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1997: Tory leader weds
The Conservative leader William Jefferson Hague has married his fiancée Ffion Llywelyn Jenkins in a private ceremony at Westminster.

The couple tied the knot at 1400 GMT in the chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster.

The service was held in English and Welsh reflecting the bride's Welsh roots.

The 36-year-old Tory leader sealed the union with his 29-year-old bride with the Welsh marriage vow: "Yr wyfi i, William Hague, yn dy gymryd di, Ffion, yn wraig i mi."

Some prayers and hymns were also in Welsh along with a Vaughan Williams psalm.

The £13,000 food bill at the reception at The Speaker's House included Welsh smoked salmon and Welsh saddle lamb with French wine.

Honeymoon

They emerged at 1508 - the bride dressed in an ivory silk crepe dress holding a bouquet of lilies and the groom in a bright waistcoat - and kissed before the gathered crowd.

The newlyweds are due to travel to a secret destination for their honeymoon.

Mr Hague reportedly fell in love with his bride as she taught him the words of the Welsh national anthem when he was Secretary of State for Wales in 1995.

She has given up her career in the Civil Service, but has been appointed Director of Operations at the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts.

But Miss Jenkins will keep her maiden name.

Mr Hague spent his last night as a bachelor at the Surrey home of his chief-of-staff, the double Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe.

Miss Jenkins spent the night with her mother and sister.

The couple has already received a gift from Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, as well as Baroness Thatcher and husband Sir Denis.

And they have been sent more than 5,000 cards by well-wishers.

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William Hague and Ffion Jenkins
Miss Jenkins will keep her maiden name

William Hague marries Ffion Jenkins


In Context
William Hague became infamous at the age of 16 when he gave a "groundbreaking" speech to the Tory party conference when it was under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher.

The promising Tory fulfilled one ambition when he became the party's leader aged 36 - the youngest to do so.

But his meteoric rise came to a halt after the Tories suffered a second massive defeat to New Labour in the 2001 elections.

Disappointed his tenure had not made more significant in-roads into winning voters from the opposition Mr Hague resigned.

He ruled out the idea of serving in the shadow cabinet and took a break from frontbench politics.

He returned as shadow foreign secretary when David Cameron became Tory leader in December 2005.

Stories From 19 Dec


 
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