants, for sure, which meant that they were almost certainly the third in line to the throne and his sister.

Two minutes later another vintage car gray, open-topped drawn up with and a large white dress get out. A small-scale cheer ran up from the peasantry assembled on the lawn. The dress became and floated into the church.

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