EXCLUSIVE – James Middleton’s bride heartbreak revealed: Alizee Thevenet’s father died a few months before he could walk her down the aisle after the couple were forced to postpone their wedding on the French Riviera TWICE due to Covid
- James Middleton and Alizee Thevenet get married in the south of France on Saturday
- However, one of the approximately 50 guests at the ceremony was missing
- Her beloved father, retired diplomat Jean Gabriel Thevenet, died in April
- The couple got engaged in September 2019, but had to postpone the wedding last year
- A second attempt by the couple to rearrange it in the past 12 months also failed
- By the time Alizee finally walked down the aisle, it was too late for Mr. Thevenet
Alizee Thevenet’s grief as she married James Middleton at their glittering wedding in the South of France can be revealed today.
Her father died just months before the ceremony that had to be postponed twice due to Covid.
Friends say it meant the newlyweds’ big day was a joyous occasion with some sadness that retired diplomat Jean Gabriel Thevenet couldn’t be there to escort Alizee down the aisle.
James Middleton and his bride Alizee Thevenet beam for the camera as they announce their wedding at an exclusive castle in the south of France on Instagram on Saturday
However, their big day was tinged with some sadness, friends say, as Alizee’s beloved father, retired diplomat Jean Gabriel Thevenet (pictured), had passed away a few months earlier.
Mr Middleton and Alizee were married in front of 50 guests, including her mother Laurence at Chateau Leoube (pictured), an exclusive vineyard that produces some of the best roses in France
Chateau Leoube in the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas in Provence is owned by British billionaire JCB chairman Anthony Bamford and is a favorite holiday destination for the rich and famous
A source told MailOnline: ‘It was a happy day, but unfortunately Jean Gabriel wasn’t there. He died five months ago. He was only in his sixties. It’s a real tragedy. His wife Laurence, of course, was at the wedding.
“I know Alizee wanted her father to be there too. But it wasn’t supposed to be. They had to postpone the wedding twice and it was too late for him.’
Mr Middleton and Alizee became engaged in September 2019 and the ceremony was originally scheduled for the summer of last year.
However, it had to be postponed due to Covid restrictions and a second attempt to reschedule it in the past 12 months also failed.
By the time they could finally tie the knot on Saturday in the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas on the Côte d’Azur, it was too late for Mr. Thevenet. It is not known what caused him to die.
“Jean Gabriel would have loved to be there on Alizee’s special day. It’s so sad that Laurence had to go to the wedding alone,” the friend added.
Jean Gabriel Thevenet and his wife Laurence (pictured together) ran a bed and breakfast hotel in the mountains of Condat-sur-Ganaveix, before dying of an unknown illness in April
Mr Middletony, 34, and Alizee wed in front of 50 guests, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, over the weekend at Chateau Leobe, an exclusive vineyard owned by British billionaire JCB chairman Anthony Bamford in Provence, which produces some of France’s best rosé wine.
The couple had previously been married by the mayor at the town hall.
Mr Middleton announced the marriage on Instagram with a photo of the happy couple with the caption: ‘Yesterday I married the love of my life surrounded by family, friends and of course some dogs.’
Alizee’s father previously revealed his joy when their fledgling relationship started in January 2019, saying he was “elated” when they announced their engagement eight months later.
Speaking from the window of his rustic bed-and-breakfast in the mountains of Condat-sur-Ganaveix, rural France, Mr Thevenet told MailOnline: ‘My daughter Alizee is very happy with James, they are very much in love. James is a very charming man. I am very happy that Alizee is with James. I know she is very happy. We keep our fingers crossed for them.’
Mayor of Condat-sur-Ganaveix Michel Plazanet confirmed the death of Mr Thevenet.
His spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘Mr Thevenet passed away about five months ago. It’s very sad.’
James (pictured right alongside Pippa and husband James Matthews in 2019) is the youngest of the three Middleton siblings, after his oldest sister, Kate, 39, and Pippa, 38
The family friend added: ‘Jean Gabriel was not from Condat-sur-Ganaveix, but he put all his energy into his new adventure, the bed and breakfast business in the old mill.
“Now his wife Laurence is alone and has to do everything.”
Ms Thevenet declined to comment when MailOnline contacted her.