LADY DAVINA WINDSOR TO WED MAORI BUILDER

27 JULY 2004

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The crème de la crème of British high society will gather at the private chapel at Kensington Palace this Saturday for the wedding of one of the most unusual couples in the royal family.

Lady Davina Windsor, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, is set to marry New Zealand-based builder Gary Lewis, the son of a champion sheep shearer and former maid.

Gary, a member of a Maori tribe who was raised on his family's farm, met the aristocrat four years ago while on holiday in Bali. Soon Lady Davina, a long way from her own upbringing at Kensington Palace, moved to Auckland with her surfer beau. Known as "Denny and Gazza" to neighbours, the couple began their lives together in a modest flat, with Gary, the father of an 11-year-old son, continuing his work as a renovator.

Lady Davina's younger sister Rose calls the 33-year-old groom, whose uncle, author Witi Ihimaera, wrote the novel-turned-acclaimed film Whale Rider, a "good catch". "Davina's so excited," she says. "We're all really happy for her."

In line with the couple's wishes, Saturday's nuptials are expected to be low-key, with possible royal guests including Princess Anne, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. Lady Davina, who is 20th in line to the throne, and her new husband are expected to then settle in the UK.

Lady Davina will wed 33-year-old Gary Lewis, a former sheep shearer, at the Kensington Palace chapel on Saturday

Photo: © Rex

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Photo: © Alphapress.com
Lady Davina will wed 33-year-old Gary Lewis, a former sheep shearer, at the Kensington Palace chapel on Saturday Photo: © RexClick on photo to enlarge