Castle Howard expected to host singer Ellie Goulding's lavish Yorkshire wedding
Royalty could descend on Yorkshire for one of the weddings of the year next month.
Popstar Ellie Goulding, 32, is thought to have booked Castle Howard - one of the county's most iconic stately homes - for her wedding to art dealer Caspar Jopling.
Although Castle Howard representatives declined to comment on the singer's plans, the visitor attraction's website confirms that the house and grounds are closed to the public on Saturday August 31 for a 'private event'.
It has been widely reported in the national press that Ellie will hold the evening do in the grounds of the ancestral seat of the Earls of Carlisle and that the reception will have a festival theme, with VIP camping pods and a vegan menu.
There are also rumours that the church service will take place in a chapel at York Minster before guests are taken to the Howardian Hills.
Well-connected Ellie's guest list is likely to include royalty - she is close friends with sisters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and attended Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank. It was at a dinner organised by Eugenie that Ellie first met Caspar.
Ellie performed at Prince William's wedding reception in 2011, leading to speculation that he and the Duchess of Cambridge may be among the guests, and she is also friends with Prince Harry, whom she has been pictured socialising with.
Celebrities including fellow popstars Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora are also rumoured to have been sent invitations.
The couple are thought to have chosen a Yorkshire venue because of Caspar's strong links with the county. The 27-year-old, who was educated at Eton and Harvard and has also rowed for Great Britain at youth level, is the son of Yorkshire landowners.
His father is the Honourable Nicholas Jopling, who comes from a family of farmers in the Thirsk area. His grandfather is the former MP Michael Jopling, who served as Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.
Caspar's mother is Jayne Warde-Aldam, who is divorced from his father. She lives with her second husband Charles at Frickley Hall, a stately home near Doncaster which hosts the Frickley Horse Trials. Their Grade II-listed house was built in 1760.
It was originally speculated that the couple would hold their reception at Frickley Hall after Ellie was reported to have signed the visitors' book in the village church.
Ellie and Caspar have lived in New York for most of their relationship, but have now returned to the UK and Caspar is planning to study for an MA at the University of Oxford.
They announced their engagement in The Times last year.
Castle Howard - a luxury wedding venue
Although the stately home hosts weddings regularly, it is only on August 31 that both the house and grounds are closed to the public this summer - suggesting an event on a lavish scale.
The house is 15 miles north of York and has been the residence of the Howard family for more than 300 years.
It was completed over 100 years after building first began in 1699 and famously appears in both TV and film adaptations of Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited.
The estate covers thousands of acres and includes several villages - it even had its own railway station until the 1950s.
The ninth Earl of Carlisle was the last to live at Castle Howard - after his death in 1911 his estates were broken up and the house was passed to his fifth son, Geoffrey, while the eldest inherited the title. Naworth Castle in Cumbria became the seat of the Earls.
Castle Howard remains in the ownership of Geoffrey's descendants and has been open to the public since the 1950s.
In 2014 Simon Howard and his family left the house after his elder brother Nicholas decided to take on the role of chairman of the trust that runs the estate. He had previously held the role for 30 years while Nicholas pursued a career in photography. Simon moved to Welham Hall, a country house near Malton.