Fourth time lucky for Royal Navy couple forced to postpone wedding

Lance Corporal Jake Kennedy and Petty Officer Naval Nurse (QARNNS) Jo Parke at St Ann's Church
Lance Corporal Jake Kennedy and Petty Officer Naval Nurse (QARNNS) Jo Parke at St Ann's Church

A Royal Navy couple who met during training have finally married on the fourth attempt after repeated postponements because of the pandemic and deployments.

Lance Corporal Jake Kennedy and Petty Officer (Nurse) Jo Parke were married at Portsmouth Naval Base on Saturday after originally planning to tie the knot in March 2019.

But L/Cpl Kennedy had to deploy with the Commando Logistic Regiment for winter training in Norway causing the first postponement to August 2020, when the couple planned to wed in Italy.

The Covid-19 crisis then caused this date to be postponed, along with a further attempt in January 2021, when a request for special permission to use the naval base chapel during lockdown also failed.

Royal Navy Couple Married at fourth attempt \u2013 St Ann\u2019s Church

Their problems were added to when PO Parke’s father had a motorcycle accident and her grandfather became too ill to travel to Portsmouth.

The couple wed with a special licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the bride being given away by the naval base commander Commodore Jeremy Bailey at St Ann’s Church in the Hampshire naval base.

PO Parke, 30, said: “We didn’t want to wait any longer and both of our families were keen for us to have it formalised.

“Jake and I are both so humbled that the Navy have really stepped up for the both of us, in the sense that we are far away from home, family members can’t attend, but they have tried to make it really special and actually happen.”

L/Cpl Kennedy, 29, who is based at RM Chivenor in Devon, said: “We’ve always been a fan of small intimate things.

“We both take things in our stride; we’re very grateful for the chance to have finally been married and are glad to have it made formal.”

Commodore Bailey said: “I was humbled at being asked to give away the bride and seeing how the Royal Navy has ensured that two of its own are being made to feel so special on their wedding day. Jake and Jo are a credit to their families and the armed forces and I wish them well for their lives together.”

L/Cpl Kennedy will join aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth later in the year during its deployment to the Indo-Pacific region and PO Parke is continuing with her work assisting the NHS in critical care at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital and the vaccine rollout across southern England.

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