HeadLine: Queen of style gets tartan-ed up for her Highland wedding
The Mirror, 19/12/2000, p4&5
by SHAUN MILNE
POP superstar Madonna and fiance Guy Ritchie swept into Scotland on a
private jet yesterday to prepare for the showbiz wedding of the year.
She was immediately dubbed ‘Mac-Donna’ after stepping onto the tarmac
at Inverness Airport wearing a distinctive heather-coloured tartan
And the Mirror can reveal that Madonna will perform a song she has
written especially about Guy immediately after the ceremony.
The queen of pop, flanked by security guards and her husband-to-be,
walked briskly to a fleet of waiting cars before making the journey to
But even she couldn’t resist cracking a smile when she heard piper
Calum Fraser give a blast of her early hit Like A Virgin on his chanter
before she left.
Fraser, from Granton on Spey, greeted her in full Highland Dress and
had learned the tune specially for the visit.
But not everything in the slick operation was quite as welcoming as a
nearby farmer polluted the cold air with the vile stench of slurry he
was spreading on a field.
There was even some suggestion he may have been some kind of bitter
Britney Spears fan as he only started the job 15 minutes before the
They had been granted special dispensation to leave from an RAF
airfield in England normally reserved for military or Royal flights at
11am, after a 25-minute delay caused by air traffic control problems.
The couple’s silky white 36-seater Falcon 2000 aircraft bearing
distinctive red and grey stripes touched down on the stroke of 1.27pm
in an area reserved for VIPs.
The single door of the jet dropped to reveal the short steps down to
the tarmac. The jet black pounds 50,000 Range Rovers stood just yards
A fleet of vehicles, including two British Airways trucks and the three
Range Rovers from Skibo Castle, with blacked out windows, had been
waiting to collect them.
Two bodyguards and two nannies appeared first and spoke to the drivers
before Guy Ritchie appeared, wearing a black polo neck jumper and grey
Still chewing food from the plane, he got into the back seat followed
by Madonna, her trademark blonde hair whipping about her face in the
A carrycot containing baby Rocco followed, then a strapping bodyguard
carried daughter Lourdes, four, shielding her from the waiting press.
The luggage was next with case after case being loaded into the convoy.
But several items were obviously too important to be carried by anyone
other than Madonna and her fiance.
First a suit carrier, obviously carrying the Hunting MacIntosh kilt
which Ritchie will wear for the wedding.
Then there was a white box which was thought to have been the pounds
30,000 designer christening gown for baby Rocco.
Baby Rocco is to be christened in Dornoch Cathedral on Thursday at
6.30pm, the day before the wedding in nearby luxury retreat Skibo
Castle at 6pm.
A guitar case was carried onto the Range Rover provoking excited talk
of a solo Madonna performance at her own wedding, perhaps with showbiz
But the Mirror has learned that she has actually composed a song to be
sung for Guy at the ceremony itself.
One close source revealed: “As far as I know it’s her own way of
showing how much she loves him.
“How much more romantic can you get than writing a song about someone.
“She’s not letting on about the words, but I know she’s run it past two
close music friends.”
Within 10 minutes of landing, the party was being driven away on the
45-mile journey to Skibo in Sutherland, which plays host to the
The couple’s aides were expected to collect the wedding certificate
from the Dornoch registrars and Madonna will remain at the Skibo
She will be guarded by a trained army of security guards and minders
until she travels to Dornoch Cathedral, where minister the Rev. Susan
Brown will christen Rocco.
Sting, at whose party Madonna and Ritchie met, is expected to sing at
the christening as well as the wedding.
Streets in Dornoch will be closed off to allow Madonna and child a
quick getaway to the privacy of Skibo.
Christenings are public events in Scotland and some of the public must
be allowed in to witness the baptism.
However, to prevent press infiltrating the ceremony, Madonna has
complied with Scots law by inviting a dozen church elders and a few of
the parishioners into the 400-seater Cathedral to join the 40 guests
before the doors are shut behind her.
She is not really expected to be seen until December 23, the day after
the wedding, when she has made provisional arrangements to leave.
However there have been a few hints that she may try her hand at clay
pigeon shooting on the estate, after getting lessons with Guy in
Reporters, photographers, and camera crews remained under the watchful
eye of police as they waited for their glimpse of the stars, which
eventually came half an hour later than scheduled.
They managed to snatch a few pictures during the brief transfer from
plane to cars.
Madonna had been expected to walk a few yards to the waiting fleet but
her security men advised against it and her entourage was only in view
for a few seconds.
But four fans who had turned up to see her got a closer view of the
action than they expected.
Airport security and police allowed them to join the media mass for a
Among them was Weeheong Barras, a 27-year-old optician from Inverness,
who was surprised more people had not turned up.
She said: “I don’t understand why there were not more people down here.
“I lived in London before and I never saw anyone, so it is ironic to be
in Inverness and see a celebrity.”
Anne Cowley, 51, from Culloden, near Inverness, added: “Life goes on as
normal no matter what has happened.
“This is why she has chosen here I think, because she knew this would
“They don’t get awe inspired with it all, it is just ‘let people get on
with their lives’.
“The venue she has chosen couldn’t be better. It is such a romantic
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