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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 12, 1969

On this date, Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office.

Paul's brother Mike is best man, Mal Evans is a witness, and Linda's daughter, Heather, is flower girl. Magistrate E.R. Sanders performs the ceremony, which is followed by a luncheon at the Ritz Hotel. None of the other Beatles or family members are in attendance (they weren't invited). A throng of crying female fans waited outside for the newlywed couple to make their way to their car. (The fact that Paul was no longer a bachelor was not well-received at the time.)

Although the event was supposed to be a secret, many onlookers and reporters heard about it and turned up for a glimpse of the couple. The registry office had been booked the previous day, and McCartney had bought a £12 ring "just before the shop shut".

Paul McCartney remembers...."We were crazy. We had a big argument the night before we got married and it was nearly called off. We were very up and down, quite funky compared to the eventual image of 'Twenty-five years of married bliss! Aren't they lucky for people in showbiz?' But we are. You get this picture of us swanning along in a little rowboat managing to avoid the white water, but we were right in the middle of that white water, man, so it's even more miraculous that we made it. But we did."

I really don't remember whether or not I invited any of the band to the wedding. Why not? I'm a total bastard, I suppose – I don't know, really. Maybe it was because the group was breaking up. We were all pissed off with each other. We certainly weren't a gang any more. That was the thing. Once a group's broken up like that, that's it.

Mike McCartney's train broke down during his journey from Birmingham to London, and he arrived an hour late. Although he presumed the wedding would have finished, he took the waiting limousine to the registry office, where he found huge crowds of weeping fans. Inside Paul and Linda were waiting for him to arrive.

After the ceremony the wedding party went to St John's Wood Church where the marriage was blessed by Reverend Noel Perry-Gore.

Marylebone Register Office is today known as Westminster Register Office, and is based at Westminster Council House, Marylebone Road, London.

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