Royal guard marries Hartlepool sweetheart in military wedding
A spot of colour came to Hartlepool at the weekend when a soldier married his bride in a military wedding.
Irish Guardsman Mark Cantwell married the love of his life Janine King at Hartlepool Borough Hall on Saturday afternoon wearing full dress uniform.
The regiment guards the royal palaces and are famous for their red tunics and bearskin caps.
Mark, a machine gunner who is currently serving with the 1st battalion Irish Guards, took part last year’s Trooping the Colour for the annual Queen’s Birthday Parade.
He is from Dublin and met personal assistant Janine, 28, who lives in Hartlepool, while he was on a drumming course at Catterick in January last year.
Mark said: “When we are not on frontline duties we are a ceremonial corps.
“We all play musical instruments and I play the side drum.”
Mark, 31, popped the question to Janine in a restaurant at Hartlepool marina but went to the wrong place at first.
He said: “I was sat there thinking this doesn’t look like the pictures.
“During the meal I got down on one knee and proposed and thankfully Janine said yes.”
The couple enjoyed a reception at the AVenue venue in Lauder Street.
But they are having to put their honeymoon on hold as Mark is being sent on duties today.
He added: “I have just got back from the Falklands and on Monday I am heading away so we won’t be going on honeymoon until June when we are going to Malta.
“Janine has accepted it and is getting used to it I think.”
Sadly, Mark’s comrades were not able to be at the wedding due to their upcoming service commitments.
But all of Janine’s family were there to welcome Mark into the family and make it a day to remember.
When not serving overseas, Mark and the regiment are based in central London as they guard the royal palaces including Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace.
They also take part in the famous changing of the guard ceremony every other day which is always popular with tourists.
When not deployed on operations the Irish Guards, known affectionately as the Micks, travel all over the world training and exploring.
They specialise in infantry combat with skills of reconnaissance, operating machine guns and mortars and anti tank operations.