Surprise royal wedding held in the UK amid Coronavirus

Coronavirus has seen countless major events put on hold as lockdown measures call for smaller gatherings, social distancing and in some cases full-blown isolation.

When it comes to weddings, most couples have been forced to either cancel or drastically reduce their nuptial celebrations, and it turns out not even royalty got to wriggle out of the dramatic new restrictions.

In the UK, Princess Beatrice’s wedding to fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi had to be cancelled, a blow both to the happy couple and to royal watchers excited to witness the big day.

It turns out, however, not every royal couple pulled the plug, with one notable exception revealed this week.

Princess Raiyah of Jordan married British husband Ned Donovan
Princess Raiyah of Jordan wed British journalist Ned Donovan in an intimate ceremony in the UK. Photo: Twitter/ ARoyalAgency

Amid the hectic global pandemic, one royal couple secretly went ahead and tied the knot in a private, socially-distanced ceremony as soon as restrictions began to ease.

Princess Raiyah of Jordan decided to take advantage of the relaxed rules and said ‘I do’ to her British fiancé, Ned Donovan, in a tiny ceremony in the UK this week, sharing adorable snaps of the celebration to social media on Tuesday.

The ceremony featured a total of three guests according to the photos of the occasion, all of whom were seated the obligatory 1.5 metres away from one another.

The ceremony was held in the UK where Ned’s family is based and where Princess Raiyah completed her studies, though she is now said to be completing a PHD at UCLA in the United States.

Princess Raiyah nd Ned Donovan sign wedding papers
The pair took advantage of the easing restrictions to tie the knot. Photo: Twitter/ RaiyahHKJ/ ARoyalAgency

In a statement shared to Twitter the princess explained that the pair’s original plan to wed in Jordan in April was thrown off course by the pandemic and they were forced to adjust.

“Thank you all for your kind messages on our wedding!” she wrote, sharing two gorgeous snaps of the ceremony.

“While it was originally planned for April in Jordan, the pandemic derailed those plans and it was safer for my husband’s family to hold it in the UK. God willing we look forward to celebrating in Jordan once the situation allows.”

Princess Raiyah looked resplendent, clad in a high-neck, long-sleeve lace gown, with a full veil held in place by a stunning tiara.

UK secret coronavirus wedding of Princess Raiyah and Ned Donovan
The newlyweds looked breathtaking in wedding photos shared online. Photo: Twitter/ RaiyahHKJ

Her fiance Ned was decked out in tails with a blue waistcoat for the morning wedding.

Though not technical royalty himself, Ned does come from some serious British pedigree as the grandson of acclaimed children’s writer Roald Dahl.

Ned carried on the family’s literary tradition working as a journalist, most notably as a freelance foreign correspondent for major national titles.

Princess Raiya is the sister of current Jordanian King Abdullah II, and the fourth child of Queen Noor and King Hussein, who passed away in 1999.

The royal family extended their warm well wishes on the bittersweet occasion in an official statement.

"The Royal Hashemite Court extends its sincere congratulations to Her Royal Highness Princess Raiyah and to Mr. Donovan on this occasion,” the statement read.

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