Chelsea Clinton marries in "royal wedding"

RHINEBECK, New York Sun Aug 1, 2010 5:15pm EDT

1 of 21. Chelsea Clinton walks with Marc Mezvinsky after their wedding ceremony at Astor Court in Rhinebeck, New York July 31, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Manio Photography/Handout

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RHINEBECK, New York (Reuters) - Bill and Hillary Clinton's only daughter has married her long-time boyfriend in the picturesque New York village of Rhinebeck in what was dubbed America's royal wedding.

Chelsea Clinton -- the only child of the former U.S. president and the U.S. secretary of state -- wed Marc Mezvinsky on Saturday at Astor Courts, an historic 50-acre (20-hectare) estate about 100 miles north of New York City.

"Today, we watched with great pride and overwhelming emotion as Chelsea and Marc wed in a beautiful ceremony at Astor Courts, surrounded by family and their close friends," Bill and Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

"We could not have asked for a more perfect day to celebrate the beginning of their life together, and we are so happy to welcome Marc into our family," the statement said.

Photos showed the bride and groom walking down a broad outdoor aisle between rows of guests. Chelsea wore a strapless white gown with a fitted bodice and full skirt with platinum-colored beading at the waist and a long white veil.

The groom wore a simple black tuxedo going down the aisle and in a photo with the Clinton family, and a white prayer shawl and yarmulke in separate photos with Chelsea under a flowering tree and amid wedding guests.

In the one photo in which she appeared, Hillary Clinton wore a magenta gown. Bill Clinton, who is pictured walking Chelsea down the aisle, wore a simple black tux with a white boutonniere in his lapel.

GUEST LIST LARGELY SECRET

Apart from the parents of the bride, the only other high profile guests seen in Rhinebeck were Bill Clinton's former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen and fashion designer Vera Wang.

Also spotted was real estate scion and movie producer billionaire Steve Bing.

Chelsea Clinton, 30, and Mezvinsky, 32, have known each other since they were teenagers. He is an investment banker, whose parents Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and Edward Mezvinsky were once Democratic U.S. House of Representatives members.

Chelsea Clinton, who worked at a New York hedge fund and has more recently studied health policy at Columbia University, has kept a low profile since her father left the White House in January 2001, although she campaigned for her mother during her failed run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Signs and pictures congratulating the newlyweds hang in many shop windows in Rhinebeck, which has been swarmed by media around the world for an event that experts estimate to have cost between $3 million and $5 million.

Airspace above Rhinebeck was closed for 12 hours on Saturday for the wedding and media were kept well away from the entrance to Astor Courts. Security in the area was comparable to that surrounding state visits.

The guest list was reported to be between 400 and 500, but did not include President Barack Obama.

"Hillary and Bill properly want to keep this as a thing for Chelsea and her soon-to-be husband," Obama said on "The View" talk show Thursday. "It would be tough enough to have one president at a wedding. You don't want two presidents."

(Writing by Michelle Nichols, editing by Todd Eastham)

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