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PROMOTION

The rocker and his girlfriend, seen here in Portofino in 2002, are regular visitors to the Italian Riviera where the weekend's celebration will be held
Photo: © Rex
Click on photos for gallery

Afterwards guests including Sir Elton John and Sir Mick Jagger will decamp to favourite celebrity hangout Hotel Splendido
Photo: © www.hotelsplendido.com

Rod and Penny gear up for their Italian dream wedding

15 JUNE 2007

As Rod Stewart prepares to marry his long-term sweetheart Penny Lancaster on Saturday, the rocker's entire clan has descended on the Italian resort of Portofino. The millionaire singer and his bevy of glamorous blonde family members including daughters Ruby and Kimberly, have been relaxing on his yacht Lady Ann Magee.

Ruby, the child from his relationship with model Kelly Emberg, turns 20 on Sunday and the family marked her birthday early with a party on the luxury vessel to avoid a clash with this weekend's nuptials. Although details of the wedding have been kept hush hush - Penny is said to want "an intimate day with close family and friends" - the couple are reportedly tying the knot on board the yacht.

But when you're one of Britain's best-loved musicians, even a quiet celebration is bound to have a fairly starry guest list. Sir Elton John and Sir Mick Jagger are likely to be on hand for Rod's third trip down the aisle. As is Billy Connolly and, reflecting Rod's passion for the beautiful game, ex-Celtic and Liverpool football legend Kenny Dalglish.

After the ceremony the festivities will apparently move on to the Hotel Splendido, the deluxe hideaway where Richard Burton proposed to Elizabeth Taylor, and where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall have stayed.

Excitement has reached fever pitch on the Italian Riviera where the mayor of the one-time fishing village, Giorgio Devoto, has already wrapped the couple's present: a silver platter. According to Mr Devoto, the wedding is regarded as an "extraordinary advertisement" for the holiday spot and despite the strong media presence locals could not be more enthusiastic about the singer. "Rod is a regular visitor here, a friend and a warm and charming person," he said.

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