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LONDON -- It may not have been a royal wedding -- although a king was there -- but it was the closest thing to one in years. That old standby storybook doesn't even begin to describe the beauty and lavishness of it. All of stylish London and friends...

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LONDON -- It may not have been a royal wedding -- although a king was there -- but it was the closest thing to one in years. That old standby storybook doesn't even begin to describe the beauty and lavishness of it. All of stylish London and friends that had come from all over the world -- more than 800 strong -- for the festivities were agog -- and agog is something that group isn't very often.

Dressed by Givenchy in pristine white silk crepe embroidered with flowers and diamantes, wearing a crown of gardenias in her hair and a white tulle veil that trailed for what seemed like miles, beautiful Arietta Livanos, the Greek shipping heiress, married tall, dark and handsome Giorgios Vardinoyannis, the Greek shipping heir, in a traditional sacred ceremony at the magnificent Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia in London's Moscow Road. They were attended by eight of the most beautiful children imaginable, all members of the bride's family; four tiny flower girls dressed in white taffeta sashed in blue with little headbands topped with a single gardenia, and four wee pages in white trousers and pale blue cummerbunds. One of the flower girls was nine-year-old Athina Roussel, the exquisite child of the bride's cousin, the late Christina Onassis, who may well be the richest little girl in the world. Another was the bride's little sister, four-year-old Christina, named after her aunt Christina.

Among the little ones were five Niarchoses, grandchildren of the Greek tycoon Stavros Niarchos -- three by his son Philippe, two by son Spyros. The groom's best man was the bride's 14-year-old brother, Stavros, manly in his morning coat.

During the ceremony, a symphony orchestra played classical music, the first time ever in that cathedral -- and the perfumed pack in the church marveled at that and at the magnificent flowers, all white, that filled every inch of the place.

As you have read here before, the bride comes from a long line of beauties, not the least of whom is her mother, Lita, who, dressed in short terra cotta silk crepe by Saint Laurent -- the women guests were asked to wear short evening dresses -- was as lovely as the jeweled butterfly that shimmered on her shoulder. Other family beauties were the bride's sisters, Eugenie, outstanding in a blue off-the-shoulder dress with a white collar, and Marina, dressed in light green set off by mummy's emerald bead necklace and earrings. "Mummy is lucky if she ever gets them back," said mummy.
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