Here comes the Brownie bride: Kate misses friend of 20 years' big day… but Pippa and mum Carole go instead
Bride Mary Bucknell was in the same Brownie pack as the Duchess of Cambridge over 20 years agoKate was notably absent from the wedding in Bucklebury, Berkshire, but sister Pippa and parents Carole and Michael Middleton were in attendance
14:39 GMT, 23 September 2012
Their friendship stretches back more than 20 years since they were both members of their local Brownie pack. But the Duchess of Cambridge was a notable absentee yesterday as her chum Mary Bucknell walked down the aisle.
Well-wishers who had gathered at St Mary the Virgin church in Kate’s home village of Bucklebury, Berkshire, were hoping to catch a glimpse of the Duchess as estate agent Ms Bucknell married Royal Marines Captain Simon Cox.
But guests managed to hide their disappointment and were delighted instead to welcome Kate’s sister Pippa and her parents Carole and Michael Middleton. Ms Bucknell and Capt Cox were invited to last year’s Royal Wedding, so there was much speculation that the Duchess and Prince William would attend yesterday’s service.
Family connection: The Duchess of Cambridge's mother Carole Middleton, left in a printed dress, and sister Pippa, right in a navy lace number, attended the wedding in Bucklebury, Berkshire
The Royal couple, who have just returned from their tour of South-East Asia, had made a fleeting visit to Bucklebury 48 hours earlier.
One onlooker said: ‘We were expecting Kate and William to turn up, especially after Simon and Mary were invited to their wedding.
‘But I had a word with the bride’s mother and she said Kate couldn’t make it, although Michael, Carole and Pippa were there.’
Pippa, 28, arrived wearing a navy lace dress that bore a striking resemblance to the Erdem outfit her elder sister wore during her tour of Canada last year.
Carole Middleton also looked radiant in a blue Beulah London dress, cream hat and nude heels.
After the ceremony, the Middletons chatted happily with other guests, before the party made their way to the bride’s home for the reception. The Duchess and the bride became friends during their time in the 1st St Andrew’s Brownie pack in Pangbourne.
Radiant: Mary Bucknell, a childhood friend of Kate Middleton, wed Simon Cox in Bucklebury, Berkshire