Masquerade ball for wedding of charity founder and Labour donor
- Credit: Polly Hancock
"We wanted to come out of Covid and into carnival."
With masks somewhat different to those seen on most streets these days, Pond Square Chapel hosted the wedding of two well known north Londoners on Saturday.
Following the ceremony at the Highgate chapel, a musical dinner was held at Home House, in Portman Square.
Marjorie, 78, said: "We turned the marriage into a masquerade ball. We wanted to come out of Covid and into carnival.
"The bridesmaids and I wore hand-painted masks that were flown in from Venice. But a masquerade wedding does come with its own unique challenges, and I think John was worried that he might end up marrying the wrong woman.
"As for the ceremony itself, I was given away by my gorgeous son. When I asked him if he would be happy to do it, he replied very promptly: 'Don't worry, there will be a queue of us!'
"We created an evening of 'music, moonlight, love, and romance'. We had a marvellous Russian soprano, a passionate tenor, and an Italian organist. And who could forget our wonderful Polish concert pianist-in-residence. We'd been locked down for a year together so we danced out to Chopin's Heroic Polonaise.
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"We took our vows and actually sang True Love from High Society to each other. I was extremely nervous that when we turned around I was going to find that the congregation had disappeared."
John, 83, said: "Marjorie is an incurable romantic and I'm a calm and steadying influence, I hope."
Marjorie was formerly a journalist at the Sunday Times, making her name in 1972 with a series of articles about the thalidomide scandal, in which the use of the drug during pregnancy led to thousands of children being born with severe deformities and thousands of miscarriages.
John was a Camden councillor for most of the period between 1971 and 2006. An high-profile Eurosceptic, he was co-chair of Vote Leave, and also national agent for the "No" campaign in the the 1975 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Economic Community (EEC).