Tale of Two Weddings for Paul McCartney

By Paul Majendie LONDON (Reuters) - Paul McCartney broke millions of teenage hearts in the Swinging Sixties when he married photographer Linda Eastman.
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By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - Paul McCartney broke millions of teenage heartsin the Swinging Sixties when he married photographer Linda Eastman.

But there were no show business trappings for his big day in 1969 --he almost forgot to buy a wedding ring, the best man was an hour lateand none of the Beatles was invited to the simple ceremony in a Londonregister office.

Second time around, the contrasts could not be sharper as the59-year-old marries model turned charity worker Heather Mills, who wasborn the year before Paul and Linda's wedding.

Tuesday, McCartney ties the knot in a lavish lakeside ceremony at anIrish castle besieged by the world's media. Ringo Starr, the only othersurviving Beatle, is set to be there to read a poem in the couple'shonor.

When McCartney married Linda 33 years ago, he had to persuade ajeweler to open up after hours so he could buy a ring. His brother andbest man Mike was late for the ceremony after his Liverpool train wasdelayed.

McCartney admitted afterward that Linda was reluctant. "She wasmarried before so she wasn't keen to get married again. She was unsurebut I persuaded her," he said.

They ended up having one of the happiest marriages in show business,rarely spending a night apart. Paul was heartbroken when Linda died ofbreast cancer in April 1998.

A year later, he met Mills, a model who had lost a leg in acollision with a police motorbike. Their friendship blossomed intoromance.

McCartney was overjoyed: "I'm lucky to have found a good woman whois strong like Linda, and beautiful and positive and funny." Hischildren were said to be not so sure -- and McCartney has franklyadmitted that was a problem.

"I think a second marriage is hard for the children, no matter whoit is ... They find it difficult to think of me with another woman. Butit's how it is and how it must be and I think that, more than anything,they want me to be happy and this makes me happy."

Paul is fiercely proud of his children -- Stella found fame as a topfashion designer, Mary became a photographer and James followed hisfather into the music business. McCartney also adopted Heather, Linda'sdaughter from her first marriage.

At the age of 34, Mills is marrying the richest pop star inBritain.

The Beatles broke up amid bitter financial wrangles and McCartneyhas always felt the world's most famous pop group did some atrociousbusiness deals with their immortal songs.

Now, with the world still devouring Beatle anthologies and greatesthit compilations, Paul's personal wealth -- from property investmentsto concert tours -- has been put at 713 million pounds.

And the man who with John Lennon wrote the soundtrack for a wholegeneration shows no sign of stopping.

Once asked how long he intended to keep composing, the relaxed andeasy-going singer said: "Until I drop."