Playboy's Hugh Hefner finally marries his 'runaway bride'

Octogenarian magazine founder ties knot with Crystal Harris, who left him at the altar in 2011

LAST UPDATED AT 10:00 ON Wed 2 Jan 2013

HUGH HEFNER is nothing if not persistent. The 86-year-old Playboy founder has finally married 26-year-old Crystal Harris, more than a year after the couple's original wedding ceremony was cancelled abruptly when the bride suffered a "change of heart".

Harris ditched Hefner just five days before a lavish June 2011 wedding to which 300 guests had been invited. She sold her £55,000 engagement ring and there were allegations she had been seeking a $500,000 deal with a magazine to jilt the octogenarian at the altar.

In spite of this, a month after the aborted wedding she appeared on the cover of Playboy – but with a "Runaway bride" sticker covering her bottom half.

This time, Harris made it to the church – or rather a flower-strewn altar at the Playboy mansion in Beverly Hills - on time and without incident. A photograph posted on Twitter yesterday shows Hefner wearing his trademark purple silk pyjamas and captain's cap, seated next to a smiling Harris in her wedding gown. "Happy New Year from Mr and Mrs Hugh Hefner!" the octogenarian tweeted.

Hefner is no stranger to marriage: this is the third time he has tied the knot. It is the first marriage for Harris, who has a psychology degree and was born to British parents, says the Daily Telegraph.

The bride broke with Playboy tradition at her pre-Christmas bridal shower, asking for decorations for Hefner's mansion rather than lingerie. But Harris has been more conventional when it comes to her name, changing it to Crystal Hefner on her Twitter account.

Harris declared herself delighted with her new husband despite their 60-year age difference. "Feeling very happy, lucky and blessed," she tweeted yesterday.

Although Hefner no longer plays a day-to-day role at Playboy, he led a syndicate that took the company private again in January 2011. · 

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Jilting him was high risk, at his age. She might have made herself ineligible for the inheritance.

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