While eyes around the world will be glued to TV screens to watch Will and Kate get hitched today, in Inishowen eyes will be firmly focused on the youngest from a family of 19 who’ll also be walking down the aisle to marry her Prince.
When Leonie Doherty and John Gillen, from Moville, set their wedding date more than a year and a half ago they had no idea they’d be sharing it with Prince William and Kate Middleton.
In fact since the Royal wedding was announced at the beginning of this year the pair have had nothing but jibes from friends and family joking they’ll be too busy watching the Royal affair to attend their big day.
But while big celebrations are planned for the Royals, 28-year-old Leonie has said the ‘craic will definitely be better in Ballyliffin today’.
The pair will be getting married at Moville’s St Piux X church followed by a reception at The Strand Hotel in Ballyliffin.
And while bride Kate may have a ton of servants helping her get ready for her 2,000 guests, luckily Leonie’s been able to take full advantage of coming from a big family and has roped in her 18 brothers and sisters to help her prepare for her 200 guests.
Not only is Leonie tying-the-knot to love of her life John, also 28, on a memorable day there’s also another cause for celebration - Leonie’s the youngest, and last, of her 18 siblings - Bernadette (52), Anne-Marie (50), Patricia (49), Hillary (48), Shaun (47), Paula (46), Hugh (45) Mary-Majella (44) Antionette (43), Seamus (41), Laura (39), Joe (38), Roy (36), Gemma (35), Colm (34), Orla (33), Roma (32, Paul (30) - to walk down the aisle.
Speaking to the Journal yesterday she said: “We’re really looking forward to it, I’m a bit nervous at this stage but can’t wait.
“I’m the last of 19 to get married in my house so there’s definitely going to be a big celebration in Ballyliffin today.
“All my brothers and sisters are all looking forward to the day, Unfortunately Gemma won’t be able to make it as she’s in New York.”
As Leonie weds her driving instructor husband-to-be John she said she can’t believe the pair will be getting hitched the same day as the Royals, but was quick to inform the Journal they’d booked their wedding more than a year and a half ago. And she’s determined Will and Kate won’t be stealing their thunder today.
She said: “It was a surprise to us that we were getting married the same day as them, but we booked our chapel and hotel more than a year and a half ago.
“I’m completely fine with getting married the same day as Kate and William, just as long as nobody decides to stay at home to watch the TV instead of coming to our wedding.
“Everybody will certainly remember the anniversary, that’s for sure.”
One of the reasons Leonie chose the date was because it’s her godson Tony’s birthday and the wedding anniversary of her brother Joe to his wife Sharon.
The happy couple have been dating for more than two years and coincidentally John’s brother Eamon is wedded to Leonie’s sister Orla.
Like Kate and William Inishowen’s happy couple also got engaged abroad, it was in Bulgaria that John popped the question to the childcare worker Leonie, taking her completely by surprise.
And for the next two weeks the pair plan to be treated liked royalty as they lap it up on their honeymoon in beautiful Cancun in in Mexico for two weeks of sunshine.