He was one of the world’s most eligible bachelors, brother to the future queen of England and rather easy on the eye. But when Alizée Thevenet (32) first met James Middleton, she thought he was a waiter and proceeded to order a drink.
That was three years ago and now the loved-up couple have said their I do’s in an intimate ceremony in the south of France in Alizée’s home country.
James (34) couldn’t help sharing a gushing Instagram post about his new wife a day after they tied the knot.“Yesterday I married the love of my life surrounded by family, friends and of course a few dogs in the beautiful village or Bormes-les-Mimosas.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the 50 guest but maintained a low profile, says François Arizzi, the mayor of Bormes-les-Mimosas, who officiated the ceremony.
“They were very discreet. They didn’t want to steal the show from the newlyweds,” he told French publication Var Matin. He added all the guests, most of whom were VIPs, were “casually dressed”.
“Prince William didn’t have any formal attire but wore a beige and off-white suit. Catherine had a long, light-green coloured dress on.”
Also in attendance was James’ other sister, Pippa Middleton, and her investor husband, James Matthews, as well as parents Carole and Michael Middleton.
Alizée's mom, Laurence, was also in attendance but sadly the event was tinged with sadness as her retired diplomat father, Jean-Gabriel Thevenet, died before he could walk her down the aisle.
"I know that Alizée wanted her father to be there too," a source told the UK's Daily Mail. "But it wasn't to be. They had to delay the wedding twice (because of Covid restrictions) and it was too late for him."
The picturesque village was chosen, Arizzi says, because the Thevenet family recently “bought a home here”. Security was tight and the entire event was organised “with the utmost discretion”.
Also at the event were two of the couples’ beloved dogs, Luna and Mabel.
Dogs have a special place in these two animal-lovers’ hearts as it was one of James’ cocker spaniels who played accidental matchmaker.
“I was at the South Kensington Club in Chelsea, London when my dog Ella made a beeline for her,” says James, who launched his own mail order dog food company, Ella & Co, last year.
“Rather embarrassed, I went over to apologise and bring Ella back. But Alizée thought I was the waiter and ordered her drink while continuing to stroke Ella, who at this point was on her back lapping up the attention. Little did I know, but I had just met my future wife, all thanks to Ella.”
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A year later they got engaged with James popping the question during a trip to the Lake District in England. Their wedding had to be postponed twice in 2020 due to Covid but after restrictions eased this year they finally got to celebrate their big day.
Alizée’s introduction to the royal family came when she accompanied him to the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor in May 2019 at Windsor Castle.
The financial analyst was more than comfortable hobnobbing with the rich and royal. She’s certainly no naive ingenue.
She was born in France but grew up all over the world, including countries like Chile and Indonesia thanks to her father’s diplomat career. As a result she’s fluent in French, Spaniah and English.
She still loves to travel and her Instagram account is full of holiday shots, showing her relaxing on the beach in Greece and exploring the colourful streets of Thailand.
She boasts two degrees: one in finance from Brussels University and a masters in investment and finance from the University of London.
She’s built up a high-level career in finance ever since, and is currently a director at TreasurySpring, a fin-tech firm that uses digital channels to connect cash rich firms to institutional borrowers.
On her Linkedin profile, she describes herself as having a “high work ethic and dedication to success” as well as “always being open to new ideas”.
Away from work, she loves to get stuck into skiing, sailing and other water sports – and according to her late dad even her name was inspired by his own love of windsurfing.
She also recently took up beekeeping, which James seemed particularly pleased about. “I’m glad too that my fiancée, Alizée, is a convert,” he wrote in the UK’s Daily Mail last year.
“Early in our relationship I bought her a beekeeping suit and when she’s helping me with the hives, as she has been during the weeks of lockdown we’ve spent at Bucklebury, she couldn’t be happier.”
The two looked happy posing bee-side the eight hives that James keeps at his parents’ home Bucklebury Manor in Berkshire. No doubt they’ll be setting up their own hives in the new home they’ve bought on the outskirts of Bucklebury.
READ MORE |James Middleton and fiancée Alizée Thevenet are ditching the city for life in the country
They splashed out on a £1,45 million (R28,2 million) four-bedroom farmhouse earlier this year, leaving London where they’ve been based for the past few years.
Though she’s now permanently based in the UK, friends insist she hasn’t lost sight of her heritage. One told the UK’s Daily Mail that Alizée was “about as French as you get. She only drinks red wine and loves cheese”.
Her new home is as English countryside as it gets. Luckily Alizée seems to get on swimmingly with her new in-laws and the rest of James’ family, who all live nearby.
The couple were previously spotted on holiday in St Bart’s with Pippa, her husband, James, as well as James’ brother, Spencer Matthews, and his influencer wife, Vogue Williams.The Thevenet family are also taken with James.
As Alizée’s father formerly told the Mail Online, “James and the Middleton family are very charming. I am very happy she is together with him. I know she’s very happy.”
Sources: tattler.com, mirror.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, goodto.com