Just married: Simon and Victoria Maccabe
When your dad is a Companion of the Order of the Bath, you just have to wed your beautiful bride in the Lady Chapel of Westminster Abbey.
And that’s just what Simon Maccabe (28), host at the Cafe Smart coffee shop and art gallery on the Belmont Road in Belfast, did when he and Victoria McBurney wed.
Marriage in the Abbey is a rare privilege accorded only to members of the Royal Family and to members of the Order of the Bath and their children.
Chris Maccabe, father of the groom, was appointed to the Order (CB) by the Queen in 2004.
It is the premier meritorious Order of the Crown, established by King George I in 1725.
Other past and present members include the Prince of Wales, President George Bush, Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.
Chris Maccabe is a former political director of the Northern Ireland Office and is currently a member of the International Commission verifying the ceasefire of the terrorist group ETA in the Basque Country.
Victoria is the daughter of John McBurney, the well-known Banbridge solicitor, and his wife, Roberta.
It was a memorable day for Chris and his wife, Jenny, and his widowed mother, Glady Maccabe, as Simon and Victoria, a solicitor like her father, took their vows.
The ceremony was performed by the Dean of Westminster, the Right Rev Dr John Hall, who also officiated at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Simon’s brother-in-law, Rev Peter Foster, gave the address and Victoria’s aunt, Presbyterian chaplain Muriel Cromie, read a lesson.
The best man was Raymond Hanvey and the matron of honour was Victoria’s sister, Rachel McConville.
Maintaining the day’s historic theme, the reception was held at Shakespeare’s Globe.
The Lady (Order of the Bath) Chapel, to give it its full title, is the section of the Abbey behind the High Altar, which was built by Henry VII, who died in 1509 and is interred there together with 13 other kings and queens, including Elizabeth I, Charles II, William III and Queen Mary.
The designation ‘of the Bath’ is of late medieval origin and is associated with ritual washing and spiritual purification.