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These couples shared their big day with Duchess Kate and William ... so has married life gone royally for them?

By Stephanie Bell

Three local couples recall their first year as man and wife.

This time last year the eyes of the world were on Prince William and Kate as they became man and wife.

A year on and it will be a very different story as the Royal couple celebrate their first wedding anniversary hidden away from the public.

The young Royals have decided to mark their first year of marriage enjoying some quality time alone on a romantic break at a location which is being kept a closely guarded secret.

Kate and William aren’t the only young couple who have something special to celebrate this week.

As millions sat glued to their TV screens on April 29 last year, three local couples were also exchanging vows and enjoying the excitement of their own big day.

We caught up with them a year on from their big day to find out what their first year as a married couple has been like and what their plans are to mark their first wedding anniversaries.‘We’ll have a romantic meal on Sunday’

Kelly Beacom (22), an auxiliary nurse from Enniskillen married Warren McAdam (31), a plumber also from Enniskillen. They have one son, Caolan (2). Kelly says:

I was delighted that Prince William and Kate were getting married on the same day that we were. Their initials W and K are even the same as ours. I thought it would help make our day even more special for us.

Warren and I met when we both worked in the same chip shop part-time while we were studying.

We knew each other for three years before he finally plucked up the courage to ask me out. We were together three years when he proposed. It was very romantic and I wasn’t expecting it at all.

We were staying in a log cabin at Lough Lomond for his cousin’s wedding and he got down on two knees and asked me to marry him.

He had even asked my parents beforehand and had bought the ring and it was such a surprise.

I have always wanted a big wedding so we had to save for three years to pay for it. Fortunately for William and Kate they didn’t have to worry about that. It was everything I had hoped for and more.

We got married in St Michael’s Chapel in Enniskillen and our reception was in the Cavan Hotel in Kilmore. The sun shone and everything went to plan. It really was a perfect day. I would do it all again tomorrow.

I didn’t see the Royal wedding until the next day when I watched it on TV.

We’ve had a great and very busy year and we are delighted to have a baby on the way in October.

For our first anniversary we are planning to go back to Kilmore where we had our reception and enjoy a romantic meal, just the two of us. I think it will be lovely to go back to the place where we celebrated our wedding day.

Married life is great and I can’t believe a year has passed already, it has gone so quickly.”

‘We’ve just been so busy’

Helen Bell (28), a primary school teacher from Newtownbutler married William Noble (32), a bank worker from Enniskillen in Galloon Church of Ireland in her home town. Helen says:

I had been a bit worried that because of the Royal Wedding my guests would be sneaking away at my reception to watch it on the TV. As it turned out I saw more of it than they did. I had the TV on while I was getting ready and got to see Kate.

My guests were all making their way to the church at the time and so they were all asking me what Kate’s dress was like. I wasn’t that impressed to be honest. I thought she looked really skinny and her makeup wasn’t great. Her dress was lovely although I preferred Pippa’s dress.

William and I met five years ago through a friend. She thought we would suit each other and so she set us up on a blind date. The attraction was pretty instant for both of us.

We got engaged in April 2009. William booked a meal for us at the Manor House Hotel and we arrived early so he suggested going for a walk to the jetty. He proposed on the jetty and I honestly wasn’t expecting it but of course, I said yes. It was a bit choppy on the jetty so he didn’t risk getting down on bended knee. We were going to get married earlier in April but it would have clashed with Easter so we picked April 29.

Our wedding couldn’t have gone any better. The weather was gorgeous and it just made the day extra special as everyone was able to go outside and enjoy the views over Lough Erne.

Married life is great. I can’t believe it has been a year. It has flown by because we have been so busy getting the house organised. My heart goes out to Kate and William because they don’t seem to get to spend a lot of time together with William being away so much.

There is talk about when they will have a baby but you would wonder how they will plan that with having to spend so much time apart. As a newlywed I couldn’t imagine not being with each other all the time.

We actually haven’t made any real plans for celebrating our first anniversary. We will probably just go out for a meal, nothing too exciting.”

‘A baby for our anniversary’

Noelle McKiernan (32), a phlebotomist from Cavan and John Melligan (33), an electrical engineer met the same year as Kate and Prince William and married on the same day as the Royal couple. They will mark their first wedding anniversary by welcoming their first baby into the world. Noelle says:

I work in Dublin and I met Johnny eight years ago in a bar in the city. He was wearing a motorbike jacket and that did it for me and I have to confess that I was the one who approached him.

He finally proposed on my 30th birthday and it was very romantic. He took me to Miami for my birthday and proposed on bended knee on the beach. We then picked the ring together in New York. I don’t know why he left it so long, I suppose he is a typical laid back Irish man. Because we had been together eight years it hasn’t felt any different being married. It has been a mad year because we got the keys to our house three weeks before our wedding and we haven’t stopped all year, getting the house sorted out.

We are expecting our first baby any day now. I couldn’t believe it when they

told me my due date was yesterday, but maybe he or she will be late and arrive on the 29th which would be a perfect first anniversary present. Because the baby is due we have made no plans to celebrate our anniversary, as the baby will be celebration enough. We don’t know if we are having a boy or a girl and I can’t wait to find out. It was a surprise to both of us as we hadn’t planned it but we were both thrilled. We’ve been together a long time so it just seems natural to be starting a family.

I think Kate and William won’t be as lucky planning their family so soon even though they have been together the same length of time as we have. They both seem so busy with their Royal lives. Our wedding day was amazing, the sun shone and it was just the best day ever. I was sorry when it ended and I would gladly do it all over again. We got married in Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Cavan and our reception was in the Farnham Estate.

I didn’t get to see Kate until the next day as I was more excited about my own big day. The priest did refer to the Royal Wedding during the mass and said he was conducting his own royal wedding which I thought was lovely. There was talk among the guests about it outside the church but it didn’t impinge in any way on our enjoyment of our day.”

... and how did Wills and Kate get on?

After the stunning Royal Wedding in Westminster Abbey, the couple left 10 days later for a 10-day honeymoon in the Pacific island state of the Seychelles. They had visited the patchwork of 115 islands in 2007 shortly after getting back together after their five-month break-up

  • William’s job as a RAF search and rescue pilot has meant he spent a sizeable amount of time away from his new bride, including six weeks in the Falklands
  • In February, Kate performed her first solo royal engagement when she visited a Lucien Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London
  • She threw herself enthusiastically into charity work and made her first public speech in March during a visit to Treehouse, a new service run by East Anglia Children’s Hospice in Ipswich
  • Previously she had joined the Queen for a series of engagements in Leicester to mark the start of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee tour
  • The highlight of their year was undoubtedly the 10-day visit to Canada (top) and Los Angeles in July
  • Tinseltown was in awe of the royal couple (left) with stars keen to be snapped with the couple when they attended a black-tie dinner where the guest list included A-listers such as Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman
  • They visited an art initiative in LA’s Skid Row and a group which finds jobs for military veterans
  • As they prepare for their anniversary they have been performing a number of official duties in London

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