Friday, April 22, 2011

Perfect pins: Pippa Middleton takes night off from Royal Wedding duties at Holly Branson's engagement bash

By Sarah Fitzmaurice

Night off: Pippa Middleton enjoyed a night off from her Royal Wedding duties to celebrate Holly Branson's engagement

As the maid of honour for her sister Kate she will be taking her place in history in the biggest wedding this country has seen in decades.

But just a week away from the big day and Pippa Middleton took a night off from her sisterly duties - although marriage wasn’t far from her mind as she attended the engagement party of Holly Branson last night.

The 27-year-old arrived at the Kensington Roof Gardens to celebrate the engagement of Sir Richard Branson’s daughter to her shipbroker beau Fred Andrews.

Pippa looked elegant in a tiered peach dress with a smart black jacket and had an impressive tan as she showed off her slim and toned legs.

And in keeping with her role as the sister of the Royal bride-to-be she left the bash looking extremely composed and fresh-faced.

If she is feeling the pressure for the big day next week she didn’t let it show appearing happy and relaxed.

While Pippa is busying herself with her sister’s wedding and celebrating her friend’s planned nuptials, she is rarely seen with her boyfriend Alex Loudon.

The couple were said to have started dating just before Christmas and former England cricketer Alex is said to be an old friend of William's.

Keeping composed: While Pippa took a night off from her maid of honour duties she left the bash at Kensington Roof Gardens looked bright-eyed

No nerves? Pippa appeared happy and relaxed and she showed off her fabulous figure in a peach tiered dress and a smart black jacket

The pair were at Eton together and Alex, like William, was in Pop, the school prefects' society.

Pippa, who used to date Hong Kong banking heir J. J. Jardine Patterson, was once voted the sexiest singleton in London by Tatler magazine.

There has been speculation that her budding romance with the cricketer, who played for Kent and Warwickshire, will mean he'll be a guest at the wedding next week.

A friend said: ‘He’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and Pippa is very smitten. He stopped playing county cricket in 2007 to go into the City, but he’s still a great athlete and a really good chap.’

The other bride-to-be: Holly Branson and her fiance Fred Andrews looked extremely contented as they posed for pictures outside their engagement party

Bride-to-be Holly looked stunning in a shimmering floor-length gown which she accessorised with a simple matching clutch.

And onlookers were treated to a glimpse of her huge pink sapphire and diamond engagement ring which appeared to have been the influence for her outfit as she posed for pictures with her fiancé.

Proud father Sir Richard was seen smiling broadly while Holly’s brother Sam looked dapper in a suit with a red shirt and black tie.

Princess Beatrice and nightclub owner Guy Pelly were also in attendance at the engagement bash and the whole group will be meeting up next week at the Royal Wedding.


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