Baffled tourists 'told to leave cathedral' so Boris Johnson could wed Carrie Symonds
Baffled tourists were ushered out of Westminster Cathedral half an hour ahead of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds' secret ceremony to make for the couple.
The crowds admiring the church were told there was a 'lockdown' and they had to leave immediately, reports claim.
They were said to have been given no clue they were being cleared out to make way for the Prime Minister's top secret wedding plot.
Mr Johnson, 56, wed the 33-year-old mother of his child at the grand London cathedral where baby Wilfred was baptised just last year.
The couple managed to keep the plans for their Bank Holiday weekend nuptials so well under wraps - even close aides expressed surprise at the news.
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Shortly after 1.30pm, the cathedral was suddenly cleared of visitors, with staff saying it was going into lockdown, The Sun reported.
Half an hour later, a limousine carrying the bride arrived at the piazza outside the main west door of the distinctive striped brick and stone church.
Inside, the ceremony was carried out by Father Daniel Humphreys, who had given the couple pre-marriage instructions and baptised their son last year, the newspaper said.
While the high profile couple's engagement had been announced publicly, their wedding date during these uncertain times was unknown.
In the end the couple opted - like many couples across the UK whose plans have been affected by the pandemic - not to postpone their nuptials in hopes of a bigger wedding party.
Instead, they reportedly managed to slip under even their most senior aides' radars to pull off the surprise special day - the culmination of a six month "cloak and dagger" operation, insiders claim.
The couple were only allowed to invite 30 guests to the wedding, in keeping with current coronavirus protocols.
Carrie, who is widely reported to be likely to have taken Mr Johnson's surname, was said to have worn a £2,870 gown by Greek-based luxury designer Christos Costarellos.
Guests are believed to have been invited at the last minute to the ceremony, and the full list has not been publicly revealed.
However the PM's father, Stanley, and siblings Rachel, Jo and Leo were confirmed to have been in attendance.
The newlyweds later celebrated at a marquee in the garden at Downing Street, reports said.
A No10 spokesman said on Sunday: “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.”
A Westminster Cathedral spokesperson told the Sunday Times : "On Saturday 29 May, the wedding of Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson took place in Westminster Cathedral.
"The bride and groom are both parishioners of the Westminster Cathedral parish and baptised Catholics.
"All necessary steps were taken, in both church and civil law, and all formalities completed before the wedding."
Mr Johnson has been married and divorced twice previously.
Conventionally, the Catholic church does not allow people who have been divorced to get married in its churches, unless the previous nuptials were annulled.
Mr Johnson was baptised a Catholic.
However experts have speculated that because neither of Mr Johnson's previous nuptials were Roman Catholic ceremonies, they may not have been considered valid in the eyes of canonic law.