A marquee had already been erected in the No10 garden for ‘charity events’ before Boris Johnson held his wedding reception there, it was revealed today.
The Prime Minister and Carrie were married in a ‘secret’ ceremony at Westminster Cathedral yesterday, before feasting with a group of family and friends in the famous garden.
Aerial photos showed a hexagonal marquee behind Downing Street, in the area where the summer festival-themed reception was held.
However, separate photos on No10’s Flickr feed show that the structure was already in place and used for official functions, rather than being brought in for the couple.
Presumably he was there for about fourteen days.
A No10 source declined to say whether Johnson and his guests had used the tent or contributed to the costs.
They said it was ‘set up in Downing Street for Covid-secured events such as charity receptions and the Prime Minister thanking NHS staff’ but insisted they would not go into ‘the details of the wedding itself’.
Aerial photos of the garden in Downing Street today show a marquee, which No10 said was set up for official events
The marquee was set up for ‘Covid-secured’ events like this on Friday, No10 said – but they declined to say whether Mr Johnson had used it for his reception
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds are staring into each other’s eyes in the first photo released of their wedding. The photo was taken in the garden on Downing Street
The first glimpses of the wedding reception emerged today as photos showed the newlyweds staring into each other’s eyes.
Lovely photos taken at the Downing Street garden reception were released after No10 finally confirmed that the pair tied the knot yesterday afternoon at a ‘small ceremony’ at Westminster Cathedral – with a bigger party scheduled for next summer.
One photo showed Mrs. Symonds in a flowing white Costarellos lace dress worth €2,870 and a wreath of white flowers in her hair, as she looked fondly at her new husband in the sun-drenched garden.
Mr. Johnson, in a chic dark suit, appeared to have brushed his unruly hair for the occasion, though his tie was a little askew.
Another tweeted by Tory MPs gives a more relaxed impression of the reception, with the barefoot bride – now Ms Johnson – hugging her beauty who had unbuttoned his shirt collar and rolled up his sleeves.
Bunting and hay bales were visible in the background, suggesting a summer theme, which will have been helped by basking London in its first warm weather in months.
The event was the subject of an extraordinary cloak-and-dagger operation to keep it quiet. Aides spent hours refusing to comment on the Catholic service before it was revealed by the Mail on Sunday.
Mrs Symonds, 33, wore a £2,870 Costarellos embroidered tulle dress, featuring a tiered skirt, fitted bodice, bell sleeves and latticework embellishments for the big day.
Johnson, 56, was the first prime minister to marry in office since Lord Liverpool joined forces with Mary Chester in 1822.
It comes about a week after the couple – who got engaged on the Caribbean island of Mustique and baby Wilfred, one year old in December 2019 – sent save-the-date cards to guests telling them that they had to go free on Saturday, July 30, 2022. to keep. for a wedding party.
Despite sending the cards, the couple is believed to have secretly planned the small ceremony for six months – with questions about whether the save the date cards were used to ward people off the scent.
Under current Covid rules, there is a limit of 30 guests at weddings – although the limit is expected to be lifted on June 21 – ‘Freedom Day’ – when most restrictions will be lifted.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who worked with Mr Johnson when he was Mayor of London, posted a photo yesterday of a barefoot Mrs Symonds – now Mrs Johnson – at a seemingly summer-themed reception in the No10 garden.
Mr Johnson’s father, Stanley, was photographed outside of No10 last night with his daughter Julia shortly after attending the service
The tent in the No10 garden is visible from behind Downing Street
With Mr Johnson determined to return to work next week, it seems unlikely that the couple – who will make their debut as husband and wife at the G7 summit in June – will have a honeymoon.
One-year-old Wilfred attended the wedding, as did two official witnesses. Ms. Symonds shared a photo of their son yesterday in a field of bluebells – which some speculated was a nod to the tradition of ‘something blue’.
Johnson’s brother Rachel, Jo and Leo Johnson also attended, along with his father Stanley.
Ministers, Tory MPs and Keir Starmer congratulated the Prime Minister on his marriage – although some Labor MPs were less gracious, claiming the timing was an attempt to bury ‘bad news’ about Covid.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and Mrs. Symonds were married yesterday afternoon in a small ceremony at Westminster Cathedral.
“The couple will be celebrating their wedding with family and friends this summer.”
Mr Johnson, 56, exchanged vows with Mrs Symonds, 33, at Westminster Catholic Cathedral (pictured) in front of a handful of close friends and family – becoming the first Prime Minister to marry in office since Lord Liverpool married Mary Chester in 1822