A Look Into Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's Love Story
It's a beautiful thing when life imitates art. Kit Harington and Rose Leslie first fell in love as their characters Jon Snow and Ygritte, respectively, on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Their relationship blossomed from there and the pair developed a romance off-set that was straight out of a fairy tale. The Game of Thrones co-stars even got married in a castle—namely, Wardhill Castle, the Leslie family home in Aberdeen, Scotland.
"If you're already attracted to someone, and then they play your love interest in the show, it becomes very easy to fall in love," Harington once said in a 2016 interview. Their wedding was held on June 23, 2018, and recalled as a grand affair that featured a guest list full of stars; a huge contrast to the couple's otherwise under-the-radar relationship. Read on to get all the details about the couple's dreamy wedding day.
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All about Kit Harington's Wedding to Rose Leslie
To call Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's wedding an epic production is a gross understatement. The former colleagues, who both tend to be a bit paparazzi-shy, went all-out for their big day, inviting their nearest and dearest to Leslie's family hometown of Aberdeen, Scotland. Fans of the newlyweds gathered at the venue try to catch a glimpse of the happy couple, and Leslie's father, Sebastian, couldn't resist telling the assembled crowd, "We are absolutely thrilled for Kit and Rose to be marrying today. It's an absolutely lovely day for us." Here, a few fun tidbits about what took place in the lead-up to and on the day of the pair's gorgeous Scottish wedding.
Games of Thrones took a break in filming just for the wedding.
Shortly after getting engaged in September 2017, Harington reached out to show producers with a proposal: to delay filming for the season so that all his co-stars might be able to attend the wedding. "I said, 'I'm getting married and it's your fault actually,'" he said on The Jonathan Ross Show. "I was like, 'You need to factor in a Game of Thrones wedding by the way. They have all got to be there so the whole thing has got to shut down!" So at his request, filming was put on pause for the weekend so that the couple's co-stars, including Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, could attend their nuptials.
The wedding invitations featured Jon Snow stamps.
Hilariously, the couple decided to use limited-edition Game of Thrones stamps featuring Harington's face for their invitations. As a result, all 200 of their invited guests got some very personalized mail, with Jon Snow's iconic visage on the front. According to Daily Mail, their guests were "tickled" to see the envelopes. Fortunately for fans of the series, the 15 stamps are still available to purchase in collector's sets via various collector's sites online.
The guest list was truly impressive.
In addition to their Game of Thrones co-stars Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams, the couple also invited some of their A-list buds, including Joe Jonas, Marcus Mumford, Malin Akerman, and her husband Jack Donnelly. Many members of Leslie's family were also in attendance as well, including her mother, Candida Leslie, who is a direct descendent of King Charles II.
They were intentional about hiring local vendors.
The notoriously private couple didn't reveal many details about the actual ceremony or reception itself, but Leslie's father, Sebastian, a local councilor, told reporters that the pair used "local caterers, local lighting, [and] local flowers" for their big day. In keeping with the more traditional celebration, also, the newlyweds ran out of the Rayne Church where they exchanged vows to a torrent of white flower petals, driving away in an old Land Rover adorned with paper hearts, a "Just Married" sign, and a string of tin cans.
The reception was held at the Leslie family home.
Following the traditional church ceremony, the happy couple hosted a private reception at the Leslie family home, Wardhill Castle. The castle, which dates back to the 12th century, features golf courses, whiskey distilleries, sandy beaches, and highland walks within easy reach, and can typically sleep up to 16 people in its 8 bedrooms. Leslie's brother William and his wife Sarah reportedly live at the castle year-round.
The Couple's Relationship Timeline
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's fairytale romance began when sparks flew on-set, but developed rather quickly after that. The pair have gone to great lengths to keep the details of their relationship private, and for good reason: mutual respect. Asked about their relationship in a 2017 Esquire interview, Harington offered, "It's as much her relationship as it is mine and I can't speak for both of us. But yeah, we are very, very happy. So that's what I'll say about that." We've pulled together what we do know about the notoriously private couple below, in hopes of retracing the steps of their most magical union.
When did they meet?
Harington and Leslie met in 2012 while filming the second season of Game of Thrones in Iceland. The actor credits the landscape with helping their real-life romance along, explaining in a 2016 interview: "The country is beautiful, because the Northern Lights are magical, and because it was there that I fell in love." Thankfully, their love stood the test of on-screen tragedy—when Leslie's character Ygritte was eventually killed off the series, she forbade Harington from spoiling any of the plot points for her. "I for sure ask Kit not to show me his excitement after he has read an episode, simply because I don't want to read anything in his eyes," she previously said.
How long did they date?
The couple quietly dated for a while before they made their red carpet debut at the Olivier Awards in London in 2016. Even as fans clamored for more details about the pair's relationship, the two actors resisted, keeping their personal lives out of the limelight as much as possible. Harington even once noted that he and Leslie tried not to take pictures with fans as a couple, because "then it makes our relationship feel like ... puppets. Like we're a walking show."
One small glimpse the couple gave fans into their personal lives was a hilarious one: after moving in together in 2017, Harington pulled an epic prank on Leslie for April Fool's Day, putting a dummy severed head in the fridge for her to find. "After that, she was in tears, and I was there going, 'April Fools.' It didn't go down well," he said on The Jonathan Ross Show. "She pretty much told me that if I did it ever again, that would be it, and I think that's marriage included."
When did they get engaged?
The pair got engaged later in 2017, and according to Harington, his excitement got the best of him when it came time for the big moment. "I did have some plans to do it, I was going to string up some lights in some trees and do all the romantic stuff, but we were in the country and we were under this beautiful night sky and had a log fire burning and red wine and I blew my load early," he said on The Jonathan Ross Show, before quickly retracting his statement. "Sorry, that's a really bad expression!" The couple then announced their engagement the old-fashioned way: with a formal announcement in The Times of London.
When did they get married?
The Game of Thrones stars got married on June 23, 2018. They exchanged vows at the Kirkton of Rayne church in Aberdeenshire and then celebrated their union with an intimate reception at the Leslie family estate. Leslie donned a stunning, long-sleeve, floral-embroidered ivory gown with a cathedral-length veil and a crown of white flowers, while Harington wore a dashing three-piece suit.
After the Wedding
In September of that same year, Harington got sentimental while speaking to reporters backstage at the Emmys. "I met my wife in this show, so in that way, it gave me my future family and my life from here on in," he said, according to TIME. "That's the main thing it did for me, and then it's changed it completely in the last 10 years. You could not ask for a better job to have in your twenties, to take you through your twenties than to be an actor on Game of Thrones."
The pair welcomed a baby boy together in February 2021, and currently reside in a 15th-century Tudor-style manor in East Anglia. "What a glorious thing to be able to run to the countryside and recoup," she told UK's Make magazine. "It's a great privilege to be surrounded by greenery, birdsong and hedgerows, and our delightful neighbors."