Rupert Murdoch has described himself as the “luckiest man in the world” after marrying model Jerry Hall in a simple civil ceremony in London.
Less than two months after getting engaged, Murdoch and Hall tied the knot in a surprisingly low-key manner at Spencer House in central London on Friday.
The duo happily posed for cameras outside the private palace, beaming from ear to ear and sharing a few pecks on the cheek.
Murdoch, 84, wore a navy suit while Hall, 59, wore a knee-length navy dress, black flats, stockings and a white coat and flashed her marquise diamond engagement ring, which is reportedly worth £2.4 million, or AUD$4.5 million.
After the official ceremony, Murdoch took to Twitter to tell his followers he would be offline for a while.
“No more tweets for ten days or ever!” Murdoch wrote, “Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man in the world.”
According to reports, Murdoch enjoyed a bachelor party in Las Vegas a week ago before flying to London for the nuptials.
While it is the fourth marriage for Murdoch it is technically Hall’s first – she married Mick Jagger in an unofficial Hindu ceremony in 1990.
During their divorce proceedings a British court deemed the marriage invalid.
The civil ceremony
The Australian-born executive chairman of News Corp wed his Texan bride at a venue steeped in significance and British history.
Spencer House is a private 18th-century aristocratic palace overlooking Green Park that is owned by the Spencer family, relatives of Princess Diana.
The ceremony was witnessed by Murdoch’s son Lachlan, who attended with wife Sarah, and Hall’s close friend Suzanne Acosta, who is married to Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman.
After the ceremony, the group headed to Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair for a casual breakfast.
The family celebration
While they kept the official proceedings intimate, Hall and Murdoch invited friends and family to celebrate the wedding with them during a ceremony on Saturday at St Bride’s Church on Fleet Street.
Just over 100 guests joined the couple as they celebrated their union in a more traditional manner.
Murdoch arrived at the venue a little after 10.30am (2130 AEDT).
Flanked by his sons, he paused briefly for photographs before entering through the church gates.
Murdoch was dressed in a navy blue suit and wore smart tan shoes.
Shortly afterwards top media figures including British TV executive Alan Yentob, Rebekah Brooks and editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre arrived.
Barry Humphries, the Australian comedian better known as Dame Edna Everage, joked: “I’m not getting married” as reporters asked him how he was feeling.
“I’m very happy. I think it’s great, I like them both, he said.
“The wedding present was hard to work out. I always liked Jerry but unfortunately I’m married,” he joked, before entering the church.
Bob Geldof and the Turner prize-nominated artist Tracey Emin were also on the guest list.
Reverend Canon Dr Alison Joyce, who lead the service, told People the St Bride’s service was designed to allow Hall and Murdoch to “give thanks for their marriage, and renew their marriage vows before God”.
Murdoch’s two daughters with Wendi Deng – Grace, 14, and Chloe, 12 – were in attendance, as were Hall’s four children with Mick Jagger – Georgia May, 24, Elizabeth, 32, James, 30, and Gabriel, 18.
Murdoch’s niece Penny Fowler, who introduced the pair, was also present.
A garment bag from British designer Vivienne Westwood was spotted leaving Hall’s accommodation, with reports suggesting she wore an ice-blue gown from Westwood’s bridal line for her big day.
Social media reacts
It was a mix of celebration and ridicule online when news of the high-profile union broke.
Television presenter Piers Morgan took to Twitter to congratulate his former boss, tweeting: “I’d like to wish my ex boss @rupertmurdoch all the best for his marriage to Jerry Hall tomorrow. Never seen him look so happy.”
Others were less kind about the couple’s 25-year age gap, with many Twitter users joking about the all-important wedding night.
A Guardian cartoon inspired by the wedding was also unflattering.
The fact St Bride’s Church prides itself on being the “parish church of journalism” didn’t sit well with some commentators.
“Rupert Murdoch has some nerve getting married in St Bride’s, given his pivotal role, particularly in the 1980s, in destroying journalism. It’s like Dracula getting married in a blood bank,” British MP Dave Nellist told The Independent.
“Murdoch f***** the street over and then moved on to rule the world. He shouldn’t be asking for this special church to bless him,” Fleet Street newspaper vendor John Edwards added.
– with AAP