As weddings go, this one was quite traditional — the bride wore white albeit covered by a purple cloak, while the groom, Charles Bronson, a man deemed so dangerous he has spent nearly 40 years in solitary confinement at the UK's most secure jail, swapped his prison-issue tracksuit for a smart suit, for the nupitals on Tuesday, November 14.
Bronson, 64 was handcuffed to a prison officer throughout the strictly-controlled two-hour ceremony at HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire, an event witnessed by just five guests.
The bride Paula Williamson, 37, who has appeared in various British TV shows, arrived at the high security jail shortly before 2pm, having been driven in a silver-blue Mercedes with the words "Just Married" in letters strung on the rear and ribbons on the front.
why does charles bronson look like he studies art at leeds?? pic.twitter.com/okaFJSCGKN— sam (@TheSamGASM) November 8, 2017
The car was driven by Timothy Crowley, a Bronson lookalike, and was met in the prison forecourt by several friends who attempted to shield her as she signed in at the visitor center.
The actress, 27 years younger than her husband, attempted to hide herself away from waiting photographers as it is understood the couple have reportedly sold exclusive wedding pictures to a national newspaper.
Special Wedding Rings
The happy couple spent just two hours together, having exchanged rings engraved with CPS — short for Charles and Paula Salvador, but also thought to be a naughty reference to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Salvador is the name he uses now in tribute to his artist hero. With "get out of jail free cards" off the agenda for inmate No. A8076AG — who holds the unofficial record for the most rooftop protests by any UK prisoner (nine at the last count), and having taken a total of seven prison officers as hostage, not to mention attacking 20 others, as well as threaten to eat a fellow prisoner, Bronson was returned to his cell.
Congratulations to Charles and Paula Salvador on their wedding. Fascinating write up here about Charles, undoubtedly one of the enigmas of the English #prison system #Bronson @ExPrisonerCody https://t.co/VO1joZQtCr— Ady (@hm_nopleasure) November 14, 2017
Gangland Figures Celebrate
Bundled out of the prison, the bride had a white shroud thrown over her head before she was later smuggled into the York House Hotel through a side door to continue the celebrations with friends and family, all of whom had their mobile phones confiscated to avoid any photographs being taken.
Among the guests at the reception was Eddie Richardson, former gangland enforcer to the notorious British criminals, the Krays, who terrorized London in the 1960s.
He was joined by cross-dressing cage fighter Alex Reid, who was formerly married to British glamor model Katie Price.
They were also joined by retired prison guard Mick O'Hagan, who encouraged Bronson to take up art.
Long-time Bronson supporter Andrew Parkin confirmed the wedding went ahead as planned as he posted pictures online of the lag's friends partying afterwards in the hotel. He wrote on Facebook: "Back to may room at Charlie and Paulita Salvadors wedding I've been so privileged. Finally been allowed to let people know."
Apart from missing the wedding reception, Bronson is also missing out on the honeymoon with the bride heading to Malta with her friends.
Fate Brought Them Together
In an interview given to the Daily Mail in February, Ms. Williamson told of their first meeting, and the build-up to it.
She recalled wandering into Waterstones book store in 2013 and started leafing through Bronson's book about his time in Broadmoor.
Being drawn to his "phenomenal spirit," she felt moved to write to tell him how "inspiring" his book was.
"I'm not one of those women who write to men on Death Row or the like. But Charles wrote back and thanked me, and our friendship went from there," she is quoted as saying.
The path of true love often never runs smoothly, however, as Bronson shortly afterwards announced his engagement to Lorraine Etherington, secretary of the Charles Bronson Art Foundation in 2015, but they later broke it off.
In November 2016, he finally met his new bride in the segregation unit at Wakefield.
The jailbird eventually popped the question on Valentine's Day, by serenading his now new wife over the prison phone with his own specially composed version of "My Way."
Bronson's Violent Nature
Bronson has spent periods detained in numerous high-security psychiatric hospitals including Rampton, Broadmoor and Ashworth.
Despite being locked up for most of his life, having been jailed for the first time in 1974 for robbing a post office of £26.18 (US$34.15), the armed robber has always done well in attracting the ladies.
On his release, he began a bare-knuckle boxing career in the east end of London. It was his promoter, who suggested he change his name to Charles Bronson, after the American actor.
He was later returned to prison for planning another robbery and continued to be a violent inmate, taking numerous hostages, resulting in him being sentenced to life imprisonment.
He has featured in books, interviews and studies in prison reform, saying: "I'm a nice guy, but sometimes I lose all my senses and become nasty. That doesn't make me evil, just confused."