Big Issue Vendor

‘I’m a diplomat here’ Big Issue vendor at heart of PM’s ‘secret’ wedding

While Boris Johnson’s wedding to Carrie Symonds might have evaded the press on May 29, Big Issue vendor Adrian Richmond was on the scene
Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses with his wife Carrie Johnson in the garden of 10 Downing Street following their wedding at Westminster Cathedral on May 29. The secretly planned wedding took place in a small ceremony on Saturday afternoon. Johnson is the first Prime Minister to get married while in office in nearly 200 years. Image credit: Rebecca Fulton / Downing Street via Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘secret’ wedding to Carrie Symonds might have escaped the eyes of the press but there was no getting past Big Issue vendor Adrian Richmond.

Adrian was one of the few onlookers outside Westminster Cathedral as the pair tied the knot in the wedding of the year on May 29.

The 52-year-old seller, who has sold the magazine outside the cathedral for a decade, was quoted in The Sun wishing the pair well after the happy couple managed to sneak through the ceremony in secret.

He said: “Somebody I recognise came out of a service there earlier in the day and said, “You won’t believe who’s getting married here later!” He said, “It’s Boris Johnson”.

“My jaw nearly dropped to the floor. This is smack bang in central London.

“We are from different worlds but I feel he is on our side.”

We’ve had it all here. We’ve had Harry, we’ve had Princess Anne, we’ve had the previous PopeAdrian Richmond, Big Issue vendor

Speaking to The Big Issue in the days after the ceremony, Adrian said he enjoyed being a part of the action on the central London pitch and had become used to high-profile visitors.

“I knew something was going down early on, I saw a chopper come down low near the archbishop’s house at the back and I know when to mind my own business,” said Adrian. “But if there is something going on then people will tell me.

“They did it and they pulled it off without a leak. You couldn’t have done that at the registry office, there would have been someone watching there the whole time.

“We’ve had it all here. We’ve had Harry, we’ve had Princess Anne, we’ve had the previous Pope.

“It’s my pitch, I’m a diplomat here. I wish everybody the best.”

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Perhaps Johnson welcomed seeing a Big Issue vendor outside the cathedral rather than a group of reporters and photographers.

The then-London Mayor called Big Issue vendors “brilliant ambassadors for the city” ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

“Visitors to London will see that The Big Issue is as much a part of the fabric of our great city’s streetscape as black cabs and red telephone boxes,” he said.