The 1987 wedding that united Boris Johnson and his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen was, in an unfortunate marriage, a very chic, glamorous affair – described as a cross between La Dolce Vita and Brideshead Revisited.
The daughter of the famous art historian William Mostyn-Owen and the flamboyant Italian writer Gaia Servadio, Allegra, was a socialite and former Tatler cover girl whose beauty had wasted young men who had fallen at the feet of Oxford University.
The old Etonian Johnson, who had received the Brackenbury Scholarship or Balliol for academic excellence, was the ambitious Union president who had butchered her rivals to win her – she so quietly whining about curries with a local Indian whom she initially did not realize he was interested in her.
& # 39; Allegra had a lot of Italian Botticelli angel looks: blond and ethereal, & # 39; a contemporary from Oxford told Mail. & # 39; That trait made her untouchable and for the rest of us – and that is exactly what Boris would have wanted as a trophy.
& # 39; You could always see that she was the butterfly and he the pin – she looked like she could break so easily. & # 39;
Boris Johnson and Allegra Mostyn-Owen, pictured together in 1987, seemed the perfect match 32 years ago when guests met in Woodhouse, a monumental 1,500-hectare estate in Shropshire
Considered the brightest and most golden among their peers, these two striking blondes seemed the perfect match that September 32 years ago, when guests gathered at the bride, Woodhouse, a class II listed 1,500-hectare estate in Shropshire.
However, the omens did not predict good news from the start.
While Allegra looked bright in white, her hair adorned with flowers, Johnson – in a typically shabby way – came to his own wedding without his pants on. Or shoes.
He had to borrow trousers and cufflinks from Tory MP John Biffen for the ceremony. Unfortunately, Mr Biffen's shoes did not fit, so he was wearing a shabbier pair. In all respects, the father of the bride, the chairman of Christie's auction house, was unimpressed.
Within an hour of his arrival, Boris had also misplaced the ring and then lost their marriage certificate – which was later discovered by Mr. Biffen who had been put in a pocket of borrowed pants.
During his speech, Johnson apparently wrongly assigned PG Wodehouse, and when he was pinched by a guest who pointed out the mistake, he struck & # 39; Good chap. Give the man a coconut & # 39 ;.
From there it was all the way downhill.
& # 39; When we got married, it was actually the end of the relationship instead of the beginning & # 39 ;, Allegra would say later.
The romance that began when Johnson appeared in her room at Trinity College with a bottle of wine on the wrong night for a party (& # 39; oh, oh, oh & # 39; he said surprised when he noticed that she had a textbook walked), did not survive long after exchanging vows.
But was there more to the collapse of their six-year marriage than Johnson's charming craziness, vaulted ambition, the comprehensive pursuit of career glory and notoriously elastic relationship with the truth?
Finally, there was Johnson & # 39; s relationship with the woman who would become his second 25-year-old wife – childhood friend and lawyer Marina Wheeler QC – who was pregnant with the first of their four children before their divorce was completed.
Allegra, who has no children, left Brussels for the last time in early 1992 and generously agreed in 1993 to divorce her husband to allow him to marry Marina before the baby was born. She has since remarried
Today, his supporters may struggle to give a positive twist to yesterday's revelation by Louise Gosling, a confidant of Allegra, who spoke of an alleged burning argument between Johnson and his first wife, which resulted in her search for a retreat in Mrs. Gosling's flat.
Described by friends as & # 39; fragile & # 39; and & # 39; sensitive & # 39; in the years of her marriage to Johnson – she barely said a humiliating word about Johnson in a quarter of a century ago, not even to complain – while his star took off – Johnson had deliberately omitted their marriage from his Who & # 39; s Who submission.
A source near Allegra told the Mail that the unfortunate end of their marriage was her & # 39; an exhausted power & # 39; had failed.
& # 39; Her name means & # 39; cheerful & # 39; in Italian, what she used to be, although a better description may be possible afterwards, & # 39; said the friend. & # 39; Yes, she was a socialite, but rather shy and thoughtful, extremely sweet and kind-hearted. You could see how she had too much faith in men.
& # 39; She was one of that generation & # 39; Bright Young Things & # 39; in Oxford. I'm not sure if Allegra was as smart as some now claim – and she certainly seemed blinded by Boris' intellect. But then we were all that. & # 39;
Two of Johnson & # 39; s biographers, journalists Andrew Gimson and Sonia Purnell, each told the shambolic wedding day and the subsequent loneliness of Allegra after they moved to Brussels, where Johnson, then 24 years old, the European correspondent and rising star of was the Telegraph. Allegra & # 39; s own career as a journalist on the Evening Standard was destroyed by the stories of her husband; she said he was married to the job & # 39 ;.
Regarding his frequent absence and deliberate pursuit of glory, she once remarked: & You get past worries and you start drinking malt whiskey & # 39 ;. Fearing that she would have a nervous breakdown if she stayed with him, Allegra fled to London in 1990 – the year of the alleged blazing fight.
After six months she started returning to Brussels at the weekend and then, according to Purnell, in a final attempt to restore the marriage, she enrolled at the Université Libre in Brussels for a master's degree in EU Law.
& # 39; For Boris, never a man to be alone for long, it was already too late. He had embarked on a dedicated hunt for a childhood friend, Marina Wheeler, who had arrived in Brussels in 1990, just as Allegra left, & wrote Purnell, author of Just Boris; a Tale of Blond ambition. Allegra, who has no children, left Brussels for the last time in early 1992 and generously agreed in 1993 to divorce her husband to allow him to marry Marina before the baby was born.
Today, his supporters may struggle to give a positive twist to the unveiling of yesterday by Louise Gosling, pictured, a confidant of Allegra, who spoke of an alleged burning dispute between Johnson and his first wife, which resulted in her search for a refuge in Mrs. Gosling's flat
In 2012 she said: & # 39; Suddenly he blurted out that he wanted a quick slaughter. I said & # 39; is she pregnant? & # 39; And he said: & # 39; Yes, how do you think that, & # 39;
& # 39; She (Marina) always came to eat before we parted. She is a nice woman. Smart and I think she has dedicated herself to Boris. He has tested that before, & she said.
For a long time, she said, there was no contact between them, as she embarked on a new career in teaching English and art to Muslim women in a mosque in East London.
In 2010 she married Abdul Majid, a Pakistani immigrant who was 22 years younger at the age of 23. Johnson, when he heard the news, apparently sent his congratulations to the new Mrs. Dilshad Farha Raji Shekha Jaan Khan Kali Gari, as she became known.
Her aristocratic family, however, was again disappointed by her husband's choice. & # 39; My mother accused me of spoiling her Christmas by marrying & # 39; announce that one & # 39; She is certain that I am on my way to a nervous breakdown and divorce, and the rest of the family will have to pick up the pieces, & she wrote.
Certainly, Allegra Mostyn-Owen did not seem to have a grudge against her ex-husband, no matter what happened between them, and said they were better off as exs than during their marriage. When Johnson was re-elected as mayor of London in 2012, she revealed that he had asked her to be part of his Muslim engagement task force – but in the end, the work got nowhere. Nonetheless, both she and her new husband remained supporters, wishing him success in the elections and promising to receive him between the Pakistani and Afghan communities.
& # 39; I can't help but still love him & # 39 ;, she told the Post seven years ago. & # 39; The years we spent together in love in Oxford were some of the happiest of my life. & # 39;
Could that love finally be so thin that Allegra Mostyn-Owen would reveal what really happened 30 years ago?
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