WHEN 2 BECKHAM 1 Inside Posh & Becks’ £1 million wedding as couple celebrate 25 years of marriage – & why Royals were annoyed by nuptials

WHEN David Beckham tied the knot with Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice from all-conquering pop group The Spice Girls, their lavish wedding defined the 1990s.

Next Thursday the couple will celebrate their silver wedding anniversary – 25 years of married bliss, and some occasional bother.

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David Beckham tied the knot with Victoria Adams in a lavish wedding that defined the 1990s
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David Beckham tied the knot with Victoria Adams in a lavish wedding that defined the 1990sCredit: Mirrorpix

Posh and Becks holding hands for the ceremony
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Posh and Becks holding hands for the ceremonyCredit: Refer to Caption

The couple sat on thrones surrounded by candles during the celebrations
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The couple sat on thrones surrounded by candles during the celebrationsCredit: The Beckhams
Many thought it would not last, but to those who know David and Victoria, their union is as strong now as ever.

Four children and an estimated £455million fortune later, they continue to dominate the cultural landscape, as their recent blockbuster Netflix special proved, bringing new fans to the Posh ’n’ Becks phenomenon.

Today, in the first part of a special series, we take an intimate look back at that magical day a quarter of a century ago . . .


IT WAS a wedding like no other – matching thrones and purple outfits, flower girls dressed as angels and a cake topped with a nearly nude sculpture of the newlyweds.

Even Prince Philip later talked about how he and the Queen did not use thrones at her 2012 Jubilee because they would have “looked like Mr and Mrs Beckham”.

Ahead of Posh and Becks’s 25th ­anniversary on Thursday, we exclusively bring you the inside details of the ­sensational wedding.

And while OK! magazine stumped up a record-breaking £1million for exclusive rights to cover the event at 15th-century Luttrellstown Castle near Dublin on July 4, 1999, it was The Sun that scooped the world.

Despite the whole venue being cloaked in secrecy, with screens erected to ­protect the magazine’s exclusive deal, we had pictures of Posh and Becks in their infamous gold-and-red velvet chairs before the magazine came out — and our reporter even sat in the seats on the grass in the castle grounds.

Former Sun showbusiness reporter Thomas Whitaker recalls: “Security had been tight all weekend but there was no security there then.

“Posh and Becks were nowhere to be seen and staff were clearing out the marquee.

David Beckham shares never seen before pics of wife Victoria as she celebrates 50th birthday
“Dumped in the middle of the field were the couple’s identical thrones that we’d heard about the day before.”

Next to the chairs on the lawn was a matching crib which four-month-old baby Brooklyn had napped in, as well as three 7ft naked gold figurines and two huge black Egyptian cat statues.

Sun photographer Marc Giddings recalls: “The thrones were there waiting to be picked up by a truck, completely unguarded.

“As I was ­taking photos of Thomas on one of the thrones, some security people drove by in a van.

“They did a ­double-take and came rushing over.

“We were asked to leave but by then we’d got our exclusive pictures.”

Preparations for the wedding, rumoured to have cost £750,000 — around £1.4million in today’s money — had begun a year earlier.

Alan Edwards, who was the Spice Girls’ publicist, tells The Sun: “We had endless meetings with the ­wedding planner worrying about who sat next to who, would cameras be allowed, dietary requirements . . . every detail you could think of.”

He added: “This was a worldwide publicity event and we knew the interest was akin to that around a royal wedding.

“In fact, we’d had a complaint from Buckingham Palace saying that they kept getting letters addressed to David and Victoria at ‘Beckingham Palace’!”

He adds: “David and Victoria were impossibly romantic, always gazing into each other’s eyes and laughing with each other.

“They were a joy to be around.

“It was all very fairytale and special.”

According to Jim Maloney, former deputy editor at OK! and author of David & ­Victoria: An Invitation To A Wedding, Victoria had “clear views of what she wanted and was very hands-on”.

He adds: “She had told ­wedding organiser Peregrine Armstrong-Jones, whose ­company had been responsible for Elton John’s lavish 40th birthday party, that she wanted something green and leafy in the countryside.”

‘Green and leafy’

VICTORIA, now 50, and David, 49, chose a Robin Hood theme, with a dark green, ­burgundy and purple colour scheme and huge floral ­displays.

Jim recalls: “Such was the ­attention to detail that fresh apples that formed part of a trailing ivy arrangement were pierced to release their scent.

“A leafy walkway was created, stretching from the French windows of the library, across the manicured lawns to two marquees where the reception and dancing would take place.”

He adds: “Wedding invitations had been printed on parchment, headed with the couple’s specially designed crest.”

Guests were given a black and white dress code so they would not clash with the Beckhams, and they included three of Victoria’s Spice Girls bandmates — Mels B and C and Emma Bunton, but not Geri Halliwell — and David’s Manchester United team-mates Teddy Sheringham, Ryan Giggs and Dwight Yorke, as well as best man Gary Neville.

The ceremony, officiated by the Bishop of Cork, the Right Rev Paul Colton, took place at 3pm in a folly chapel at the ­castle, watched by 29 of the couple’s closest family and friends.

Dominic Mohan, The Sun’s then Showbiz Editor, remembers the deafening sound of helicopters overhead.

He says: “It was an absolute bunfight.

“OK! had a helicopter ­desperate to defend their property, and other helicopters from other media outlets kept turning up.

“They flew quite low with quite a roaring sound.

“It was ridiculous, like something from the film Good Morning, Vietnam.

“The guests at the wedding must have really heard the racket in the marquee.”

Fans flew in from around the world and 236 security guards were hired, led by ex-military man Kevin O’Brien.

Manchester-based photo- grapher Eamonn Clarke, who appeared in the recent Netflix docu series Beckham, covered the event for The Sun, and said: “It was a roasting hot weekend and the world’s press descended on Dublin trying to see the footballers, wags and stars.

“People camped outside the castle for days waiting to look inside any car or van that went in.”

On the morning of the ceremony, David played golf at the castle with his best man Gary to calm the nerves.

Derek Morrison, who was then the castle’s assistant pro golfer, told The Sun: “He borrowed my clubs.

The couple with a bouquet at Posh’s parents’ home in Hertfordshire two days before their wedding
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The couple with a bouquet at Posh’s parents’ home in Hertfordshire two days before their weddingCredit: Rex Features

The newlyweds take to the floor for the first dance
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The newlyweds take to the floor for the first danceCredit: The Beckhams

The couple with baby son Brooklyn
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The couple with baby son Brooklyn

The new parents in matching colourful outfits
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The new parents in matching colourful outfitsCredit: David Beckham Instagram

It’s game on as the couple canoodle
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It’s game on as the couple canoodleCredit: The Beckhams
“I remember him buying a tartan wind-cheater in the shop.

“It was like a Scottish design that the week before I’d thought, ‘Who the hell is going to buy that!’ ”

For the big day itself, David wore a cream suit, gold and cream waistcoat, cream shirt, cravat, top hat and shoes by British designer ­Timothy Everest, and arrived in a £230,000 Bentley Azure.

Victoria opted for a £100,000 gown by Vera Wang, featuring a bodice by couture corsetiere Mister Pearl, who has since worked on outfits for Bridgerton.

US designer Vera said last year: “I call it the transatlantic dress.

“That bodice flew back and forth four times on Concorde.”

And OK!’s Jim tells The Sun: “Her simple champagne-coloured dress surprised many.

“Elegant and stylish, it had a fitted, strapless bodice made of Italian Clerici Duchess satin, ­recognised as the finest in the world, which emphasised her tiny waist.

“In reality, of course, there was nothing simple about it.

“There had been two initial consultations, six ­fittings in New York and London and it took 15 months to make.”

Posh accessorised it with a £30,000 18-carat gold and diamond crown-shaped tiara by Irish-born jewellery designer Slim Barrett.

He told The Sun: “One day we received a call from a management agent wanting to arrange an appointment for Victoria Adams.

“She arrived at my studio with her mum Jackie and baby Brooklyn.

“Victoria said she was looking for a crown to wear on her wedding day to complement her gown.

“She wanted something like you would see in a fairytale.”

Slim, who also made a necklace for Princess Diana, added: “She had a lot of fun trying on our tiaras and crowns, with her mum taking photographs.”

But in the end Victoria only ­borrowed the East of Paris fairy crown, and in 2013 it was put up for auction — but failed to reach the asking price.

For her journey to the folly for the ceremony, Posh descended a flight of purple-carpeted steps and climbed into a silver Bentley.

She had three bridesmaids — her sister Louise, Louise’s 13-month-old daughter Liberty and David’s niece, Georgina, 16 months.

JIM recalls: “The younger ones were dressed as woodland flower fairies in cream with fake ivy around their wrists and ankles and gossamer wings.”

He adds: “A trumpet fanfare by pageanters dressed in traditional Irish costume heralded the bride’s arrival as she made her way to the altar, where a smiling David was waiting.

“At one point the Bishop raised a laugh when he reminded them that love should be enduring, quoting an old Irish country priest — ‘The eyes that over cocktails seem so sweet, may not seem so amorous over Shredded Wheat’.”

Just before 5pm the orchestra struck up ­Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, the service ended, and a white dove was released over the estate, ­symbolising the couple’s love.

Guests dined on a three-course feast of red pepper and tomato soup, chicken with garlic and sage, served on roasted potatoes, asparagus spears and a summer vegetable medley with a light herb jus.

It then became a star-studded extravaganza, with a further 197 guests joining the newlyweds for a lavish reception.

The classy couple used a sword to cut their wedding cake
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The classy couple used a sword to cut their wedding cakeCredit: The Beckhams

David plays a cheeky round of golf before the wedding
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David plays a cheeky round of golf before the weddingCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

The event took place at 15th-century Luttrellstown Castle near Dublin
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The event took place at 15th-century Luttrellstown Castle near DublinCredit: John Coghill
Jim recalls: “They were greeted by a fanfare on the battlements, with six-foot silk flames flurrying from the turrets, along with a purple flag bearing David and Victoria’s crest.

“Inside, they enjoyed champagne and canapes before making their way along the woodland walkway to the marquee for the reception.

“The walls were lined with pleated ivory taffeta, tables draped in green velvet under cream-coloured calico, adorned by spectacular flower arrangements.

“But the most jaw- dropping aspect were the throne-like chairs for the couple, set on a dais, like medieval royalty.”

The loved-up pair had their first dance to It Had To Be You, by Frank Sinatra.

An orchestra also played Spice Girls hits and Sir Elton John had been due to perform but had to pull out after suffering a heart attack weeks earlier.

The couple’s three-tier cake featured layers of chocolate sponge and was stuffed with apples and iced in green and purple leaves with fondant sculptures of a semi-naked David, Victoria and Brooklyn on the top.

Posh and Becks cut the cake with a bespoke silver Wilkinson sword — supposedly a gift from four-month-old Brooklyn, and engraved with their crest and an inscription from their son — before sharing a lingering kiss.

After speeches, Jim says the ­newlyweds led everyone through to a second marquee, which was decorated in Moroccan style, with purple and gold drapes, gold statues and towering ­floral arrangements, where music and dancing took place on a black and white chequered floor.

They then slipped away to change into matching purple designer outfits.

Victoria wore a Jessica Rabbit-style dress, with flowers down one ­shoulder and a thigh-high split, while Becks wore a double-breasted blazer and flared trousers.

David recalled in 2017: “That was pretty bold.

“Victoria’s was pretty nice. Mine, I’m like, ‘What was I thinking?’

“I look like the guys out of Dumb And Dumber when they went to that party and wore those ridiculous outfits,” he told Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

“I even had a top hat in purple. Unbelievable.”

The Beckhams’ wedding cake
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The Beckhams’ wedding cakeCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

A gaudy figurine from the wedding
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A gaudy figurine from the weddingCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

The couple announced their engagement in 1998
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The couple announced their engagement in 1998Credit: Getty
Even baby Brooklyn, now 25, who served as the couple’s ring bearer, had a purple top hat and bib to match his parents.

But PR supremo Alan — whose new book I Was There: Dispatches From A Life In Rock And Roll details his time working with celebrities — says: “The purple suits and thrones and all that were definitely a bit playful — mischievous, as opposed to serious.

“Definitely tongue in cheek.”

While the wedding party let their hair down, the OK! team were hard at work.

Jim recalls: “We were based in a barn next to the castle, leaning over a light box, choosing the best transparencies to send quickly back to the office, along with captions giving as much detail as possible.

“The reporters were writing their copy on the hoof.

“Speed was vital.

“The magazine’s deadline had been brought forward to get it into the shops as early as possible, to ­capitalise on the moment and sell enough copies to recoup the costs.”

He adds: “At 2am, everyone gathered on a large platform, built to one side of the marquee, to watch the evening’s spectacular finale — a firework display, accompanied by Bjork’s hit It’s Oh So Quiet.”

And after the last guests had left, Marina Licht, then the magazine’s junior features writer, recalls helping to deliver proofs to the couple.

She tells The Sun: “The photographs had to be approved by ­Victoria and David that night.

“It must have been about 3am and they were still in the castle, dressed in white towelling dressing gowns.

“She still looked very glamorous.”

Up against a deadline, the mag’s team then flew straight back to London.

Marina, now Associate Editor of NationalWorld.com, says: “I didn’t have any sleep.

“We got a flight from Dublin at 6am and went straight to the office.

“We had to be escorted the whole way by security.”

Jim adds: “The three issues of OK! magazine covering the wedding and reception party sold out, bringing total sales to seven million.”

Since then, the couple have renewed their wedding vows and celebrated their anniversaries.

But nothing that they — or any other couple — do now could ever quite match up to the Posh and Becks wedding extravaganza.

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