Boris Johnson marries Carrie Symonds in secret ceremony

Boris Johnson has married Carrie Symonds in a low-key ceremony planned in strict secrecy.

The pair exchanged vows in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday in front of a small group of close friends and family.

Initially, Downing Street would not comment on reports of the wedding but, on Sunday morning, a spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and Ms Symonds were married yesterday afternoon in a small ceremony at Westminster Cathedral.

“The couple will celebrate their wedding with family and friends next summer.”

They are said to have sent save-the-date cards to family and friends for the celebration on July 30 2022.

It is understood Ms Symonds will take her husband’s surname and be known as Carrie Johnson.

A picture issued by No 10 of the couple in Downing Street’s garden after the wedding saw them gazing at each other with Mrs Johnson wearing a long white dress and a floral headband and the Prime Minister a dark suit and blue tie, with a white flower in his buttonhole.

Reports that Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds secretly wed
People carrying musical instruments leave 10 Downing Street on Saturday night (Ian West/PA)

The couple announced their engagement – together with the news that they were expecting their first child – in February last year.

Their son, Wilfred, was born in April 2020.

It is Mr Johnson’s third marriage, having finalised his divorce from his second wife, Marina Wheeler, in 2020.

The wedding ceremony at the Catholic cathedral was carried out by Father Daniel Humphreys, who had given the couple pre-marriage instructions, and baptised Wilfred last year, The Sun newspaper reported.

Shortly after 1.30pm, the cathedral was suddenly cleared of visitors, with staff saying it was going into lockdown, the newspaper said.

Coronavirus – Sun Apr 12, 2020
Westminster Cathedral where Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds wed (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Half an hour later, a limousine carrying the bride swept into the piazza outside the main west door.

The ceremony meant Mr Johnson became the first prime minister to marry in office since Lord Liverpool married Mary Chester in 1822.

Afterwards, a reception appears to have been held in the Downing Street garden.

A picture posted on Twitter by Foreign Office minister James Cleverly showed a barefooted Mrs Johnson with her new husband who had discarded his jacket and tie.

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Decorations were hanging from trees and a drinks table had been fashioned from bales of straw.

Weddings in England are currently subject to strict coronavirus restrictions with ceremonies permitted for up to 30 people in Covid-secure venues.

Wedding receptions are also allowed for up to 30 people in a Covid-secure venue or outdoors.

But dancing is advised against due to the increased risk of transmission, except the couple’s traditional first dance.

Mr Johnson’s father, Stanley, was spotted in Downing Street after the ceremony, while guests and musicians were seen leaving No 10 on Saturday night.

The wedding comes at the end of a difficult week for the Prime Minister in which his former aide Dominic Cummings branded him unfit for office.

Mr Cummings said Mrs Johnson had been desperate to oust him from his role as Mr Johnson’s right-hand man, and had sought to put her own friends in key positions.

Mr Cummings also claimed that in February 2020, when the pandemic was becoming a major global crisis, Mr Johnson was “distracted by finalising his divorce, his girlfriend wanted to announce being pregnant and an engagement, and his finances”.

But Labour former frontbencher, Jon Trickett, said the wedding was “a good way to bury this week’s bad news” on Mr Cummings’ testimony, the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant and the row about funding of the Downing Street flat.

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Fellow Labour MP, Tonia Antoniazzi, suggested the “emergency marriage plan” was an attempt to “deflect from negative press” from Mr Cummings.

She added: “They know he won’t be able to plan one in Chequers cos he won’t be PM next year…”