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Saturday, May 29, 1999 Published at 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK


Family wedding for Major minor

James and Emma announced their engagement after three months

Hundreds of press photographers and star-spotters were left frustrated as one of the most talked-about weddings of the year took place behind elaborate security.

The BBC's Jane Warr: "A fight broke out between photographers from the press and Hello magazine"
James Major, 24, and Emma Noble, 27. had been trying to keep details of their wedding in the Chapel Crypt at Westminster Abbey secret from the media.

Newspaper photographers were there but did not get a "snatch" picture because officials held up screens as the wedding pictures were taken.

It is believed that the couple - the son of the former Conservative prime minister John Major and a former topless model and actress - have sold the rights to the event to celebrity magazine Hello! for £400,000.


The bride even arrived in a car with misted windows.

Although they could not see her, a crowd of 200 or 300 wellwishers gave her a warm cheer.

The groom was joined by prominent guests and officials in playing an extended game of hide-and-seek with reporters.

There was no sighting of Mr Major or his parents arriving - they are believed to have sneaked in through a little-used entrance to the House of Lords.

Cream dress

There had been great secrecy about the timing of the ceremony, but the married couple emerged from the church just before 1600BST to kiss for the benefit of the official photographer.

The former prime minister said afterwards: "It was wonderful, it was lovely, it was superb."

And Norma, his wife, added: "It was just too beautiful for words."

Before the service Ms Noble was helped out of a silver Bentley by her father John.

She wore a full length, off-the-shoulder cream dress, with a tight bodice and tiny buttons running down her back. She also wore a veil and elbow length gloves.

Whirlwind romance

There were five bridesmaids, three of them in full-length ballerina-type dresses, with blue sashes and two others wore full length eggshell-blue dresses.

Mr Major's best man was James Dean, a friend from his days at Kimbolton School, Cambridgeshire.

The Majors are holding their reception at the Dorchester Hotel, where about 160 guests are expected.

They have been asked not to give out details of the bash - said to be a "family" occasion.

The couple met at a party at London's Café Royal. Following a whirlwind three-month romance their engagement was announced last May.

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