Pippa Middleton and James Matthews were officially wed on May 20 at St. Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire.
The nuptials were followed by a lavish celebration in her parents’ backyard. (Don’t let the word “backyard” fool you. This was not a casual ceremony with Tiki lights. The event took place under a glass structure that resembled a crystal palace and cost $100,000.)
The details of the elegant ceremony have been much discussed, such as the surprisingly traditional gown designed by Giles Deacon (which had certain similarities to her famous sister Kate Middleton’s own gown) and the spectacular light show that flashed images of Middleton and Matthews’ love story). But what of the groom himself? Who is James Matthews, and how did he become one of the luckiest men in the United Kingdom?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Used To Be A Race-Car Driver
Though now a successful financier, the 41-year-old newlywed raced cars in his younger days. He even won the British and European Formula Renault Championship for Manor Motorsport.
2. His Brother Is A Reality-TV Star
Matthews might be polished and professional, but his sibling Spencer has made a name for himself as a reality-TV star. He is a reformed bad-boy and recovering addict. Spencer has appeared on shows like “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!” and he wrote a memoir in which he detailed his addiction to steroids and how he slept with over 1,000 women. (Oh, my…What does the Queen make of all that?)
3. His Family Has Suffered Heartbreaking Tragedy
Matthews’ elder brother Michael was a dedicated adventurer. He broke a world record by becoming the youngest Briton (then 23 years old) to ever climb Mount Everest in 1999. Tragically, the accomplished mountaineer died on the descent down the mountain, leaving his family heartbroken.
4. He Loves Endurance Sports
Matthews and Middleton made headlines when they did a 6-hour cross-country ski race together. The 33-mile course is not for the faint-of-heart, but it proved that the couple had much in common: Sportsmanship and a competitive drive.
5. He Lives in a $22M Mansion
Um, so this guy might be the real-life Christian Grey (at least as far as his activities OUTSIDE the bedroom). Matthews lives in a $22 million mansion complete with a movie theater and gym… and, of course, he has his own $4 million private jet as well. One estimate puts his net worth at around $2 billion.
6. He Will Become A Lord Someday
His father, David, is not only a wealthy hotelier, he is also Laird of Glen Affric and he owns a 10,000-acre Scottish estate not too far from the fabled Loch Ness Monster sightings. As eldest son, Matthews will take on this title, making his wife Pippa Lady Glenn Affric. That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
The happy newlyweds are now enjoying a honeymoon on the island of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, which is an atoll (a chain of islands formed by coral) that used to be owned by none other than Marlon Brando. The villa they’ve rented (named The Brando) costs nearly $4,000 a night, and President Barack Obama vacationed there with wife Michelle after leaving office.
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Here’s wishing the newlyweds a happy honeymoon, although something tells me they are no doubt having the time of their lives!