The newlyweds kiss after sealing their love in an intimate family ceremony

30 JULY 2011

It was the intimate, family event they wanted.

Mike and Zara looked into each other's eyes and said "I do" away from the gaze of TV cameras or the press.

But there was a film star reception waiting for the couple as they made their exit from Canongate Kirk.

 

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A huge cheer went up from the crowd as the doors were thrown open, and the couple – now man and wife – emerged.

It was louder still when the couple leaned in for a tender kiss as the sun shone down from above.

Zara – gorgeous in her Stewart Parvin dress, smiled radiantly. Her joy was easily matched by the groom's.

Mike looked ecstatic as he waved to the crowds with his new wife beside him.


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After pausing for a few photos, the pair got into a car to make the short trip down Edinburgh's Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse for the reception.

Family and friends looked on with smiling faces before starting to filter out of the church grounds themselves.

The pair were first followed by the bridesmaids and pageboy - led by the matron of honour, Zara's longtime friend Dolly Maude - and the mother of the bride Princess Anne.

Coming soon after were the Queen and Prince Phillip and other members of the royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In accordance with the couple's wishes to keep the wedding low key, no details about the ceremony were released.

But the 45-minute Church of Scotland ceremony was bound to feature readings, musical interludes and hymns and end with the signing of the register.


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It was presided over by Reverend Neil Gardner in the same place where the Queen worships when she's in residence at Holyroodhouse.

Around 450 guests – including big names from the world of sport - watched the couple exchange vows.

Zara became a Mrs – but, in an indicator of the thoroughly modern royal she is, Princess Anne's daughter will be keeping her surname.

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