- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2002

GLASLOUGH, Ireland Paul McCartney, looking much the same give or take a few wrinkles as when he melted hearts in the 1960s, married Heather Mills in an Irish castle yesterday.
The elegant setting in Glaslough, on the estate of Castle Leslie, was a far cry from the Marylebone register office where he married Linda Eastman, his first wife.
Almost 60, the pixie-faced composer of the soundtrack of so many lives, had thought long and hard about how to move on from grieving widower (Linda died of cancer in 1998) to doting husband. The result was romance personified.
His 34-year-old bride, eight minutes late at the altar in a beige gown of chantilly lace, carried a bouquet of 11 roses and two peonies.
Mr. McCartney wore an ivory-colored three-piece suit with a rose in his buttonhole.
As she said: "I do" the bride briefly faltered, weeping, what Mr. McCartney's publicist, Geoff Baker, described as "tears of joy."
She had entered the 17th-century church to the strains of a bridal march, set to the song "Heather," which is featured on Mr. McCartney's new CD "Driving Rain."
The marriage ceremony at the castle's quaint 17th-century church of San Salvator was performed by Cecil Pringle, archdeacon of Clogher, an acquaintance of Mr. McCartney's late mother, Mary, who was born in Ireland. Music included the theme from the movie "The Family Way" written by the groom in the 1960s.
The best man was his brother, Mike, while Heather was attended by her sister, Fiona, along with her brother, Simon, a classical trombonist.
Hymns at the 30-minute service were, "Praise My Soul," "The King of Heaven" and "Lord Of All Hopefulness."
Instead of a traditional reading, the couple's friend, the poet Adrian Mitchell, read "Roses In The Summertime" a work he wrote especially for the newlyweds.
A spokesman for Mr. McCartney said: "The ceremony was joyful and moving."
All Mr. McCartney's children were there, despite reports of their worries over their father's choice of a bride, who was once a topless model from a rundown housing estate.
However, there was some lingering tension as the bride had designed her own dress, and had not asked Mr. McCartney's daughter, Stella, to help her in the design.
Unfortunately, a glorious Irish day of blue skies and sunshine, turned rainy just as the 300 guests filed into the church.
Mr. McCartney had instructed them to "wear anything, there is no dress code," and several guests turned up in jeans. One woman wore brilliant blue and white chalk-striped trousers.
Ringo Starr, in an obviously ebullient mood, joined the congregation, which included George Martin, the Beatles' producer.
The music world was represented by Tim Rice; Mike Batt who wrote the tunes for the children's television characters the Wombles; Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who has often played with Mr. McCartney, and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.
With them was Steve Buscemi, the actor who played Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs and his Hollywood colleague, Aidan Quinn.
As the newlywed couple emerged from the church the weather abruptly changed and a rainbow appeared over the castle tower.
The Irish location was chosen because Mr. McCartney's mother who died when her son was just 14 lived in nearby Castleblaney, and was raised there before moving to Liverpool at the age of 11.
Once the vegetarian wedding banquet was over, Mr. McCartney's group from his current U.S. tour took to one stage, while an Indo-Irish group, the Celtic Ragas, played on another open-air platform.
The night's finale came amid a huge firework display, as the newlyweds boarded a vintage cabin cruiser and sailed across the castle's glistening lake to a specially built jetty. The craft was decked with flowers, and the couple stood under an arch of roses, waving farewell.
They were scheduled to head out immediately in a helicopter to begin their honeymoon, possibly either in Jamaica or the Hamptons of New York.


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