Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds marry in secret ceremony

30 May 2021, 10:26 | Updated: 30 May 2021, 16:31

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have released a photo after their secret wedding at Westminster Cathedral.

The pair exchanged vows in front of a small group of close friends and family at an event on Saturday.

The ceremony, which was planned in strict secrecy, was finally confirmed by Downing Street on Sunday morning after much speculation.

A photo has also been released of the couple in the Downing Street rose garden.

It comes just days after they were said to have sent save-the-date cards to family and friends for an event at the end of July next year.

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A No10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister and Ms Symonds were married yesterday afternoon in a small ceremony at Westminster Cathedral.

"The couple will celebrate their wedding with family and friends next summer."

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have officially tied the knot
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have officially tied the knot. Picture: Rebecca Fulton/Downing Street/PA Media

However, the Sun reported that even senior Downing Street aides were completely blindsided by the ceremony.

Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds announced their engagement - together with the news that they were expecting their first child - in February last year.

It is the prime minister's third marriage, having finalised his divorce from his second wife Marina Wheeler in 2020.

He and Ms Symonds have a son, Wilfred, who was born in April 2020.

The wedding ceremony at the Catholic cathedral was carried out by Father Daniel Humphreys who had given the couple pre-marriage instructions, and baptised Wilfred last year.

Shortly after 1:30pm, the Byzantine-style church was suddenly cleared of visitors, with staff saying it was going into lockdown.

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Half-an-hour later, a limousine carrying Ms Symonds, who wore a long white dress but not a veil, swept into the piazza outside the main west door.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted: "Huge congratulations to Boris Johnson & Carrie Symonds on your wedding today."

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey tweeted a message of congratulations to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds.

"Congratulations @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds on your marriage today," the Cabinet minister said.

According to government guidance for England, up to 30 people can attend ceremonies for weddings and civil partnerships at Covid-secure venues that are permitted to open.

Receptions and celebrations are also allowed to include up to 30 people indoors or outdoors, with people working at events not included in that number.

However, children of all ages are included in the limits for both ceremonies and receptions.

Overall, the guidance advises that ceremonies and services "should be concluded in a reasonable time and be limited to those elements to ensure the marriage or civil partnership is valid in law".

Current rules say wedding guests and staff are required to wear face coverings, except when eating or drinking or where exemptions apply.

The government is hoping to lift all limits on weddings from 21 June, but this will depend on the outcome of a social distancing review, the events research programme, as well as the impact of coronavirus variants.

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