Melissa's Kelpie's joy as she weds own prince on historic day
A Northern Ireland couple who married at the same time as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went to great lengths to ensure the royal wedding stole none of their thunder.
Londonderry bride Melissa Kelpie (33) married her own prince Shaun Rabbett (33) at St Patrick's Church in Pennyburn on Saturday as Harry and Meghan were saying their vows at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
And the couple went all out to ensure their day rivalled the glitz and glam of the royal affair.
Melissa was ferried from her Ballyarnett home to the church service in a stunning carriage led by two white horses and attended to by three footmen. And the bride, aware that she was sharing her day with another bride in London, wore a huge diamond encrusted crown to ensure she shone just as brightly as the 'Princess of Derry'.
"We had this date booked for over two years and were over the Moon when we heard they had booked today for their wedding also," she said.
"It's a very special day for them and for us. And it's made all the more special because of our little baby girl Faith, our miracle IVF baby, who is our flower girl today. We called her Faith after all the prayers we had to say for her over the years. To have her here with us is just beautiful.
"We might not have kings and queens at our wedding, but our family are all royalty and we're delighted they can all be here to celebrate with us."
And Melissa says that she was adamant that the royal wedding was not going to steal any of her thunder.
"We travelled in style, my husband and I," she said. "We hired the horse-drawn carriage which was lovely to arrive at the church in. I also had my beautiful, big, high diamond crown. I love my diamonds, my glitz and glam. We gave Meghan and Harry a run for their money and I felt like a real princess today.
"We obviously didn't get to see the royal wedding live as it was on at the same time as our own, but I got someone to record it for me so I'll be able to watch it later if I get a chance."