McCartney weds US heiress in third marriage

9th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former Beatle Paul McCartney married for the third time on Sunday, tying the knot with New York heiress Nancy Shevell at the same London venue where he married his first wife.

McCartney and Shevell, who wore a long-sleeved, knee-length white dress and a white flower in her hair, were showered with flower confetti by a small group of friends and family after the civil ceremony at Westminster Register Office.

The town hall was where McCartney married his first wife, Linda, in 1969. She died in 1998 after losing her battle with breast cancer.

The low-key ceremony, which was due to be followed by a party at McCartney's north London home, was a stark contrast with his lavish second wedding to former model Heather Mills in 2002, when 300 guests filled a castle in Ireland.

That marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce, which was finally agreed in 2008 after almost two years of wrangling when Mills received a settlement worth £24.3 million (then $48 million, 30.8 million euros).

McCartney, 69, and his 51-year-old bride have been dating for four years and announced their engagement in May.

As they emerged from the register office, McCartney held up his new wife's hand to loud cheers from the hundreds of well-wishers outside, before heading to his home in the upmarket district of St John's Wood for the reception.

Asked how he felt as he returned home, he told reporters: "Terrific, thank you. I feel married. I feel absolutely wonderful."

Among the select number of guests at the ceremony was Ringo Starr, wearing a dark suit over a T-shirt and trainers, as well as his trademark tinted glasses. He gave a peace sign to the crowd before going inside.

One fan was overwhelmed, shrieking: "That was a Beatle! That was a Beatle!"

McCartney's appearance sparked even more hysteria, with hundreds of people shouting his name, including one woman from New York could not believe her luck at being on holiday in London at the same time as the marriage.

"I'm 55, and I've been a fan all this time. I'm thrilled!" said Regina Bellisari. "My sister went to the first Beatles tour in the US, but I was too young. She always rubbed it my face, but now I can finally get her back."

McCartney had one child with Mills -- a daughter, Beatrice, who was born in 2003 -- and another four from his first marriage. Shevell also has a son, 19-year-old Arlen, from her first marriage to a US lawyer.

Despite the pressures of dating one of the world's most famous musicians, Shevell has largely kept out of the spotlight.

Questioned about her relationship by the New York Observer ahead of the wedding, she expressed surprise at the public interest.

"Its just not that intriguing," Shevell said. "Not like his last marriage, which was really intriguing.

"Im over 50. I work. That's it. I haven't been social and I have a small group of girlfriends. There really isnt much to talk about."

Their relationship has certainly been far calmer than that of McCartney and Mills, who was savaged in the British press.

The singer's wealth was estimated at £495 million ($770 million, 576 million euros) by Britain's Sunday Times Rich List earlier this year.

But Shevell also has a tidy fortune of her own. She is heir to her father's trucking business, New England Motor Freight, where she is a vice president.

She holds a degree in business administration from Arizona State University where she majored in transportation, and has also sat on the board of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority for 10 years.

© 2011 AFP

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