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Meet Mrs. Macca: Paul McCartney’s American Bride, Nancy Shevell

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Every girl who was alive in 1964 just had her dreams crushed again, as The Cute One has removed himself from the market for a third time. Paul McCartney married his American bride, Nancy Shevell, on a London Sunday afternoon, partaking in a civil ceremony witnessed by only the closest of family and friends--in stark contrast to the lavishness of his previous wedding to Heather Mills at a castle.

Beatles fans who've wanted to see their man happily in love with an appropriate partner since Linda's death in 1998 are hoping that yes, Nancy will still need him, and yes, she'll still feed him, when he's 74, and 84, and 94. The very fact that Shevell is so under-the-radar is seen as a positive sign.

But what do we really know about the woman who's eclipsed any other Beatlemaniac's lingering dreams of being Mrs. Macca? Here's a catch-up on everything you need to know about the relatively mysterious New Jerseyite who'll be wearing McCartney's wedding band on the run:  

THE SETUP

Shevell was introduced to McCartney at a series of dinner parties hosted by her second cousin, Barbara Walters, a protector and apparent matchmaker who has described Nancy as "like a second child to me." Actually, the proper word should be re-introduced, since Shevell and her-then husband apparently met and befriended Paul and Linda 20 years ago, when both couples were enjoying their summer homes in the Hamptons.

THE COURTSHIP

McCartney and Shevell were first seen smooching in the Hamptons in 2007, when he was proceeding through music history's messiest divorce and she was freshly legally separated. She proved much more spotlight-eschewing than Paul's previous wife, which has endeared her to some fans. The downside of that press-shyness is how few photos exist to document the couple's off-the-map adventures--like the famous Route 66 road trip they took through seven states in a borrowed Ford in 2008, occasionally posing with startled tourists at gas stops along the way.

THE AGE DIFFERENCE

Paul is 69, and Nancy 51, a gap that hardly counts as May/December nowadays. Still, the millions of girls who wanted to become Mrs. McCartney when the Beatles invaded America in 1964 can be forgiven for still jealously considering this a case of cradle-robbing.

THE PRENUP

There is none. Whaaaaaat, you say? Not to worry--Nancy's family is loaded and, in the event of an eventual mishap, it's highly unlikely she'd have much need for the kind of payout his previous wife, Heather, won. Since 1983, Shevell has worked for her father's New Jersey-based trucking company, which does a reported $400-million-plus in business each year. Paul is said to have signed a simple form declaring that Nancy would have no right to the trust funds of his children and grandchildren. But that's said to have been a legal obligation left over from his divorce from Heather Mills, to ensure no future ex could make a claim on the inheritance of their daughter, 7-year-old Beatrice.

THE CONVERSION

Yes, Shevell has reportedly converted to vegetarianism to please her famously flesh-avoidant husband, despite being a lifelong steak-lover.

THE ROCK

The art-deco artpiece adorning Nancy's left hand since April--when McCartney proposed during a trip to California--is a 1925 Cartier solitaire diamond ring. It's said to have set Paul back $650,000.

THE KIDS

Shevell brings one child to the marriage: Arlen, her 19-year-old son with her lawyer ex-husband, Bruce Blakeman. McCartney had five children at the ceremony--the youngest being Beatrice, 7, who's grown up through a very contentious divorce. Then there were his three children from the marriage to Linda: Stella, Mary, and James. The eldest is Heather, Linda's daughter from a previous marriage. Actually, Heather was a repeat attendee at this particular town hall: She was 6 and present when Paul wed her mother at the same venue in 1969. McCartney's kids were famous for disapproving of his last choice of bride, so it may not strictly a case of good fashion sense that has Nancy wearing a lot of his daughter Stella's designs.

HER FAMILY

Shevell is the middle child in a wealthy Jewish family in New Jersey. She's the daughter of Myron "Mike" Shevell, who still runs the trucking firm Nancy works for, and his wife Arlene, who died of breast cancer 20 years ago. There have been other tragedies in her family: Her brother Jon died of a drug overdose a few years ago, and her uncle committed suicide after he and her father were charged with colluding with mob forces in the '80s. (The case never went to trial.) As mentioned above, second cousin Barbara Walters has been a close confidante.

HER JOBS

Besides helping run the family trucking business for nearly three decades, Shevell has also spent just over a decade on the board of New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And, the New York Observer noted, she's been known for taking the bus to their meetings, a tradition that probably won't last. She's agreed to live with McCartney in England but plans to come to America once a month to take care of business.

THEIR WEDDING VENUE

McCartney's previous marriage got started with an elaborate church wedding in front of hundreds at an ancient Irish castle… so that may be one reason for opting for a simple civil service this time. But there's plenty of personal history connecting the rocker to London's Marylebone Town Hall, where the ceremony took place. It's where Paul married his first wife, Linda, in 1968. He made a return visit last year when his daughter, Mary, got married there as well. Ringo Starr also exchanged vows at the century-old hall (as did a celebrated Beatle wannabe, Liam Gallagher). The smallest room in the town hall seats 20 and the largest only 100. That intimacy presumably have suited the McCartneys just fine, since their guest list reportedly consisted of fewer than 30 people.

DÉJÀ VU

The choice to marry in the same hall where Paul married Linda in 1969 suggests some other ways in which Nancy might echo McCartney's first wife. She is a breast cancer survivor, but her mom died from the disease, as Linda tragically did in 1998. Both women also come from well-heeled Jewish-American families in the Northeast and were known for being unflashy and quietly supportive but strong. Of course, going back to his mid-'60s days courting Jane Asher, Paul has seemed to prefer blondes, but his nearly $50 million divorce settlement might've cured him of that. Maybe the brunette time's the charm?

THE HONEYMOON

That's unknown, but rumor has it that McCartney and Shevell do plan to throw themselves a wedding party in New York in the coming week, where his ballet, Ocean's Kingdom, is now playing. Where to, after that? You might want to be stationed with cameras along Route 66, just in case.

[photo: Associated Press/David Parry]

Related links:

Sunday ceremony details

Paul McCartney remembers George Harrison

Watch Paul McCartney's videos

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