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Bamburgh Castle owner’s wedding makes history

Bamburgh Castle owner Francis Watson-Armstrong  become the first member of the Armstrong family to marry in the castle for over 125 years.

In an enchanting candlelit service, Francis Watson-Armstrong married his fiancé Claire Thorburn in a socially distanced ceremony within the castle’s King’s HallpastedGraphic.png.

In line with national Covid restrictions the wedding was attended by 15 people including the couple’s family and friends, with three generations of the Armstrong family at the ceremony.

Around 500 guests around the world watched the ceremony via new state-of-the-art live streaming technology the castle has invested in from E-There which allows guests to attend a physical wedding virtually. 

Bamburgh Castle wedding coordinator Karen Larkin said: “Every single wedding is very special to us and it is a privilege to be such a huge part of a couple’s special day. 

“This is the first Armstrong wedding to take place at Bamburgh Castle since it was bought by Victorian innovator and engineer William George Armstrong in 1894 so it is a day that will go down in history for us here.

“It was a truly momentous and wonderful day for all involved and on behalf of the team at Bamburgh Castle we wish Francis and Claire lots of love and laughs together but most of all endless happiness.” 

Northumbrian Piper Joanne Kemp piped guests into the castle with a piece she had composed especially for the occasion called ‘Bamburgh’. 

Claire paid a surprise, social distanced visit to wave to residents at older people’s housing and care charity The Abbeyfield Society at Armstrong House in Bamburgh, who are shielding during the lockdown, before being walked down the aisle by her father. 

The Castle’s King’s Hall was adorned with candles and floral displays by Northumbrian Flowers while pianist Mark Deeks played the grand piano in the castle’s Cross Hall where the couple signed the register. 

Castle owner Francis Watson-Armstrong said: “It was a tremendous privilege to be marrying my beautiful bride Claire in our wonderful family home with our family and friends by our sides.

“Bamburgh Castle is a truly magical, awe-inspiring place. The restrictions made our wedding even more special and intimate. It was a truly unforgettable time.

“My wife and I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to congratulate us. It is wonderful to hear that our wedding has been a ray of light bringing joy and good cheer to so many in these dark times.”

For more information about getting married at Bamburgh Castle visit our weddings page or email weddings@bamburghcastle.com

PICTURE CREDIT: OWEN HUMPHREYS / PA

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