| 1.7°C Dublin

Mr RocknRoll tunes up to strike right note for Kate

It can only be the real thing for the new Mr and Mrs RocknRoll, even if everything else in their lives might appear a touch make-believe. They are old hands at the marriage game, these glamorous 30-somethings, and you have to hope that this time they know what they're doing.

Mr RocknRoll, who used to be a popular London party boy called Ned Abel Smith, took Kate Winslet to be his wife at a small, unannounced ceremony shortly before Christmas. The groom, who apparently made up his new name because he didn't think the old one was enough fun, works for Virgin Galactic as "head of marketing promotion and astronaut experience", a job title he also made up.

According to his former wife, Eliza Pearson, the heiress daughter of Viscount Cowdray, he nevertheless takes the job seriously.

Kate Winslet, a different type of aristocrat with her movie career, cheerfully borne bodily "imperfections" and salty vocab, should be quite a catch. Her two previous husbands clearly thought so, although the complications of marriage have a way of catching her by surprise.


First came little-known London producer Jim Threapleton, whom she met on the set of a film called 'Hideous Kinky' and married in 1998. In early 2001, Kate was telling 'Glamour' magazine readers: "My husband is one in a million." Unfortunately, by the time the edition hit the streets, Mr Threapleton, with whom she has a daughter, Mia, now 12, had been dumped.

There were suggestions that the pair's career paths had diverged too widely – hers up and up, his bumping along the bottom – but that wasn't going to be a problem when she married Sam Mendes, the acclaimed British stage and movie director, in 2003.

Both were top Hollywood talents. They bought a manor house in the Cotswolds, had a son, Joe, and worked together on 'Revolution Road'. "I'm so lucky to have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children who let me do what I love, and love me just the way I am," she gushed at the 2009 Oscar ceremony. Within a year, they had separated.

From these mishaps, has grown the perception that Kate (37) is unlucky in love.

But can she do any better with RocknRoll, nephew of Richard Branson, and in charge of drumming up business for his space-travel venture? Raised in an arty London home, Ned has copious charm, impeccable manners and an endearing streak of eccentricity.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

In 2009, he married Eliza, then just 20, on Branson's private Caribbean island, Necker.

"What drew me to Ned was that he was unusual," Eliza later explained. "He only ever treated me with deep love and respect." But 20 months later, it was all over, Eliza having decided that she would like to spend more time pursuing her pet "green" projects. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Most Watched