A MINING magnate has returned to his County Durham roots to marry his Chinese TV presenter bride at the same church his parents wed almost 60 years ago.
Beijing-based businessman Stuart Bromley could have chosen any exotic location in the world in which to marry Becky Zhao, a presenter on Chinese national TV network CCTV.
But the 52-year-old has shunned the millionaire’s playgrounds and opted for a modest ceremony at St Stephen’s Church in Willington.
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Mr Bromley, whose parents Walter and Jean married at the church on December 5, 1955, said: “You have got to respect your heritage, and for me to be able to bring my guests here is an absolute blessing so they can see this truly special place.”
The guest list at the wedding taking place tomorrow (January 29) includes some of the most influential businessmen and politicians in China and Japan as well as a former Prime Minister of Mongolia.
Mr Bromley is the seventh generation of his family to work in the mining industry and the third to get married at St Stephen’s.
His father, a mining engineer from Willington, and mother from nearby Oakenshaw, emigrated to South Africa in 1959 before moving to Australia where they still live.
Mr and Mrs Bromley, both 80, have come to England for the wedding along with Mr Bromley’s sister, Sharon and her family.
Mr Bromley’s company, CIC Capital, owns 27 mines chiefly in South Africa and China dealing in materials including iron ore and gold.
He employs around 28,300 people and regularly travels abroad, but he said Durham holds a special significance for him.
Mr Bromley said: “Durham is an amazing place, one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the county has played such a key role in the growth of mining across the world.
“More needs to be done to remember the mining industry and the miners who sacrificed themselves.”
Mr Bromley and Ms Zhao, 26, met two years ago and will treat their 60 or so guests to a French style dinner followed by a night of jazz at Langley Castle in Northumberland after the church service.
The groom said: “I’m not nervous about it all, the only time I get nervous is when an angry husband walks through the door.”