17 JUNE 2003
The Queen donned full ceremonial garb for the annual Order of the Garter procession on Monday. And despite soaring temperatures of 27 degrees, Her Majesty kept her cool as 8,000 of her subjects gathered for the event at Windsor Castle.
Prince Philip and Prince Charles also came along, as did Princess Anne and her husband Commodore Tim Laurence. But Princess Alexandra was the centre of attention as she was made a Lady of the Garter – the highest honour the Queen can bestow.
It was the second time in just a few days that Prince Charles appeared wearing ceremonial attire. Just before the weekend he sported a traditional saffron headscarf and scarf as he visited a Sikh temple in London.
And his son William has meanwhile been getting ready for another fancy dress event – his 21st birthday party this Saturday. The bash, which will have an Out Of Africa theme, is also being staged at Windsor Castle.
Jessica Craig, who Wills met during his safari trip to Africa, will be coming along to the event. But the 21-year-old has quashed rumours of a romantic link between herself and the future king. "I'm bringing my boyfriend to his 21st," she told reporters. Jess has been dating shipping heir Henry Ropner, who is also a friend of William's, for the past three years.
Last week the Prince told his aides to issue a denial of the romance rumours, as he wanted to spare Jessica from embarrassment. And he will also have to issue one more communiqué before his birthday celebrations get underway.
Because he is expected to send Earl Bathurst a formal written apology after a road rage incident at the weekend. William was photographed overtaking the Earl at high speed after a polo match at his country estate. The 76-year-old was left infuriated after Royal Protection officers stopped him from giving chase, but Wills is expected to send him a letter of apology this week.