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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
Aitken weds for second time
Jonathan Aitken and Elizabeth Harris
The Aitkens leave St Matthew's Church, Westminster
Jonathan Aitken, the disgraced Tory former Cabinet minister, has tied the knot for the second time at a low-key service in London.

Mr Aitken, who was jailed for 18 months in June 1999 for perjury and perverting the course of justice, wed Elizabeth Harris, the ex-wife of the late Hollywood actor Richard Harris, on Wednesday evening.

The hour-long service at St Matthew's Church in Westminster was attended by around 100 relatives, friends and former political colleagues.

Among the congregation was Lord Lamont, who was chancellor when Mr Aitken was in John Major's government, and Lord Weatherill, the former Commons Speaker.

Tory MP and ex-front bencher John Bercow also attended, along with Labour's Diane Abbott, a long-standing friend of Mr Aitken, who is godfather to her child.

Christianity

The Aitkens, both in their early 60s, began a relationship more than a year ago after resuming an old romance.

Elizabeth, whose two other former husbands include actor Sir Rex Harrison and Mr Aitken's cousin Peter, wore a simple cream satin dress.

The couple were all smiles as they posed with family on the steps of Sir George Gilbert Scott's 1849 church and Mr Aitken thanked well-wishers.

Jonathan Aitken and Elizabeth Harris
En route to their reception
The newly weds were then taken by blue Mercedes to a reception in Carlton Terrace, central London, before starting married life with a night at London's Ritz Hotel, followed by a honeymoon in the Caribbean.

Mr Aitken, who turned to God in a prayer on his first night in prison, has admitted pride was his downfall, along with defeat, disgrace, divorce, bankruptcy and jail.

The former chief secretary to the Treasury's three daughters attended the service, along with the bride's three sons from her first marriage to Richard Harris.

Blessing

Elizabeth, the daughter of Irish peer Lord Ogmore who runs a PR company, remained friends with Harris after their divorce in 1968.

Harris, 72, who died in hospital in London last October after losing his battle with Hodgkin's Disease, had given his blessing to the couple's romance.

The star of film classics like This Sporting Life, Gladiator and Unforgiven had become known to a new generation of film fans through his role as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series.

Lolicia, Mr Aitken's first wife of 19 years, was expected to attend the newly weds' reception, with around 200 other guests.




SEE ALSO:
Harris 'approved of Aitken romance'
29 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Aitken: Pride was my downfall
17 Jul 02  |  Politics



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