Wedding of Sheran Cazalet and Simon Hornby, 1968

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The  Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noel Coward were among the Guests at the Wedding of Sheran Cazalet, daughter of Queen Mother’s racehorse trainer, Captain Peter Cazalet, and Simon Hornby at St Giles’ Church in Shipbourne, Kent on this day in 1968, followed by a Reception at Fairlawn in Sussex.

From The Guardian:

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret arrived at the village church here today in crackling sunlight for the marriage of Miss Sheran Cazalet, daughter of the Queen Mother’s racehorse trainer, Mr Peter Cazalet, to Mr Simon Hornby.

At the entrance to the church they climbed from a great maroon Rolls-Royce to the applause of assembled villagers, mainly women, whose summer dresses lined the gravel drive like confetti.

The Queen Mother wore a pale-green dress and a pale-green hat trimmed with white, and Princess Margaret wore a bold purple, pink and blue faintly psychedelic outfit. They smiled and looked well. Buttercups shone in the fields nearby.

The bride, an old friend of Princess Margaret and a step-granddaughter of P.G. Wodehouse, formerly worked for the BBC. The groom is an executive of W.H. Smith and Son.

Not long before the Royal Party, Miss Elizabeth Taylor, Mr Richard Burton and Mr Noël Coward had entered the church, also to applause. Miss Taylor wore a turquoise turban and turquoise outfit with sequins at the hem. Mr Coward had his grey topper at a rakish angle, and he nodded his head like a handsome tortoise as he walked towards the church with small steps, bent slightly forward, his hands halfway into his trouser pockets. Mr Burton had silver sideburns and his long dark hair curled up at the back under his grey topper. Both Mr Coward and Mr Burton looked quite rumpled. ‘Doesn’t Richard look a rascal!’ exclaimed a villager.

Some time before the wedding, as the bells pealed, Mr Coward and the Burtons, also in a serpentine Rolls, had drawn up at ‘The Chaser,’ a small pub near the church. Entering the saloon bar, they ordered three vodkas and tonic. ‘Large ones please,’ said Mr Burton, who prepared to pay. But Mr Coward fore-stalled him, saying: ‘I’ve got some money. I’m rich as Croesus.’

They sat down at a table and talked. ‘Those terrible gulls and the sea bashing below…’ Mr Coward said at one point. Later, he remarked: ‘I heard someone say, “I’ll give you three Noël Cowards for one…”’ He looked happy. Miss Taylor looked quite nervous, and Mr Coward said, ‘What are you nervous about? It’s not your wedding.’ ‘That’s why I’m nervous,’ Miss Taylor replied.

The bridegroom entered the pub. He was tall and dark, wore a grey morning coat, and carried a red ecclesiastical tome. ‘I love your shirt,’ Miss Taylor said to him. ‘You are kind to come here,’ he said to her.

Outside in the sun, the choir, who wore crimsony-mauve, were taking photographs of the famous with small cameras. A large policeman thought that Mr Frank Sinatra and Mr Gregory Peck were coming. But as far as one could see, they didn’t.

The service was over sooner than expected. The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret drove off to the reception to more clapping and waving. When the Burtons came out of the church, with Mr Coward just behind, there was near-pandemonium; wise-looking village women rushed forward as though to touch or embrace the Burtons, and the police had to surround them closely and force a way through the boiling throng to the Rolls.

At one point Mr Coward, looking surprised and amused, but frail, was jostled by the mob and nearly left behind. ‘Show your ring, Liz,’ the women cried, ‘You’re lovely’.


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