Madonna Married… Maybe
Madonna, the self-styled queen of pop, finally appeared to have married her Prince Charming, film-maker Guy Ritchie, in the heavily-guarded confines of an exclusive Scottish castle here on Friday, BBC Radio Scotland reported.
There was still no official announcement, nor was one expected in the immediate aftermath of the ceremony, which was believed to have taken place at around 1800 GMT and officiated over by Church of Scotland minister Susan Brown, but the nature of the proceedings remained a well-kept secret.
A dwindling band of photographers and camera crews had kept an increasingly dispiriting watch on the gates of Skibo Castle with little to film or report, the only flickers of excitement coming when pop star Sting arrived in the back of a black Mercedes, resplendent in a kilt, followed some time later with the couple's three children and fashion designer Donatella Versace.
But dense fog around Inverness had caused several flights, including Versace's to be diverted to other airports in Scotland and it was feared that some of the celebrity guests might have missed the event all together.
All that could be said was that when the ceremony did go ahead, in the castle's private chapel it would be followed with a full sit-down meal for the party and an evening ceilidh of Scottish dancing and singing in the castle dungeons - as well as a firework display, according to Skibo tradition to mark a wedding.
On the shortest day of the year, with little more than five hours' daylight, in these northerly latitudes, Madonna had apparently chosen to wear a different outfit for each occasion, according to society and fashion sources.
For the ceremony itself, she was to wear a Gothic-style, full-length cream silk number, designed by Chloe's Stella McCartney and featuring a corset with closely-sewn bead work to give a poppy seed effect.
On her head, she was planning to wear the Cartier diamond-studded tiara which once belonged to Hollywood star Grace Kelly, later Princess Grace of Monaco, for which the Material Girl paid an estimated 300,000 pounds.
Ritchie, meanwhile, true to his Scottish origins, was to wear traditional dress, including a Shetland tweed jacket, a kilt in the green Hunting McIntoch tartan and his grandfather's Seaforth Highlanders sporran.
When it came to the meal, Madonna would slip into a second number, designed by her friend Donatella Versace, one of the bridesmaids and who gave the couple the 30,000-pound christening shawl for baby Rocco as a present.
The guests were to be led by the castle's piper into the oak-paneled dining room where a century ago, Andrew Carnegie, then the richest man in the world, entertained the likes of King Edward VII, composer Edward Elgar and writer Rudyard Kipling.
And to round the day off, as she and Ritchie led the Scottish dancing at the evening reception, to the strains of a traditional four-piece fiddle band, Skelbo, it was time for a third outfit.
The wedding meal itself was destined to show off the delights of Highland cuisine, with bite-sized portions of haggis, neeps and tatties definitely on the menu, though clearly not for the likes of rock star Sting, a confirmned vegetarian.
There was also expected to be fresh, locally-caught salmon, and venison from the Highlands, and although the whiskies on offer were from the area, the wines and Champagne were French.
The wedding cake, a large profiterole concoction, was flown to Inverness from Paris with top French patissier, Eric Lanlard, carrying it with him in the cabin to make sure it came to no harm.
The official wedding photographs, only one of which might, according to rumors, be made immediately available, were being taken by Madonna's favorite snapper, Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Mondino, who did the cowgirl shots for her last album, Music. – AFP.
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