Weather presenter Siân Lloyd has secretly married at a private ceremony, just a month after getting engaged.
Ms Lloyd, 49, married motor racing entrepreneur Jonathan Ashman, 59, at the luxury Portmeirion Hotel in Snowdonia.
Mr Ashman proposed last month while the pair were on holiday at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Staff at the luxury five-star hotel were sworn to secrecy, but the pair – who have struck a magazine deal for coverage of the wedding – were rumbled by other guests enjoying a New Year break.
Stifyn Parri, a close friend of Ms Lloyd and a guest at the wedding, said the event had been “very tasteful and very Welsh”.
“It was a short, simple ceremony, there was no fuss and no nonsense,” he said. “I gave Siân a gift of a Welsh cheese, a St Dwynwen’s cheese from Anglesey in the shape of a heart.
“Our friendship is based on laughter and eating, and there was plenty of both.
“It was all very, very simple. I think we got together at 12.30pm and left about 4pm. We were in a private room at the back of the hotel at Portmeirion which looks down on the beach. It was just very elegant and simple.”
Among the seven guests were opera singer Bryn Terfel and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s son Euan, who is dating Mr Ashman’s 19-year-old daughter Suzanne.
Ms Lloyd wore a designer cream dress and took part of her wedding vows in Welsh.
She and Mr Ashman were booked into a nearby holiday home in the picturesque Italianate village.
A guest at the hotel, who photographed the bride on his digital camera as she left wearing an ankle-length cream coat with faux fur collar, said, “It was a very private ceremony and it was extremely low key. The hotel was full at the time, but I think it was with people largely unconnected with the wedding.
“She came back into the hotel about an hour later wearing designer jeans and more casual clothing saying she had left something in the hotel and had come back for it.”
The village of Portmeirion became famous as the backdrop for 1960s TV classic The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan.
Ms Lloyd, from Neath, had previously been engaged to Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, but the pair split in 2006. Mr Opik is now with Gabriela Irimia, 24, of the Cheeky Girls pop duo.
The Montgomeryshire MP said yesterday as he was filmed trying his hand at clay pigeon shooting at the Mid Wales Shooting Centre, near Llanidloes, “I don’t want to be rude, but Siân has spent an awful lot of the past 14 months talking about me and my relationship with Gabriela.
“I hope now she’s married, she will really be able to move on... she decided to end her relationship with me and I must respect that. She has a new husband, I have Gabriela now I hope she’ll wish me well as I wish her.”
Mr Ashman and Ms Lloyd first met in March last year at a reception in the Wales Office in Whitehall, hosted by Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, a friend of Mr Ashman’s. The Welsh Secretary has since joked about his ability to play cupid.
He said yesterday, “I’m delighted for both of them, they are both good people and Siân of course is a Welsh star in her own right.
“Jonathan is somebody I have known for 15 years as a fellow motor-racing enthusiast, and the fact that they met at a Wales Office reception and instantly hit it off is wonderful.”
Mr Ashman has been married previously but it was the first time for Ms Lloyd.
The couple now divide their time between Ms Lloyd’s’s home in Mid Wales and her new husband’s luxury mansion in Kensington.
Mr Ashman is president of the FIA Touring Car Commission, and chairs the World Touring Car Championship Bureau.
He was formerly marketing director of the Motor Sports Association, partly responsible for staging the British Grand Prix.
Ms Lloyd has worked as a TV weather presenter for 18 years.