POSTED: 08:07 a.m. HST, Mar 24, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 05:54 a.m. HST, Mar 25, 2012
LONDON >> Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has become a wedding crasher.
The monarch dropped in moments after the nuptials of John and Frances Canning at Manchester Town Hall in northern England on Friday.
The newlyweds said Saturday the queen chatted and posed for wedding photographs. The queen and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, were visiting the venue for lunch at the same time the wedding took place.
"It was very special — it was so lovely that she took the trouble to speak to us," bride Frances Canning told The Sun newspaper.
The 48-year-old groom knew beforehand that the queen would be visiting the town hall, and jokingly wrote to Buckingham Palace to invite the monarch, the tabloid reported. He received a polite reply declining the invitation, but palace officials secretly arranged the meeting, the paper said.
Canning said he spoke with Prince Philip while photos were being taken.
"He was a charming fella — for me it was the icing on the cake," he told The Sun.
The 44-year-old bride was impressed the queen addressed them by their first names.
"She said I looked lovely and she wanted to wish us all the best for the future.
"We're going to have to get a bigger wedding album now," she was quoted as saying. "Not many people will have pictures like that."
The British monarch was in Manchester to visit a number of sites, including a new BBC headquarters building in nearby Salford, as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour. The queen is celebrating the six decades since she ascended to the throne in 1952.