The groom is an earl. The bride is a daughter of a marquess. The groom's paternal grandmother is the niece of the late Queen Mother. The bride's stepmother is the aunt of the husband of the groom's first cousin, a daughter of a duke.
Two of the earl's first cousins are heirs apparent to dukedoms. The groom's mother is the daughter of a duke, and her sister also married (and later divorced) a duke.
One would have expected a grand wedding, perhaps at St. Margaret's, Westminster, or the bride's family chapel at her father's stately home in Ireland.
Shortly after the official announcement of the engagement between Thomas William Robert Hugh Anson, the 6th Earl of Lichfield and Lady Henrietta Tamara Juliet Conyngham, daughter of the 8th Marquess Conyngham, Lady Henrietta, a holistic massage therapist, spoke to the Daily Telegraph:"Tom went to prep school with my brothers, but we met again by chance walking our dogs in Kensington Gardens two years ago," she tells me. "He proposed at the spot where we met. We'll almost certainly marry at Slane."
Slane Castle in county Meath is the Conygnham family seat. http://www.slanecastle.ie/
From today's Daily Telegraph:
The Earl of Lichfield and Lady Henrietta Conyngham
The marriage took place quietly in December at Chelsea Register Office between the Earl of Lichfield and Lady Henrietta Conyngham.
I am sure the bride and groom have their reasons for not having a grand wedding, but in the scheme of things: we've been robbed.
Yes, the groom does have royal connections. His paternal grandmother was Anne Bowes-Lyon, , a niece of the Queen Mother, which made Thomas' father, the late Lord Lichfield (better known as the photographer Patrick Lichfield) a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. Lord Lichfield suffered a stroke in November 2005, and died the following day. Anne, too, had her own royal connections. She divorced Viscount Anson in 1948, and two years later, at Glamis Castle, married Prince Georg of Denmark. (The 5th earl succeeded his grandfather as his father was already dead.)
Lord Conyngham succeeded to the title in March 2009 following the death of his father. Lady Lichfield's parents are divorced.
Lord Lichfield's mother, Lady Leonora, is the daughter of the 5th Duke of Westminster. The present Duke of Westminster is Lady Leonora's brother. Their sister, Lady Jane, was married to the 10th Duke of Roxeburghe. Thus, Earl Grosvenor and the Marquess of Beamont and Cessford, heirs apparent to the the Westminster and Roxeburghe dukedoms, respectively. Lord Beaumont's sister, Lady Rosanagh (a bridesmaid at the 1986 wedding of the Duke of York) is married to Viscount Grimston, heir apparent to the Earldom of Verulam. Lord Verulam's sister, Lady Iona, is the second wife of Lord Conygnham, which means she is the bride's stepmother.
Several members of the family have royal godparents, including the late Lord Lichfield, who was a godson of the Queen Mother. The present earl's sisters, Lady Rose and Lady Eloise Anson, are the godchildren of Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal, respectively.
Lord Lichfield was baptised on October 15, 1978 in Lichfield Cathedral by the Dean of Lichfield. The Duke of Westminster was one of the godparents, although he did not attend the baptism. Sir Geoffrey Shakerley, Bt, stood proxy. Sir Geoffrey is married to Patrick Lichfield's sister, Lady Elizabeth Anson. (The present Lord Lichfield is not a first cousin of Nicholas Shakerley, the heir to Shakerly baronetcy, as he is the elder of two sons from Sir Geofffrey's first marriage to the late actress Virginia Maskell.)
I can only muse about the reasons for not having a church wedding and a reception. No problems in getting a caterer as Lady Elizabeth Anson runs Party Planners. Perhaps the family tiara was being fixed! Although the earl of Lichfield no longer owns Shugborough Hall (it is owned by the National Trust), the family has access to the estate. It is also entirely possible that neither the bride nor groom or both are religious, and did not feel the need to have a church wedding.
Or could the new Countess expect the patter of little feet in the not-to-distant future, and she did not want to waddle down the aisle. Of course, it really is their business and their decision.