Johnson & Johnson: Carrie takes Boris’s surname after wearing ‘borrowed’ £2,870 dress to their hush-hush festival-chic wedding – as couple delay honeymoon so PM can get back to work on fight against Covid tomorrow
- Couple tied the knot at secret ceremony at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday
- Boris didn’t wear a wedding ring and Carrie is believed to have rented her dress
- They were expected to spend the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend at Chequers
- Newlyweds to conduct first official engagement as husband and wife in fortnight
Boris and Carrie Johnson will delay their honeymoon so the Prime Minister can get back to his desk at No 10 tomorrow and concentrate on the fight against Covid.
The couple tied the knot in secret at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday before celebrating with a small group of family and friends at a summer festival-themed party in the Downing Street garden.
His wife, who is thought to have hired her wedding dress, said last night that she was ‘very, very happy’.
And Boris, who wore a white shirt tucked into some navy trousers, didn’t appear to be wearing a wedding ring.
They were expected to spend the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country retreat in Buckinghamshire.
Boris and Carrie Johnson will delay their honeymoon so the Prime Minister can get back to his desk at No 10 tomorrow and concentrate on the fight against Covid
Pictured: People seen leaving 10 Downing Street yesterday evening appearing to hold instruments
The couple tied the knot in secret at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday before celebrating with a small group of family and friends at a summer festival-themed party in the Downing Street garden. Pictured: Stanley Johnson with his daughter Julia outside 10 Downing Street yesterday
Pictured: British journalist Hugo Dixon seen leaving 10 Downing Street yesterday evening
The newlyweds will conduct their first official engagement as husband and wife in a fortnight as they host world leaders and their spouses, including Joe and Jill Biden, at the G7 summit in Cornwall.
Mr Johnson, 56, is the first prime minister to marry in office in 199 years. A photograph released yesterday showed the pair gazing into each other’s eyes in the Downing Street garden after the wedding.
His wife, 33, wore a £2,870 appliqued tulle gown by designer Christos Costarellos, which she is believed to have hired from £45 a day. The picture was taken by Rebecca Fulton, an Oxfordshire wedding photographer whose prices begin at around £2,300 for a day’s work.
A later photograph tweeted by Foreign Office minister James Cleverly showed a barefooted Mrs Johnson with her husband, who had by then unbuttoned his shirt collar, taken off his jacket and tie and rolled up his shirt sleeves.
Bunting was hung from trees and a drinks table had been fashioned from bales of straw.
Timing is NOT June 21 clue
Ministers insist that big weddings could still go ahead this summer as doubts were raised yesterday by the timing of the Johnsons’ nuptials.
The Prime Minister’s decision not to wait until restrictions are lifted raised speculation the limit on 30 guests will not be removed on June 21.
But vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi yesterday insisted the wedding should not send a signal that the further easing of lockdown measures will not go ahead as planned.
Put to him that the timing suggested larger wedding are not imminent, Mr Zahawi told Sky News: ‘I wouldn’t extrapolate anything from that.’
Yesterday it was reported that some couples with summer weddings have started to cancel or postpone them because of uncertainty about the June 21 re-opening.
On Saturday evening, guests could be overheard signing Don McLean’s hit song American Pie. The couple and their guests are understood to have been entertained by London-based acoustic trio Fiddlin’ About, who have also performed for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Mr Johnson is believed to have saved money on his wedding by using a marquee installed in the No 10 garden for official events.
Weddings in England are subject to strict coronavirus restrictions, with only up to 30 people able to attend ceremonies.
The PM’s father, Stanley Johnson, was photographed smiling outside No 10 on Saturday with his younger daughter Julia. Other guests included anti-Brexit campaigner Hugo Dixon, who is one of Mr Johnson’s oldest friends having gone through prep school, Eton and Oxford together.
Mr and Mrs Johnson are planning a larger celebration next year when restrictions are expected to have been relaxed, with save-the-date cards sent out for July 30, 2022. A No 10 spokesman said: ‘The couple will celebrate their wedding with family and friends next summer.’
It is understood they plan to go on honeymoon at the same time.
Ahead of the wedding, Mrs Johnson shared on Instagram a photograph of their one-year-old son Wilfred in a field of bluebells, leading some to speculate it was a cryptic reference to the tradition of a bride wearing or carrying ‘something blue’ on her big day.
The wedding ceremony, held in Britain’s largest Catholic church, was conducted by Father Daniel Humphreys, the acting head of the cathedral, who also baptised Wilfred there last autumn. Most of the staff, as well as the tourists in the 118-year-old Byzantine-style building in central London, had no idea the Prime Minister was about to be married there.
As the time neared for the couple to tie the knot at 2pm on Saturday, visitors were ushered out by staff who told them the cathedral, half a mile from Downing Street, was going into lockdown.
His wife, who is thought to have hired her wedding dress, said last night that she was ‘very, very happy’
Created as part of an exclusive bridal capsule, the ethereal gown is handmade from tiers of wispy ivory tulle spun with silk, while the latticework trims and hand-cut ‘Kopaneli’ corded lace appliqués are signatures of the atelier and woven using traditional Greek patterns
A limousine swept into the piazza by the main west door. In it was Miss Symonds, who stepped out in a flowing white dress but no veil. She and Mr Johnson – who wore a ‘very dapper’ suit, according to one witness – walked down the aisle of the Lady Chapel to classical music and shared a kiss after their vows were read. Wilfred is said to have accompanied his parents.
The Christos Costarellos gown Carrie Johnson wore for her big day costs £2,870 – but the bride may have hired it from a website for as little as £45.
The white embroidered dress was designed exclusively for Net-A-Porter, where it is sold out. But it can be hired from website My Wardrobe HQ, where Mrs Johnson is a member. The site yesterday said it was currently rented out.
Mrs Johnson regularly uses My Wardrobe HQ and hired the blue and white dress she wore to meet the Queen at Balmoral in 2019 from the site.
Preparations for the service were so top secret they involved only a handful of church officials.
One member of staff at the cathedral said they only discovered the identity of the couple the day before. Another, cathedral chaplain Father Michael Donaghy, did not know the identity of the bride and groom until it was over. ‘It’s been kept very confidential,’ he said. A cathedral worker said the bride ‘looked beautiful’ and the groom was ‘extremely happy’, adding: ‘She came down the aisle and he didn’t take his eyes off her. They looked besotted.’
Big Issue seller Adrian Richmond, 52, saw events unfold outside, with guests slipping into the cathedral just after mass had finished at 1pm on Saturday. He added: ‘It was very discreet. I only saw one lady holding a bag with a present. There weren’t any flowers, so it felt a bit cloak-and-dagger. One of my friends said the PM was getting married. I thought she was having me on. I wish them good luck.’
The couple announced their engagement – and the news that they were expecting their first child – in February last year. Wilfred was born two months later.
Mr Johnson finalised his divorce from second wife Marina Wheeler last year, having divorced Allegra Mostyn-Owen in 1993.
How twice-married PM was able to marry in a Catholic Church?
Questions were yesterday raised on how twice-divorced Boris Johnson was able to remarry in a Catholic church.
Mr Johnson was baptised as a Catholic but was confirmed as an Anglican as a teenager when he was at Eton. His bride Carrie Symonds is a practising Catholic.
Last night the Diocese of Westminster confirmed that, as someone baptised in the faith, Mr Johnson’s previous marriages were not considered valid because they were not Catholic ceremonies.
So this meant the Prime Minister could marry for the ‘first’ time in a Roman Catholic church.
Despite explanations about how their wedding could have been held in accordance with Vatican doctrine, the subject was being keenly discussed yesterday by Westminster Cathedral worshippers.
Questions were yesterday raised on how twice-divorced Boris Johnson was able to remarry in a Catholic church
Some wondered whether Mr Johnson had needed to convert before the nuptials took place, while one even brought up Henry VIII’s troubled love-life as a potential precursor.
But last night a Diocese of Westminster spokesman confirmed: ‘With regard to divorced persons, a baptised Catholic who has contracted a marriage recognised in civil law but without observing the requirements of Catholic Canon Law is not recognised as validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.’
Austen Ivereigh, a Roman Catholic author, commentator and biographer of Pope Francis, said on Twitter: ‘Many will ask how it is that the Catholic Church, famous for its vigorous commitment to the permanence of marriage, should be witnessing the marriage of a twice-divorced PM who is publicly notorious for the opposite? What kind of message does that send?
‘But Catholics have a right to the sacraments and if they fulfil the requirements in law, and properly enter into them, no one can stop them exercising those rights.’
Mr Johnson was married to first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen for six years and to second wife Marina Wheeler for 27 years.
A Westminster Cathedral spokesman added: ‘The bride and groom are both parishioners of the Westminster Cathedral parish and baptised Catholics.
‘All necessary steps were taken, in both Church and civil law, and all formalities completed before the wedding. We wish them every happiness.’
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