James Middleton's father-in-law died months before couple's wedding

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The heartache of Alizee Thevenet as she married James Middleton at their glittering wedding in the South of France can be revealed today.

Her father died just months before the ceremony which had to be postponed twice due to Covid.

Friends say it meant the newlyweds’ big day was a joyful occasion tinged with some sadness because retired diplomat Jean Gabriel Thevenet could not be there to walk Alizee down the aisle.

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A source told MailOnline: ‘It was a happy day but sadly Jean Gabriel was not there. He died five months ago. He was only in his 60’s. It is a real tragedy. His wife Laurence was at the wedding, of course.

‘I know that Alizee wanted her father to be there too. But it wasn’t to be. They had to delay the wedding twice and it was too late for him.’

Mr Middleton and Alizee got engaged in September 2019 and the ceremony was originally planned for summer last year.

However it had to be postponed due to Covid restriction and a second attempt to re-arrange it over the last 12 months also failed.

By the time they were finally able tie the the knot in the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas near the Cote d’Azur on Saturday it was too late for Mr Thevenet. It is not know what he died from.

‘Jean Gabriel would have loved to be there on Alizee’s special day. It is so sad that Laurence had to go to the wedding on her own,’ added the friend.

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Mr Middletony, 34, and Alizee wed in front of 50 guests including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children over the weekend at the Chateau Leoube, an exclusive vineyard owned by British billionaire JCB chairman Anthony Bamford in Provence that produces some of France‘s finest rose wine.

Earlier the couple had been married by the mayor at the town hall.

Mr Middleton announced the marriage on Instagram with a photo of the happy couple smiling with the caption: ‘Yesterday I married the love of my life surrounded by family, friends and of course a few dogs.’

Alizee’s father previously revealed his joy when their fledgling relationship emerged in January 2019 and said he was ‘delighted’ when announced their engagement eight months later.

Speaking from the window of his rustic bed-and-breakfast in the mountains of Condat-sur-Ganaveix, rural France, Mr Thevenet, told MailOnline: ‘My daughter Alizee is very happy with James, they are very much in love. James is a very charming man. I am very happy that Alizee is together with James. I know she is very happy. We keep our fingers crossed for them.’

Mayor of Condat-sur-Ganaveix Michel Plazanet confirmed Mr Thevenet’s death.

His spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘Mr Thevenet died about five months ago. It is very sad.’

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The family friend added: ‘Jean Gabriel was not from Condat-sur-Ganaveix but he threw all his energy into his new adventure, the bed and breakfast business at the old mill.

‘Now his wife Laurence is alone and has had to do everything.’

Mrs Thevenet declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline. 

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