McCartney and Mills arrive at Castle Leslie

 

Ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills have arrived at an Castle Leslie in Co Monaghan where they are to marry on Tuesday, it was confirmed tonight.

The couple flew into the grounds of the 17th century estate by helicopter and will stay there until their wedding day, said Sir Paul's official spokesman, Mr Geoff Baker.

Mr Baker said Sir Paul (59) and Ms Mills (34) would be married by a local priest before throwing a lavish party for 300 guests at the castle in the village of Glaslough.

But the couple would not spend the eve of their wedding together: "That would be bad luck," said Mr Baker.

The couple are also to make an appearance at the heavily guarded gates tomorrow as a "thank" you to fans and journalists who have camped outside for several days.

Mr Baker said 300 people would be entertained within the grounds of the castle following the service at St Salvator's church, beyond the walls. But he would not say who would be attending the service - or any other details of the ceremony.

Three marquees have been erected close to the castle with a specially constructed covered walkway leading between them and the chapel. A dance floor has been set up alongside a lake and a pier constructed with a luxury boat moored alongside.

Lilies and roses were among thousands of pounds' worth of flowers to have been delivered and were being kept refrigerated and watered.

Lighting effects have been put in trees and floating pontoons lay alongside the banks of the lake, suggesting that fireworks could be launched from the water's surface.

Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Sting and John Eastman - the brother of Sir Paul's late wife Linda - are all reported to be invited to the wedding.

Sir Paul's children, Stella, James, Mary and stepdaughter Heather, were also said to be attending, despite reports of a rift between them and Ms Mills.

PA