Actress Sophie Winkleman said she hardly knew anyone at her wedding to the King’s second cousin, after her mother-in-law Princess Michael of Kent took charge of everything – including her dress.
Best known for playing “mental posho” Big Suze in the cult comedy Peep Show, Winkleman married Lord Frederick Windsor in 2009 after a chance meeting 17 years ago.
She has since become a regular in royal circles.
“I didn’t know anyone at my wedding,” she told Tatler, for this month’s cover issue.
“I had my best pals there but basically it was full of faces I’d never seen before. My mother-in-law, Princess Michael of Kent, took full personal charge of it all and did it brilliantly, including what dress I was wearing.”
Winkleman – who is the half-sister of Claudia Winkleman, but stresses they didn’t grow up together – told the magazine she didn’t even work out her hairstyle ahead of time.
“I cannot tell you how disgusting it looked,” she added.
“Coming up the aisle, the first thing I said when I saw Freddie was, ‘I’m so sorry about the hair’.
“He said, ‘Yes, what on earth have you done?’ That’s pretty much all I can remember about it. My hair and being such a moron.”
Unbeknown to her at the time they met, Lord Windsor was an “obsessive” fan of Peep Show, which ran from 2003 to 2015, and also helped launch the careers of now-household names Olivia Colman, David Mitchell, and Robert Webb.
Her husband is 53rd in line to the throne, and the couple live in London with their two daughters, who are 54th and 55th in the line of succession. She has also appeared in ITV’s Sanditon and is currently in Wonka.
The King a ‘very dear friend’
Winkleman described the King as a “very dear friend” and the rest of the family as “really fun, clever, kind people”. She was one of the first to defend them publicly in the wake of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary.
When she broke several bones in her foot and back following a devastating car accident in 2017, the royals rallied around to help – the then Prince Charles instructed his cook to supply her family with meals twice a day, for months. The late Queen allowed her to use the pool at Buckingham Palace for physiotherapy.
“That’s the reason I got better,” she said. “It was so typically thoughtful.”
Prince William asked an air ambulance colleague to ‘take good care of her’, while Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited her in hospital.
But she doesn’t see much of her cousin-in-law, the heir to the throne, these days, adding: “I love Kate and William but they’re so busy and don’t live in London so I don’t see them much.”