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Wedding nerves make media-shy Robbie a grumpy groom-to-be


I've scored! Soccer star Robbie Keane married his model sweetheart Claudine Palmer yesterday

I've scored! Soccer star Robbie Keane married his model sweetheart Claudine Palmer yesterday

I've scored! Soccer star Robbie Keane married his model sweetheart Claudine Palmer yesterday

ONE would think -- as he stepped out of a luxury Land Rover and walked through the doors of the opulent Ritz Carlton Hotel on the eve of his wedding to one of Ireland's most beautiful models -- that Robbie Keane would have had a smile on his face.

A long way from his humble beginnings in Tallaght, he was booking in to throw one of the most extravagant weddings the country had ever seen.

But his scowl at the sight of a photographer's long lens said it all. "I'm busy," he snapped when asked if he was looking forward to the big day. With that he marched through the doors to begin the four days of celebration of what was supposed to be the happiest occasion in his life.

In the hotel's public bar on the night before the ceremony, the Spurs footballer made it known in no uncertain terms what he thought of the media's presence.

Surrounded by a group of high profile footballers, including Manchester United's Michael Carrick and fellow team mates Gary Kelly and Ledley King, the groom-to-be was in no mood for uninvited guests.

"Do you want an interview? Do you? Do you? Let's take it outside so, you and me, let's go," he growled. When asked if he'd like to chat he turned to the other players and let out a loud laugh.

Inside the bar, staff attempted to calm Robbie down as he flapped and waved his hands in protest at the media's presence.

The couple had gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure the utmost privacy at the event.

For three days the entire hotel, golf course and most of the surrounding area had been put on security alert.

Hotel guests who weren't attending the wedding had been told to have their bags packed at noon on Saturday as the couple were taking over the entire venue.

Later in the night the Ireland forward was joined by fellow team mate Damien Duff. But it was off to bed early for the groom-to-be and he left his fellow revellers to enjoy the night.

Yesterday his model wife-to-be Claudine Palmer rolled up to the church in a Rolls Royce Phantom followed by a fleet of Bentley cars.

Wearing an Elie Saab Couture wedding dress of white silk and adorned with crystals and with jewellry by David Bell, she looked breathtaking as she made her way up the steps of St Alphonus and Columba Church in Ballybrack, Co Dublin.

Joan Palmer, mother of the bride, also wore an Elie Saab Couture creation in pale blue, while bridesmaids were dressed by Irish designer Fiona White.

No expense was spared as hydrangea flowers and white rose petals and candles in tall silver lanterns led Claudine up the aisle.

The groom wore a bespoke blue suit by top designer Thom Sweeney. Best men, Graham Keane and Matthew Murray, along with father of the bride, Denis Palmer, all wore Louis Copeland suits.

Music at the church was provided by the Dublin Gospel Choir, while veteran singer Mary Black gave a haunting solo performance during the wedding ceremony, which was conducted by Fr Dave Tyndall. Among the football stars at the church were Ian Harte, Jonathan Woodgate, Jamie Redknapp and Shay Given.

Back at the hotel guests were asked to leave their mobile phones with staff before being treated to a champagne reception and a five course meal before dancing the night away in a specially erected marquee.

The top secret tent was decorated in a royal purple and with a garden theme, a black and white dance floor provided the focal point for the night's revelry.

Giant chandeliers hung from a black ceiling which had been covered in hundreds of sparkling fairy lights and a bold pink fluffy disco ball creation hung in the middle of the room.

The bar remained open until 7am this morning and in case guests were in any doubt of whose wedding they were attending, the giant initials RCK (Robbie and Claudine Keane) had been splashed across its front. Staff members wore royal purple t-shirts bearing the initials.

This evening the couple will continue their celebrations when a second batch of guests attend a private barbecue in the hotel's grounds.

Internationally renowned party planner Peregrine Armstrong-Jones, head of Bentleys Entertainments, was in charge of the event, which is reported to have cost a six figure sum.

Mr Armstrong-Jones, who has orchestrated such wedding events as that of Victoria and David Beckham and Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish' civil union, denied earlier media reports that a deal had been struck with a glossy British magazine saying: "That's not Mr Keane's style."

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