THREE years after a swashbuckling marriage proposal – which even featured on the front page of The News – the happy couple have finally said their vows.
Clare Armstrong, nee Wood, was swept off her feet by sailor boyfriend Karl Armstrong on April 23, 2008, who burst into a class of year four pupils at Arundel Court Junior School in Northam Street, Landport, Portsmouth, in full uniform and asked her to marry him.
The scene – caught on camera by The News – was likened to the romantic proposal in the film An Officer and a Gentleman during which Richard Gere in his navy whites sweeps Debra Winger off her feet.
Our Fratton couple’s Hollywood ending came this week when they tied the knot at the Round Tower.
They sealed the deal with fish and chips at the Still & West pub in Old Portsmouth – wrapped up in The News’ original article of the proposal.
Clare, 31, who is now on honeymoon in Portugal, said: ‘It was amazing – everything was perfect.
‘I’m a Portsmouth girl and it was a true Portsmouth wedding, taking in some great landmarks.
‘We did it around the theme of the sea – the wedding and reception venues looked out onto the sea and our cake was 100 cupcakes filled with ice-cream. We had our fish and chips wrapped in a copy of The News that reported the story of how Karl proposed to me.
‘It was a really special touch and we’ve loved having our local paper celebrate the marriage with us.’
‘I’m still amazed when I think back to the proposal – it’s something that has gone down in history at my school. Even though the children in the class at the time have left, some of their siblings are at the school and teachers still talk about it in the staff room. I’m looking forward to going back to school after the half term as Mrs Armstrong.’
Forty guests attended the non-religious wedding ceremony before the party headed to the pub for food, live music and karaoke.
Karl, who left the navy a year ago to spend more time with his family, said: ‘In years to come we will take out our copies of The News and show the children and grandchildren what we did – they’ll have a hard act to follow!’