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Coronavirus man brought wedding forward to take honeymoon cruise on Diamond Princess

By Rob Smith | Tettenhall | Health | Published:

The Wolverhampton man being treated for coronavirus in Japan had brought his wedding forward specifically to take a honeymoon cruise on the Diamond Princess, the vicar who conducted the ceremony has revealed.

Wendy and Alan Steele pictured on their wedding day in Little Drayton. Photo: Amanda Reynolds

Alan Steele, 58, is being treated in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus while quarantined on board the cruise ship in Japan. His new wife Wendy, 51, is still on board.

The couple had got married in Shropshire, where Mr Steele is from, on January 11 and were set to move in together in Wendy's home village of Tettenhall upon returning from their Asian cruise.

Reverend Jane Morris, vicar at Christ Church in Little Drayton, said: "They were going to get married in the summer but they came to me just before Christmas and asked if they could bring it forward so they could go on this cruise for their honeymoon.

Wendy and Alan Steele pictured with Rhodesian ridgeback Bean on their wedding day. Photo: Amanda Reynolds

"He was living here but they were going to move down to Tettenhall once the dust had settled from the honeymoon.

"It was a lovely day. They were a lovely couple, they were so happy.

"They had come in to see me before. Around Remembrance Day we decorate the church with crocheted and knitted poppies at the end of the aisles and other places. They said 'We're both ex-military, could we have the poppies please'?"

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Rev Morris added: "I feel sorry for them, they have brought the wedding forward so they could go on this marvellous cruise and now this happened. It doesn't feel fair.

"I wish them both well and for him a speedy recovery."

The Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama Port

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Lorry driver Mr Steele and mental health nurse Mrs Steele were together four years before getting married and were delighted to involve their Rhodesian ridgeback dog Bean on their big day.

After holding the ceremony at Christ Church, the couple and guests celebrated at the nearby Four Alls Inn.

The couple's wedding photographer and friend, Amanda Reynolds, said it was ironic that their first dance at the wedding was to Never Tear Us Apart by INXS - but now they had been parted by Alan going into quarantine, with Wendy confined on the Diamond Princess.

She said: "I've been speaking to Wendy every other day since she left. They were both so excited, it's a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon.

The happy couple with their wedding cake. Photo: Amanda Reynolds

"They were OK, they were staying safe, but then a few days ago she said they were stuck in quarantine. They're stuck in the cabin they have been allocated and just given food and drink when people come past.

"They're trying to make light of it though. Wendy smokes but is out of cigarettes so she said she might come home a non-smoker. And they're not getting much food so she said she might lose some weight. They are just an upbeat, happy couple."

Se added: "It's ironic really as their first dance at the wedding was to Never Tear Us Apart by INXS - and now Wendy is confined and might be for 12 days now, and Alan has been taken to hospital."

Amanda, who now lives in Tipton, was a war photographer for the Royal Navy and even snapped Prince William's wedding to the Duchess of Cambridge. She was only too happy to help out her friend Wendy, who she met through mutual friends.

Customers at a popular Tettenhall cafe, called Gluttons For Nourishment, were shocked to hear the news today.

Alison Darby, the cafe's manager, said: "It is very shocking to hear. It is scary to hear about on the other side of the world, and more so in England but - especially of a person from Tettenhall.

"We send him our best wishes and hopes he makes a full recovery."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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