Marquee was installed in No10 garden for ‘charity events’ before PM’s reception


A marquee had already been installed in the No10 garden for ‘charity events’ before Boris Johnson held his wedding reception there, it was revealed today.

The PM and Carrie married yesterday in a ‘secret’ ceremony at Westminster Cathedral, before celebrating with a group of family and friends in the famous garden.  

Aerial photographs showed a hexagonal marquee in place behind Downing Street, in the area where the summer-festival themed reception was held.

However, separate pictures on the No10 flickr feed reveal that the structure was already in place and had been used for official functions, rather than being brought in for the couple. 

It is thought to have been on site for around a fortnight.

A No10 source declined to say whether Mr Johnson and his guests had used the marquee, or contributed to the costs. 

They said it had been ‘set up in Downing Street for Covid secure events such as charity receptions and the PM thanking NHS staff’, but insisted they would not get ‘into the details of the wedding itself’.

Aerial photographs of the Downing Street garden today show a marquee, which No10 said had been put up for official events  

The marquee was installed for 'Covid secure' events such this one on Friday, according to No10 - but they declined to say whether Mr Johnson had used it for his reception

The marquee was installed for ‘Covid secure’ events such this one on Friday, according to No10 – but they declined to say whether Mr Johnson had used it for his reception 

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds gaze into each other's eyes in the first picture released from their wedding. The photograph was taken in the garden at Downing Street

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds gaze into each other’s eyes in the first picture released from their wedding. The photograph was taken in the garden at Downing Street

The first glimpses of the wedding reception emerged today as photographs showed the newlyweds gazing into each other’s eyes.

Sweet images taken at the reception in the Downing Street garden were released after No10 finally confirmed that the couple tied the knot in a ‘small ceremony’ at Westminster Cathedral yesterday afternoon – with a bigger celebration planned for next summer.

One photograph showed Ms Symonds wearing a flowing white £2,870 lace gown by Costarellos and a garland of white flowers in her hair as she looked lovingly at her new husband in the sunlit garden. 

Mr Johnson, in a smart dark suit, appeared to have brushed his unruly hair for the occasion, although his tie was slightly askew. 

Another tweeted by Tory MPs gives a more relaxed impression of the reception, with the barefoot bride – now Mrs Johnson – cuddling her beau who had unbuttoned his shirt collar and rolled up his sleeves. 

Bunting and bales of hay were visible in the background, suggesting a summery theme, which will have been helped by London basking in the first hot weather for 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.

Ms Symonds, 33, was wearing a £2,870 Costarellos embroidered tulle gown with tiered skirt, fitted bodice, bell sleeves and latticework trims for the big day. 

Mr Johnson, 56, was the first Prime Minister to marry in office since Lord Liverpool joined forces with Mary Chester in 1822. 

It comes around a week after the couple – who became engaged on the Caribbean island of Mustique in December 2019 and have baby Wilfred, aged one – sent out save-the-date cards to guests telling them to keep Saturday, July 30, 2022 free for a marriage celebration.

Despite sending out the cards, the couple are understood to have been secretly planning the small ceremony for six months – with questions about whether the save the date cards were used to help throw people off the scent.

Under current Covid rules there is a limit of 30 guests at weddings – although the cap is expected to be lifted on June 21st – ‘freedom day’ – when most restrictions are set to be lifted. 

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly, who worked with Mr Johnson when he was London Mayor, posted a photo of a barefoot Ms Symonds - now Mrs Johnson - at an apparently summer-themed reception in the No10 garden yesterday

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly, who worked with Mr Johnson when he was London Mayor, posted a photo of a barefoot Ms Symonds – now Mrs Johnson – at an apparently summer-themed reception in the No10 garden yesterday 

Mr Johnson's father, Stanley, was photographed outside No10 last night with his daughter Julia, shortly after attending the service

Mr Johnson’s father, Stanley, was photographed outside No10 last night with his daughter Julia, shortly after attending the service 

The marquee in place in the No10 garden is visible from behind Downing Street

The marquee in place in the No10 garden is visible from behind Downing Street 

With Mr Johnson pegged to be back at work next week, it looks unlikely the couple – who will make their debut appearance 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 picture of their son yesterday in a field of bluebells – which some speculated was a nod to the tradition of ‘something blue’.

Mr Johnson’s sibling’s Rachel, Jo and Leo Johnson are also understood to have attended, along with his father Stanley.

Ministers, Tory MPs and Keir Starmer have been congratulating the premier on his nuptials – although some Labour MPs have been less gracious and claimed the timing was an effort to ‘bury bad news’ about Covid.  

A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘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.’

Mr Johnson, 56, exchanged vows with Ms Symonds, 33, in Catholic Westminster 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

Mr Johnson, 56, exchanged vows with Ms Symonds, 33, in Catholic Westminster 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

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk