IT looks set to be Hampshire’s society wedding of the year.
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu’s younger son, Eton-educated Jonathan Montagu, is getting married to an award-winning photographer after a whirlwind romance.
The wedding is due to take place at Lord Montagu’s ancestral home, Palace House, on October 4 – a week before Jonathan’s 39th birthday.
The New York-based biochemist met his bride-to-be, 37-year-old Canadian Nathalie Daoust, during a trip to the Far East last October.
Lord Montagu and his staff are already working on the guest list, which is likely to include some of the 87-year-old peer’s celebrity friends.
He said: “I am thrilled at the news of Jonathan’s engagement to Nathalie and am looking forward to welcoming my new daughter-in-law into the family.”
Lady Fiona Montagu, Lord Montagu’s second wife and Jonathan’s mother, added: “Nathalie has really good values, courage and artistic talent.
“She is very brave – she even managed to get inside North Korea for a project.”
Lord Montagu was present when Jonathan was born in Southampton General Hospital on October 11, 1975.
Writing in his autobiography, Wheels Within Wheels, the peer said: “I was very inspired and wished I had seen the births of my other two children.
“It appeared that Jonathan was destined to be a scientist, always displaying a keen enquiring mind and stubbornly doing his own thing.”
After leaving Eton, Jonathan went to Cold Spring Harbour, the Long Island laboratory set up by Professor Jim Watson, who helped discover DNA.
Nathalie, whose photographic projects have included Tokyo’s red light district, studied at Cegep du Vieux college in Montreal in the 1990s.
She later spent two years living at the Carlton Arms Hotel in New York.
The rooms were decorated with wild murals, said to have formed an ideal backdrop for her “dark and obscure” projects.
Interviewed last year she said: “Since my first experiments in photography I have been fascinated by human behaviour and its realities.
“My objective as an artist is to push the boundaries of photography through experimental methods, working with new mediums and discovering new techniques in the darkroom.”
Lord Montagu has a son and daughter from his first marriage.
Ralph Montagu and his wife Ailsa were married in 2005 after meeting at a reception held to salute the Special Operations Executive, a top-secret Second World War organisation that operated a spy school at Beaulieu.
His sister Mary married publisher Rupert Scott at Buckler’s Hard in 1997 in a ceremony attended by Prince Edward’s then fiancée, Sophie Rhys-Jones.