Despite weeks of intense media attention, former Beatle Paul McCartney and model Heather Mills managed to get married in private on the grounds of a remote castle in Glaslough, Ireland. As noisy helicopters hovered overhead, the superstar and his fiance tied the knot in a 17th-century chapel in front of 300 family and friends yesterday afternoon (June 11). They then treated their guests to a night of live music, champagne, and vegetarian food.
As the newlyweds and their guests feasted on Indian delicacies in large tents on the Castle Leslie estate, McCartney’s spokesman, Geoff Baker, issued a statement about the ceremony to the media waiting outside along with hundreds of fans.
“The ceremony was joyful and moving,” Baker said. “Heather captured the hearts of the congregation when, overcome by the emotion of the occasion, she briefly faltered and wept tears of joy whilst making her vows.”
The bride, wearing a fitted ecru lace dress she designed herself, carried a bouquet of 11 pink McCartney roses — named for her new husband — and two peonies, Baker said. Sir McCartney was decked out in a brown, wool three-piece suit designed by Richard James of Britain.
Mills entered the ancient church to the strains of “Heather,” a song McCartney wrote for his recent “Driving Rain” album. As the beaming pair walked back down the aisle, a wedding march McCartney wrote for the 1966 movie “The Family Way” was played on the organ, Baker said.
McCartney’s brother Mike was the best man for the Protestant Church of Ireland ceremony. Among those in the audience were McCartney’s children from his first marriage, Stella, Mary, and James, and his stepdaughter, Heather. The rest of the guest list was kept under wraps.
Ringo Starr, the only other surviving Beatle, was seen being whisked through the gates to attend the ceremony at St. Salvator’s Chapel within the walls of the well-guarded estate. Baker had confirmed earlier that Beatles producer George Martin and Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour also would be there.
The large crowd outside could only guess when the ceremony — scheduled for 4 p.m. — began. The ringing of church bells more than an hour later indicated that McCartney and Mills had been wed. A double rainbow appeared over the castle then.
McCartney, 59, and Mills, 34, had tried to keep the location of their wedding a secret. But when word slipped out, they good-naturedly appeared outside the castle walls on Monday, speaking briefly to the crowd but giving few details of the nuptials.
Baker did confirm the menu was strictly vegetarian. “This is being held by one of the world’s most famous vegetarians,” he said of McCartney. The singer’s first wife, Linda, was an animal rights advocate and strict vegetarian.
The location of the honeymoon was kept secret. It also wasn’t known whether McCartney and Starr joined any of the several different bands that performed at the wedding reception.
Many of the guests flew commercial flights to local airports, then rode to the castle in a fleet of buses. But musicians Chrissie Hynde and Jools Holland, and former model Twiggy, arrived on a chartered flight. Starr flew in on his private jet.
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