Catholics 'hope Boris keeps his trousers on' after third wedding

Members of the congregation where Boris Johnson secretly remarried have told the Prime Minister to ‘keep his trousers on and behave himself’.

Catholic worshippers welcome the news of the PM’s marriage to Carrie Symonds – but had some words of warning for the twice-divorced PM.

Christopher Goodyear, a witness protection officer in the Metropolitan Police homicide division, branded the news of the marriage ‘interesting’ and adding: ‘I hope he keeps his trousers on.’

Mr Johnson and his new wife were married in secret at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday after the ceremony was delayed by coronavirus restrictions.

The couple announced their engagement in February last year and already have a young son, Wilfred – though it is unclear how many step-children Carrie will now have.   

Members of the Westminster Cathedral congregation welcomed the news, with many suggesting that times had changed and remarry was less frowned upon by people of their faith.

But Mr Goodyear, 64, from Chelsea, said on Sunday: ‘The Prime Minister getting married here is interesting, I presume it’s the wife who’s the Catholic as he’s been married many times before.

‘It’s nice to have a Prime Minister who’s Catholic, so good luck to them.’

When asked what re-marrying within the Catholic faith meant to members of the congregation, he said: ‘He hadn’t been married to a Catholic before so I wasn’t really that bothered.

‘He’s now married in the Catholic church so he can’t get married again – if he does then that invalidates everything.

‘So let’s hope he keeps his trousers on and behaves himself.’

Regular worshippers at the cathedral said they were ‘honoured’ and ‘pleased’ to learn of his marriage to Carrie Symonds as they attended Mass.

Retired friends Norilyn King, 64, Herminia Supan, 73, and Flo Zerrouk, 70, who attend services at the cathedral together twice a week, congratulated the newly-weds and said that ‘times are different nowadays’, meaning there should be an allowance for re-marriage under some circumstances.

Ms Zerrouk, a former hotel secretary from Westminster, said: ‘It’s a great feeling that our Prime Minister and the wife got married here, because I’m proud to be a Catholic and they’re Catholic.

‘At last they have finally married – we give them our congratulations.’

On re-marriage, former retail estate broker Ms King, from Fulham, said: ‘It’s a personal choice, and they should be respected for it.

‘I think marriage is a very solemn thing, so for him to marry for a third time, you know, times are different nowadays, we should just accept people for how they want to live their lives and that’s the way it is.

‘We wish them well and congratulations.’

In order for him to be allowed to be married in a cathedral, Mr Johnson is likely to have had his first two marriages annulled. But there is speculation that because he was baptised Catholic, he may have been able to marry with special permission from the church because the previous ceremonies were not Catholic.

The PM previously renounced his mother’s Catholicism while at Eton, according to his biography, and was confirmed as an Anglican.

Retired schoolteacher Harry Groenen, from Kingston-upon-Thames, who has been a member of the congregation for 15 years, said it was an ‘honour’ for the PM to have been married there.

Describing what the ceremony might have looked like, Mr Groenen, 73, said: ‘(The cathedral) normally does traditional weddings – pomp and ceremony and lots of music – though I’m not sure how it was done yesterday.’

He added that under Pope Francis’ influence, the Catholic church has been ‘much more liberal and open’ to re-marriage, but that some members of his congregation would find it ‘challenging to accept’ the Prime Minister’s nuptials.

Mr Groenen said: ‘I think that they will be pleased, but there will always be a number of conservative people – some of them younger than I am – who would probably find it a bit challenging to accept, but the world we live in I think it’s no bad thing to show good will and common sense.’

Mr Johnson became the first Prime Minister to marry in office since Lord Liverpool in 1822.

Under current Covid restrictions, weddings are allowed with up to 30 guests.

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