The village of Loughall, in County Armagh, played host to the royal wedding of local teacher Kirsty Crooks who married Prince Mustapha Oniru of Lagos.
The royal couple tied the knot at Crooks’ Loughgall Presbyterian Church, with guests including the King Idowu Abiodun Oniru and Queen Olori Arike Oniru, who wore traditional Nigerian ceremonial dress for the wedding. Their son opted for a beige three-piece suit.
The guests then travelled to the reception at Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, where Paul McCartney and Heather Mills held their wedding in 2002.
Speaking to BBC Ulster Crooks said she had an “amazing day” and was looking forward to her “new life as a princess”.
Crooks (27), a teacher, met Prince Mustapha at the British International School in Lagos, where he is the school administrator. She was hired two years ago as a language teacher and told the BBC she wasn’t aware of his royal status as first.
She explained “To be honest, when I first met him I had no idea that he was actually the prince.
“He's very, very humble and he doesn't even like to be called it, so when we're here you wouldn't even realise, but when you went to Lagos you would certainly know who he was.”
A large entourage arrived to Armagh, including other Nigerian kings and chiefs. They all went to Crook’s grandmother’s house, where the two families formally met. Crooks explained that this is “customary in Nigerian tradition”.
The bride’s mother, Lynne Harvey, said the traditional costumes at the wedding were a “breathtaking display of colour” but added that the Irish end of the wedding were “definitely not upstaged”. Harvey and Crooks both dressed in traditional Nigerian costumes, and headdresses for the evening reception.
The new princess' father, Kyle, played the pipes at what Lynne described as a “very traditional Irish wedding”.
Harvey said “We wanted them to know that we appreciated and respected their culture...It was such an honour to have the king here because traditionally that would never happen and we were very honoured that he was willing to come here and allow our daughter to get married in her tradition, and in her Christian church.”
Speaking about her daughter’s new status Harvey said “She will always be a princess, she didn't need to marry a king's son.”
The newly married couple will travel to Monaco and St Tropez for their honeymoon.
They are currently based in London, where Crooks teaches GCSE and A level French and German to high school students in Uxbridge.
The pair plan to set up a base in Northern Ireland although it’s likely they will split their time between Northern Ireland and Nigeria, where they will have royal duties to perform.
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