Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rasha Said wedding: Wafic’s daughter marries Khaled Khawaja at Palace of Versailles

Extravagant: Khaled Khawaja and Rasha Said held one of the most expensive weddings in recent history
She first made a name for herself by donating money to the Tory party, just as her controversial billionaire father did in the past. 

But there was nothing conservative about Rasha Said’s multimillion-pound wedding at France’s Palace of Versailles this weekend.
In scenes that defied David Cameron’s austerity policies, the 26-year-old London-based socialite staged one of the most expensive marriage celebrations in recent history.
The lavish affair was attended by senior Conservatives including International Development Minister Alan Duncan, at the palace that was once home to France’s notoriously spendthrift kings.
Miss Said’s wedding to fellow PR worker Khaled Khawaja, 27, featured a two-hour live performance by pop star Robbie Williams and a 15ft-high tiered cake.
AAmong the 700 British guests were the Duchess of York and her daughters, the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, Princess Michael of Kent, Sir Michael Caine, Tory grandee Nicholas Soames, hotelier Sir Rocco Forte and his family, Samantha Cameron’s mother, Viscountess Astor, and Sotheby’s boss Henry Wyndham.
It was paid for by 72-year-old tycoon Wafic Said, a close friend of Margaret Thatcher and one of the Tories’ most prominent financial backers before being linked with a shady arms deal. 
Those who accuse Mr Cameron of being an out-of-touch member of the upper classes will also have raised an eyebrow at the presence of his mother-in-law, Viscountess Annabel Astor.
Her daughter, Samantha Cameron, frequently tries to play down the family’s privileged background, as does Eton-educated Mr Cameron.  
Mr Said’s donations were banned during a sleaze crackdown because he was not deemed to be a British resident, but in 2005 Miss Said was recorded as giving £47,000 to the Conservatives.
Then a teenager, she would not have had enough money for the donation, prompting claims that she had unlawfully acted as a ‘proxy’ to her father.
But the Conservatives said it was a clerical error, and that the money had come from Rosemary Said, Miss Said’s British mother.
An enquiry carried out by the Electoral Commission found there had been no wrongdoing, and Miss Said remains a Conservative supporter.  
On Saturday her family and friends filled Versailles, the palace most commonly associated with the Sun King, Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette.