SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Even a Duke's heir has to cut guest list for ...

Love-struck couples across the land have opted to delay their nuptials in 2020, hoping that the 'old normal' will return next year.

But no such hesitancy has afflicted the Marquess of Worcester, 31, and his fiancée, Lucy Yorke-Long, 34, who, I can disclose, took the plunge at the weekend.

It helped, of course, that they had the perfect venue at their disposal — Badminton House, the sumptuous Gloucestershire family seat inherited by Bobby Worcester's father, 'Bunter', when he succeeded as the 12th Duke of Beaufort following his own father's death in 2017.

The couple, who got engaged last October, were obliged to trim back their guest list to just the closest members of their families and a handful of friends — even though Badminton boasts 40 bedrooms.

The Marquess of Worcester, 31, and his fiancée, Lucy Yorke-Long, 34, pictured on horseback on their wedding day over the weekend

The Marquess of Worcester, 31, and his fiancée, Lucy Yorke-Long, 34, pictured on horseback on their day over the weekend

The new Marquess and Marchioness embarked on married life on horseback, riding off across the family estate — but not before Lucy had tossed her bridal bouquet into the air. 

Bobby’s sister Bella, 29, who has recently found lover with Santiago Santos, a Mexican lawyer with whom she saddled up while leading a trek across Nepal, tried to catch it. The groom’s mother Tracy Worcester tells me: ‘We were lucky as the sun shone and having only 30 of Bobby and Lucy’s nearest and dearest friends and family was a treat for all involved,’ she tells me ‘ Despite Bella’s athletic jump the bouquet hit the ground.' 

Last year bride Lucy told the Diary: 'We met through mutual friends at a party. It was very random. Bobby and I were seated next to each other at a dinner. The person who put us next to each other would claim it was a set-up but, who knows, it might have just been luck.'

They had the perfect venue at their disposal — Badminton House, the sumptuous Gloucestershire family seat inherited by Bobby Worcester’s father, ‘Bunter’. Pictured: The happy couple pose for a photograph on their wedding day

They had the perfect venue at their disposal — Badminton House, the sumptuous Gloucestershire family seat inherited by Bobby Worcester's father, 'Bunter'. Pictured: The happy couple pose for a photograph on their day

The couple, who got engaged last October, were obliged to trim back their guest list to just the closest members of their families and a handful of friends — even though Badminton boasts 40 bedrooms. Bobby’s sister, Bella, 29, caught the bouquet

The couple, who got engaged last October, were obliged to trim back their guest list to just the closest members of their families and a handful of friends — even though Badminton boasts 40 bedrooms. Bobby's sister, Bella, 29, caught the bouquet

The Marquess of Worcester stands to inherit his father's estimated £315 million fortune, which includes the 52,000-acre estate in Gloucestershire. Former estate agent Lucy is perfectly equipped to fit in. 'She's a smasher — with a ready smile and a warm welcome,' a friend tells me. 'And she loves riding.'

Bunter Beaufort, the father of the groom, married journalist Georgia Powell two years ago after divorcing his eco-crusader wife Tracy. 

Family friend Taki, the indefatigable playboy, assures me that whatever the may have lacked in numbers, it will have made up for in style.

'You never have a bad time at Badminton,' he tells me.

'It was fun under Bunter's father and it was certainly fun last year at the ball Bunter gave,' adds Taki, who has known Bobby since he was born.

Corking news. Bridget Jones star Celia Imrie admits she always keeps a bottle of champagne in her fridge at home. 'It's the most marvellous thing to celebrate with,' she

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