As the nine-times-wed queen of the revolving-door marriage Zsa Zsa Gabor once declared, perhaps while jangling a diamond-encrusted paw: “A girl must marry for love, and keep on marrying until she finds it.” One can only speculate if this gem of a quote is what resonated with Millie Mackintosh — she of the slashie career: Instagrammer/model/former Made in Chelsea star — as she revealed last week that she was marrying for the second time before her 30th year.
Just 15 months after divorcing rapper Professor Green, real name Stephen Manderson, perma-glow lifestyle warrior Mackintosh, 28, is engaged again. This time the Quality Street heiress’s intended is Hugo Taylor. He is a shiny, 31-year-old loafers-with-no-socks toff, whom you can find on Mackintosh’s Instagram posing with a cushion that reads: “Harrovians are not perfect but parts of them are excellent.” Fnarr fnarr.
They seem a beautiful match. Mackintosh revealed her engagement by flashing her giant rock on Instagram, between bikini snaps.
The much-married celebrity is not a new phenomenon. Brigitte Bardot had been divorced twice by 28, Demi Moore by 38. Drew Barrymore had been twice married by 26, Cheryl Cole twice and counting at 31. Britney Spears married twice at 23. Her first marriage lasted only 55 hours.
For celebrities the extravagance of having a wedding every other year brings its benefits. Why not, when every “I do” means a lucrative Hello! spread. The glitterati love a knees-up — not to mention an “exclusive” — and for yonks getting married has been a shoo-in for both. A whole industry has been built on the celebrity wedding.
Remember Posh and Becks’s matching thrones? Tying the knot is a profitable business for celebrities with brands to promote. Who can forget how lucky couple Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey got a chocolate-bar advertisement out of the happiest day of their lives. They divorced in 2015.
Katie Price never lets a marriage pass unnoticed. She arrived at her first nuptials, to Peter Andre, in a pink diamanté puff crammed into a Cinderella-style coach. “I didn’t enjoy the day,” she’s since confessed. “We did it for a magazine shoot.” Now Price plans to renew her vows with current husband Kieran Hayler for the third time — yet another wedding celebration after she vowed “till death us do part” to Peter Andre twice, before promising herself for eternity to cage fighter Alex Reid in 2010, then embarking on another lifetime of happiness with Hayler in 2013.
Is it cynical to suggest that in this social media age, for the fame-hungry multiple marriages (however genuine they are) might hold particular appeal? Especially when your brand depends on flogging your life in online status updates. When you’ve already taken this year’s 50th bikini shot and done your 20th yoga pose, getting hitched is a great way to keep your Instagram fresh, and keep you relevant for at least a month.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding picture attracted more than 2m “likes”. No doubt people wanted to get their congratulations in quickly: Kardashian’s second marriage, to basketball player Kris Humphries, lasted 72 days.
The first time she married, Mackintosh’s snap of her kissing Green under a rose-and-snowdrop arch on the stone steps of trendy Somerset country club Babington House earned her 108,304 likes on Instagram. Fingers crossed she will get even more this time.
Of course, us mere mortals can become marriage addicts too. Despite marriage generally declining in popularity, second nuptials are budding. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that while the number of single men marrying single women has plummeted, the number of single men marrying divorced women has risen (from 17,094 in 1970 to 20,129 in 2014). The number of single women marrying divorced men has also increased (from 19,353 in 1970 to 22,579 in 2014).