Phones4U billionaire John Caudwell sees his daughter, 31, married in lavish ceremony


Any father wants the best for his daughter on her wedding day.

And Phones4U billionaire John Caudwell certainly splashed the cash with a three-day celebration at the weekend.

Mr Caudwell, 66, laid on a lavish wedding and two parties as daughter Libby, 31, married Simon Morgan. 

He and his partner Modesta Vzesniauskaite, a Lithuanian cyclist who is only four years older than Libby, invited guests including former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne, 70, his wife Nigora Whitehorn, 39, and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson.

Fergie, 59, in an emerald green dress, was seen standing next to Mr Caudwell, who had his arm around her, in one of the wedding photographs. The pair are firm friends and he attended the wedding of her daughter Princess Eugenie last year.

Other guests on the islet of Sveti Stefan in Montenegro included Mrs Whitehorn’s friend, the Lithuanian social media star Viktorija Siegel, and Sergey Egorov, chairman of Russian drilling firm Arcticmorgeo.

Mr Caudwell, who sold Phones4U in 2006 for £1.5billion, gushed on Instagram: ‘My beautiful daughter Libby is married!’

He continued: ‘We enjoyed a heartfelt ceremony filled with love, tears and so much joy, a perfect moment to share with the people we love.

‘The ceremony was followed by the most phenomenal wedding reception which saw us dancing under the stars until 3am!

‘Congratulations Mr and Mrs Morgan what a truly proud father I am today.’

Pictures from the ceremony show Mr Caudwell standing next to his daughter, who wore a strapless wedding gown with a simple white lace veil. Others, from a fancy dress party, show him being nuzzled by Miss Vzesniauskaite.

The celebrations took place at a five-star hotel in the Adriatic resort, which before the Balkan war was a playground for the rich and famous, including Sophia Loren, Princess Margaret and Elizabeth Taylor.

Guests were invited to arrive in time for Friday night’s party, billed on the invitation as a ‘decadent bohemian moveable feast’.

For those with the energy after Saturday’s wedding ceremony and reception, that saw dancing until 3am, there was a beach party on Sunday at which Mrs Whitehorn and Miss Siegel wore skimpy gold bikinis.  

Among the guests to have been dancing under the stars with the newly married couple, was Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward, who even posed for a pictured with her ‘good friend’ Caudwell.

Wearing a yellow dress, which she had also been pictured wearing during the recent Real Housewives of Cheshire reunion show,  Dawn, who attended the ceremony with ex-footballer husband Ashley Ward also took to social media and said it had been ‘lovely to see family and friends come together’.

She added: ‘You should be super proud of the beautiful kind intelligent lady she’s become truly beautiful day.’

Duncan Bannatyne and wife Nigora were also in attendance, as was the The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson.

Private equity specialist Sergey Egorov was also at the event with his wife and posed for a picture with other guests along with Viktorija Siegel and her husband.

The beautiful bride was pictured wearing a stunning dress, while she clutched a stunning bouquet of flowers while posing for a photo with her mother and father.

Caudwell had been married to Kate McFarlane for 25 years, ending in 2001, having three children together.

He then had a relationship with violinist Jane Burgess, before a long term relationship with Claire Johnson for 15 years, whose 50th birthday he recently celebrated. 

He is now dating Modesta Vzesniauskaite, who was also in attendance at the ceremony. 

New bride Libby had previously attended Cheltenham Ladies College before attending Bristol University, where her father gave her a £1,200 a year allowance.  

She had previously revealed that  she had relied on her father’s money to get by and decided to give it all up and fly to Australia where she took a job teaching water sports and scrubbing boats.  

From the age of 17 she suffered anxiety attacks. ‘I was neurotic about my studies, unable to sleep for fear of failing.

‘Dad became more high profile as his wealth grew and, as a coping mechanism, I developed a false confidence: I told myself that I was interesting and worthy because he was. I lived vicariously through Dad’s success. I began to feel depressed. And, increasingly, guilty.

‘What did I, the daughter of a billionaire, have to feel sorry for? The world really could have been my oyster — but its vastness simply paralysed me.’

Things got so bad that she asked her father to ‘cut her off’ and she rebuilt her life in relative anonymity in Australia, where she helped organise upmarket boat trips, before recently returning to the UK to work as a PA.

In an interview in 2014 she said she was being paid around £384 a week from the job in Australia.

‘I thought it would be scary, but it was actually a relief,’ she explains. 

‘I was finally answerable to myself. And the money I had was mine to spend guilt free because I’d earned it. It felt like I was finally taking control of my life. Even though the living conditions were pretty gross – think plaster falling off the walls – I was never tempted to phone dad for help. Instead, I sent him a picture of one of my rooms to show him I was officially recalibrated!’ 

She had previously kept her wealth from those she met, but admitted that she had to come clean when she met her now husband Simon.

She said the couple had been sitting on the back of a boat when Simon said: ‘Doesn’t your dad have a 80 metre yacht’.

‘My stomach just dropped – apparently my manager had been jokingly bragging about how he had a billionaire’s daughter scrubbing a boat the whole time.’ 

She also added that her independence had been ‘really important’ to her and said she chooses to live off her own means, rather than living off her father’s fortune.

‘My independence is so important to me and dad wants me to be independent as well, so I can feel good about myself,’ she explained.

‘My hope it that one day I’ll be able to take on my dad’s charity Caudwell Children, which would be an incredible honour. My wealth is an integral part of what made me who I am, but it doesn’t have to define me.’

This is while in 2014, it was revealed that eleven members of the family had contracted Lyme Disease, with Caudwell himself having a theory that it was not passed on through ticks, but by people.

He had also previously pledged millions to charity in order to help treatment of the condition and had claimed earlier this year that he would give the vast majority of his £1.5bn wealth to charity, rather than to his five children.


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