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WWDStyle issue 01/10/2011

The British novelist Fay Weldon couldn’t have summed up Europe’s upcoming royal nuptials more aptly when she wrote: “Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then everything happens.”

Long-term lovebirds Prince William and Kate Middleton; Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock; and Zara Phillips — daughter of Princess Anne and her former husband, Captain Mark Phillips — and her rugby-player beau Mike Tindall will all finally wed this year.

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Wills and Kate kick off the trifecta on April 29, with a ceremony at Westminster Abbey that promises to be in tune with Britain’s new age of austerity. Although the bride-to-be had not yet announced her choice for designer at press time, she is said to be inspired by the postwar spirit of her future grandmother-in-law Queen Elizabeth, who paid for her 1947 wedding gown, in part, with clothing coupons.

Monaco’s long-awaited wedding celebrations — bachelor Prince Albert will be 53 years old by the time he says, “Oui, je le veux” to Wittstock — will take place on July 9 and promise to be more lavish. There’s still no whiff of financial crisis in the Mediterranean tax haven: The bride is wearing a shiny pear-shaped diamond from Repossi, and she’s tipped to wear Armani Privé on the big day.

Meanwhile, the most low key of the three is said to be planning fall nuptials. Although Phillips is the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, her parents chose not to give her a title, she doesn’t carry out any official duties and she’s technically a private citizen. Knowing the sporty and utterly unpretentious couple — Tindall, like Middleton and Wittstock, is of solid middle-class stock — the wedding will most likely be a private — and rowdy — affair.

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