Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson were married in a “secret” ceremony at the Catholic Westminster Cathedral in London on Saturday .
Carrie Symonds made the transition from “First girlfriend” at 10, Downing Street, to the Prime Minister’s wife when she and Boris Johnson were married in a “secret” ceremony at the Catholic Westminster Cathedral in London on Saturday afternoon.
The timing took Britain’s normally watchful tabloid press by surprise because only last week newspapers were fed a story that Boris and Carrie had sent save-the-date cards to guests telling them to keep July 30, 2022, free.
For Carrie, 33, a former Conservative Party press officer and now a wildlife conservationist, it was her first marriage. For Boris, 56, it was his third.
Boris is the first Prime Minister to marry in office in 199 years since Lord Liverpool wed Mary Chester in 1822. Boris and Carrie live in a flat above 11, Downing Street with their one-year-old son, Wilfred, and their dog, Dilyn.
Only 30 close friends and family attended the wedding, which took even officials at Downing Street off guard. Boris’s siblings — Rachel, Jo and Leo — and his father, Stanley, were present.
Just before Father Daniel Humphreys conducted the service at 2pm, armed guards ushered visitors out of the cathedral saying the building was going into lockdown. The couple kissed after exchanging marriage vows near the altar, which had an image of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.
About the only witness from outside was Adrian Richmond, 52, who sells the Big Issue, a magazine that helps homeless people: “Somebody I recognised came out of a service there earlier in the day and said, ‘You won’t believe who’s getting married here later! It’s Boris Johnson.’ My jaw nearly dropped to the floor. This is smack bang in central London.”
Carrie is the daughter of one of the founders of the Independent newspaper, Matthew Symonds, and newspaper lawyer Josephine McAffee. She grew up in south-west London before going on to study art history and theatre studies at Warwick University. Her first job in politics was working for Jemima Khan’s younger brother, Zac Goldsmith, when he was the Tory MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston in London.