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CNN Today

Madonna, Family Arrive at Scottish Castle for Son Rocco's Christening

Aired December 21, 2000 - 1:28 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: As Ed Sullivan might say, the "really big show" is over in Scotland with these two celebrities tying the knot this weekend. They are, of course, Madonna and her husband-to-be Guy Richie, who had some loose ends to tie up before they tie the knot. And that's the baptism of their 4-month-old son Rocco. That baptism is about to take place at a church in Dornoch, Scotland.

CNN's Nic Robertson is there in nearby Brora, Scotland to take us through what all the plans are this weekend and all the security and mystery surrounding it -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, it's about 6:30 in the evening here. It's way up in the north of Scotland. It's been dark here for almost three hours. And there are hundreds of people gathered outside the cathedral, the 13th century cathedral, the most northerly cathedral in Britain, where Madonna will be getting Rocco christened.

Now, many of the guests for this christening have been arriving in the last half an hour or so outside the cathedral. In fact, Madonna is arriving there with Guy Richie and her son, her daughter Lourdes. Rocco is believed to be with them. Guy Richie appears to be carrying Rocco, their son, into the church there, into the cathedral.

Now, this will be a public christening. But for security reasons, there have only been a few members of the public allowed in, a few church elders, into this Church of Scotland church. And the vicar, who will be giving the service, who will be doing the christening, is a lady, Rev. Susan Brown. And she will also be performing the wedding tomorrow in nearby Skibo Castle.

Now, among the guests going in, we've already seen this evening Sting and his wife Trudie Styler. Sting and Trudy were believed to have introduced Guy and Madonna to each other at a house party about two years -- also going into the church there, Stella McCartney, a designer of Cloe clothes; also understood perhaps to have designed Madonna's wedding dress to wear tomorrow. Madonna's father, Silvio, and also Guy Richie's parents, John and his stepmother Sherie (ph) also going into the church.

Now, everybody appears to be in. And there's quite tight security around the church; some dozens of police officers around the church -- Lou. WATERS: Now, Nic, will it be in the same church where the wedding will take place tomorrow?

ROBERTSON: Lou, the details of the wedding are still very sketchy.

WATERS: You're kidding.

ROBERTSON: For security reasons, it's very, very sketchy. However, the -- most people at the moment believe that the actual wedding ceremony itself will be inside the grounds of the Skibo Castle. That is a nearby castle many, many centuries old. It's on its own grounds, 7,000-or-so-acre grounds. It's an exclusive, very luxurious Scottish castle by the standards of any Scottish castle, and it's there that the wedding is expected to take place tomorrow.

WATERS: Nic, you may not recall, but -- Natalie, help me out here -- the wedding to Sean Penn was where, in Malibu, California?

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: I can't believe I don't know that, because I love Madonna.

WATERS: I think it was. Well, it was...

ROBERTSON: Lou, maybe I can help you out. It was in Malibu. It was 1985. And if I remember, there were so many helicopters that apparently the pair could hardly hear each other exchanging vows. That's unlikely to be the scene here in Scotland. The press is being held at a very long arm's length from the castle. Nobody can get into the grounds.

Apparently two photographers were caught camping out in the grounds earlier this week. They've been ejected. But there's very tight security around the castle, so a repeat of that is thought to be quite unlikely.

WATERS: Well, we understand about the photographers and the reporters over there trying to cover this. It's already being spoofed here in the United States. But what about the public? Is there public awareness of this? Is some public attention being paid to this celebrity wedding?

ROBERTSON: Well, this...

(AUDIO GAP)

... little town about two and a half...

(AUDIO GAP)

But most of them really welcome this wedding. They welcome the popularity, the attention that it -- this town really survives on the tourist trade that comes this way in the summer, and they see this -- the wedding here at Skibo Castle and all the attention focussing on them as a boost for the tourist industry. There's a very famous golf course here that's used by many top- flight golfers. Many American golfers come here: the Royal Dornoch Golf Course, an absolute beauty that's right on the ocean here. The No. 17 and 16 holes play in parallel with some beautiful coastal scenery.

So there are many reasons here that people believe that just showcasing their town for a short time will really bring it some much- needed attention and perhaps some much-needed tourist money come the next summer months -- Lou.

ALLEN: And we know, Nic, you added that golf tidbit for Lou, and we thank you for that.

WATERS: Yes, I can't imagine many folks who came there to play at the Royal Dornoch Golf Course will be much interested in what's going on.

Thank you, laddie, Nic Robertson in Scotland keeping watch over that business.

ALLEN: Look at that gang.

WATERS: The public is being satisfied to some degree, as we understand. There's a Web site. Do we have the address up? Yes. A Web site if you'd like to see the christening.

ALLEN: That's amazing.

WATERS: I assume it's seeing the christening, is it not, Ellen (ph)? You'll be able to see the christening. Perhaps you'll be able to see the wedding on the Web site.

ALLEN: Who knows?

WATERS: So there is at least some attention being paid to the attention being paid to Madonna and Guy Richie over there in Scotland today, even though the helicopters are not going to be hovering overhead this time.

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