What Lady Gabriella Windsor And Thomas Kingston's Wedding Was Really Like

The following article contains references to suicide.

If there's one thing Britain knows how to do, it's throw a royal wedding that history will never forget. Back in 2019, Lady Gabriella Windsor, the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, tied the knot with financier Thomas Kingston in a lavish ceremony that boasted a who's who of royal guests. At the time, it was hailed as one of the biggest weddings of the season, a title not easily achieved in London's high-society circles. It seemed like Gabriella and her beau were a match made in heaven. Sadly, less than five years later, news broke of Kingston's tragic death

On February 25, 2024, Kingston was found dead of an apparent suicide. This tragic news rocked the nation and royal watchers across the pond, and it brought about a renewed interest in Gabriella's relationship with whom she dubbed an "exceptional man who lit up the lives of all who knew him" (via The Guardian).

While it is bittersweet to look back, Gabriella and Kingston's wedding day was a glittering affair that will remain in the history books. From the choice of jewelry to the surprisingly well-known venue and even Gabriella's near-disastrous wardrobe malfunction, the Kingston-Windsor wedding was a tour de force that exuded luxury. Not even Queen Elizabeth II herself dared to miss it. 

Lady Gabriella wore a stunning Luisa Beccaria wedding dress

Ever since that lace wedding gown proved to be one of Kate Middleton's best fashion moments ever, royalists have been keen to see how other members of the family compare. In 2019, Lady Gabriella Windsor had a shot at the best-dressed bride title, and she gave it all she had. Perhaps Gabriella took some inspiration from Princess Catherine, as lace featured heavily in her bespoke dress. Gabriella's stunning gown was designed by Luisa Beccaria, whose ready-to-wear wedding dresses start at around $4,000. Of course, Gabriella's piece was likely more expensive as it was a bespoke piece. It was so well-made it was even featured at Paris Couture Week following the ceremony. 

The floor-length white tulle gown made Gabriella look like a princess, not simply the second cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. In an interview with Hello! Magazine, Gabriella explained that she wanted the gown to be a surprise to everyone, including members of her family. "I wanted to surprise both of my parents on the day so [I] worked closely with Luisa without any family seeing the dress as it came together until my wedding day," she said. The royal's input was well-curated, as the finished product was nothing short of showstopping. 

The gown wasn't the only outfit she wore on her big day, though. Gabriella made the most of the occasion by wearing three more bridal dresses, all painstakingly designed by Beccaria. 

Lady Gabriella's bouquet included a rose named after her

Flowers are a big part of wedding decor. Not only do they bring splashes of color and elegance, but they also smell divine and look beautiful. Of course, most brides simply choose their favorite blooms to accessorize with on the big day — not many brides are lucky to carry flowers named after themselves. However, Gabriella's bouquet featured a stunning ivory rose by David Austin Roses, which was named the Ella in her honor.

J C Austin, managing director of the company and the son of David Austin, told Floral Daily,  "Lady Gabriella's bouquet is the first bridal bouquet to feature the new Ella rose, which is a tremendous honor for us all. We hope this will be the first of many weddings where Ella's beauty will be admired and loved." This incredible touch brought an extra layer of luxury to Gabriella's floral arrangements that can't be overlooked. It's not a fact casual onlookers would ever know, but for those who love to soak up every element of royal weddings, it's little details like this that are worth their weight in gold. 

The chic roses were tucked in amongst other delicate blooms such as Juliet roses, Lily of the Valley, apricot sweet peas, and myrtle, as is royal tradition, according to the royal family website.

The bride wore a very historic (and valuable) piece of royal history

There are a lot of perks to being a royal bride that just can't be ignored. For a start, there's having enough cash at your disposal to throw the wedding of your dreams, with a bevy of gorgeous venues at your disposal. Then, of course, there's the jewelry selection. One doesn't have to look any further than the family vault for some totally dazzling accessories that are not only valuable but have a rich history. When it was Lady Gabriella's turn to get hitched, she opted for an heirloom tiara.

Gabriella's elegant blond tresses were beautifully adorned with a large Russian Fringe diamond band. Dubbed the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara, the jaw-dropping piece holds a special meaning within the Kent family. Both Gabriella's mother, Princess Michael of Kent, and her grandmother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, wore the tiara on their special days, making it a very important piece of royal history. While it may be sentimental for Gabriella, to royalists it represents traditions that get passed down through the Windsor line. 

Exactly how much the piece is worth isn't known, but a similar royal tiara, Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara, is reportedly worth $4 million, according to the Express. However, much of that value could be due to its association with senior royals like Queen Elizabeth II.  

One bridesmaid was in another big royal wedding the previous year

Being a bridesmaid at a royal wedding is a big deal, but there seems to be a trend among royals. While some of us may have our best friends beside us on the big day, royals tend to choose children to accompany them. It clearly means a lot to them, as Princess Diana's bridesmaid still recalls sweet details about the royal wedding all these years later. Lady Gabriella Windsor and her husband, Thomas Kingston, decided to stick with tradition, enlisting the help of her nieces, Maud and Isabella. The youngsters looked adorable in pale pink gowns complete with eight layers of tulle and organza, which were designed by Gabriella's wedding dress designer, Luisa Beccaria.

It must have been a big occasion for the two girls; however, 5-year-old Maud wasn't a novice. The year prior, she served as a bridesmaid for none other than the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, Princess Eugenie. Even so, these public occasions are somewhat of a rarity for Maud and her younger sister, as Gabriella's brother, Lord Frederick Windsor, likes to keep his daughters out of the limelight. 

While Maud and Isabella gained the most attention, there were several other little bridesmaids in attendance, including Lenora Weisman, Aurelia del Drago, Eliza Goldsmith, and Emily Connolly, all in matching dresses and floral headbands. 

The guest list was very impressive

No royal wedding would be complete without a supremely posh guest list. Although Lady Gabriella Windsor may not be a senior royal, her wedding to Thomas Kingston was a long time coming (they first met in 2014), and it was still considered a special family event. As such, many senior royals turned out in their best frocks and suits for the occasion, including Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and Prince Harry. Noticeably absent were Prince William and Princess Catherine, with William having prior commitments, according to Harper's Bazaar UK

Queen Elizabeth II, alongside her husband Prince Philip, even stepped out to celebrate her second cousin in what would turn out to be one of the last celebrations in which the two would appear together. Elizabeth chose an especially colorful pink dress coat for the occasion with a matching floral hat, and while she didn't steal the show, she was a focal point for many. Interestingly, the impressive guest list also boasted interesting names such as Julian Fellowes, the creator of the hit British TV series "Downton Abbey." 

It's not clear exactly how many guests were at the big day, but judging by photos of the royals and others arriving in all their finery, it's not a stretch to assume that this wasn't a small and intimate affair, but (quite literally) a day fit for a queen!

Lady Gabriella and Thomas Kingston's wedding day was very similar to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's

Over the years, we've seen all sorts of royal unions — from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding to the legendary spectacle of King Charles III (then Prince Charles) and Princess Diana in the '80s. While every royal puts somewhat of a personal stamp on their big day, royal weddings tend to share similarities. In fact, Lady Gabriella and Thomas Kingston took a leaf out of Harry and Meghan's book when it came to planning their wedding. Not only was the silhouette of Gabriella's gown similar to Meghan's, but they even picked the same venue. 

Just a year before Gabriella and Thomas' wedding, the Sussexes said their "I do's" at St. George's Chapel on the famous Windsor estate. Photos from both of the weddings show the respective brides and grooms posing for photos on the church's steps following the ceremony. Unlike Harry and Meghan's wedding, no TV cameras were present and the grounds were closed to the public on the day, making it a much more low-key affair in terms of media. After all, Gabriella may be a royal, but she doesn't hold the same rank as the Sussexes and isn't anywhere near as prominent of a public figure. 

Also like the Sussexes, Gabriella and Thomas opted to throw their reception at Frogmore House (not to be confused with Harry and Meghan's former home, Frogmore Cottage).

Lady Gabriella almost suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction

Bridal outfits cost a pretty penny when you're a royal. They aren't cheap at the best of times, but wedding gowns worn by the Windsor women can reach into the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Naturally, no royal bride wants or expects to experience a wardrobe malfunction. At Lady Gabriella's wedding, however, she managed to just narrowly avoid an embarrassing faux pas as she walked down the aisle.

Gabriella's massive 20-foot veil may have looked stunning, but it almost ruined her designer look. In an interview with Hello! magazine, Gabriella explained what happened as she started down the aisle. "Suddenly I could feel my tiara start to pull back and in those few unnerving moments I thought it would come crashing down with an almighty clunk," she detailed. The entire debacle was caused by Gabriella's sweet little bridesmaids, who unknowingly stepped on the veil as they followed behind her. 

Ever the royal, Gabriella had the good sense to slow down until the tots managed to step off, allowing her to move forward with the prized family heirloom still attached to her head. "Fortunately my hairdresser had pinned the tiara in place and it stood firm," she said. 

Thomas Kingston and Lady Gabriella's wedding cake was a huge 8-tier spectacle

Royal wedding cakes come in all shapes and sizes, but they usually have one thing in common: They're real showstoppers. It's not unusual for these cakes to be massive, considering how many guests usually attend the reception. Lady Gabriella and Thomas Kingston's cake wasn't anywhere near as big as Prince William and Princess Catherine's or King Charles III and Princess Diana's, but it was still a sight to behold. The classic cake stood tall with eight layers and was adorned with flowers to match the bridal bouquet, making it a stunning focal point at the reception.

The baker, Fiona Cairns, took to Instagram to share a photo from the special day. "The beautiful bride Lady Gabriella Windsor and her husband Mr Tom Kingston cutting their Fiona Cairns wedding cake at Frogmore House yesterday," she captioned the post. "We were so honoured to make this royal wedding cake and be part of such a special day!" According to the Daily Mail, the cake consisted of layers of traditional fruitcake, Victoria sponge, and a much less traditional flavor: Limoncello sponge. 

There would have been plenty to go around, and the couple may have even kept a slice for themselves as a memento of their special day.

Canapés were served by Queen Elizabeth II's cousin

Food is a big part of any wedding — it's needed to soak up the free-flowing booze, if nothing else! Word has it that in a last-minute change, Harry and Meghan had 25 pizzas delivered to their reception, so did Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston also make a call to Dominos? Thankfully, they didn't have to. Their wedding was wonderfully catered by none other than Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, Lady Elizabeth Anson, who has been running a party planning business for decades, aptly named Party Planners. 

Photos shared on the business' Instagram page show colorful and tantalizing examples of what they can do, from small bites to large, lavish charcuterie boards and everything in between. It just goes to show what being well-connected can do when it comes to planning one of the best weddings in recent royal history.

Similar to the Sussexes, Gabriella and Thomas opted for casual dining consisting of "bowl foods" and canapés so their guests could mingle and talk more freely, according to Hello! magazine

Their wedding day created a viral moment

Out of all of the esteemed guests that Thomas Kingston and his wife, Lady Gabriella Windsor, invited to their wedding, Queen Elizabeth II was at the top of the list. As highlighted, it would be one of the last events of its kind that Elizabeth would attend alongside her husband, Prince Philip. By this point, Elizabeth was in good health but still a very elderly woman, so her presence at the ceremony was likely a marker of the monarch's relationship with Gabriella. Elizabeth even became the center of a viral moment while attending.

In a sweet photo captured by wedding guest Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Gabriella can be seen kneeling down to hold the hand of the then-queen, who beams back at her with pride from under her floral pink hat. The touching, candid moment quickly became one of the best behind-the-scenes captures of the day. Photos like this give the public a true glimpse at the royals' relationships. We do not often get to see them, but when we do, they are always well received and well loved. 

While Gabriella would have known her time with Elizabeth was limited, neither the monarch nor her second cousin could have predicted that this marriage would have come to such a tragic end some four years later. 

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