ASTRONAUT BEAMS AS HE WEDS SWEATHEART
Astronaut Jim Reilly wed his American sweetheart, Allison Benjamin, at a private ceremony in Glamis Castle on Thursday 29th April – almost three years after getting a vision of this wedding during a previous visit to the castle in 2007. It was a ‘vision’ that more than surprised Jim at first as the couple were not even romantically linked at that point.
Says Jim, ‘I knew Glamis Castle had a special aura but this was an extraordinary experience for me. During a tour of the castle we entered the chapel and I suddenly had a picture in my head of me standing at the front, with Allison as my bride. Later that day the Dowager Countess asked me if my wife would like to join us at the table. The Dowager was pointing to Allison! In hindsight it would appear that Glamis was weaving its magic spell on us that day as upon returning to the States we began dating.
Allison and Jim first met in Houston at the Space Centre where Allison worked as Education Director and Jim was often called upon to give lectures and talks to children. In 2007 they were in Scotland on different missions - Allison was here as part of the Discovery Space School Education Programme, visiting schools in Dundee and Angus and Jim was here to present a Tam O’Shanter to the Black Watch Museum which he had taken on a space flight (5. 8 million miles). John Smith, who is a mutual friend of the Dowager Countess and Jim, suggested Jim meet with the Discovery Space School during their Castle visit.
Jim continues, ‘Who knows whether our coming together at Glamis Castle that day was by chance or by some grander design but one thing was sure – this was the only place in the world where we wanted to have our wedding ceremony. Even when the volcanic eruption threatened our plans we still had faith that we would get to return to Scotland and Glamis to complete our union.’
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