She first made a name for herself by donating money to the Tory Party, just as her billionaire father used to. But there was nothing conservative about the multi-million-pound wedding enjoyed by Rasha Said in France at the weekend.
In scenes far away from Prime Minister David Cameron’s austerity programme, the 26-year-old London-based socialite enjoyed one of the most expensive private weddings in history.
It took place at the Palace of Versailles, once home to France’s spendthrift kings and queens.
The celebration, which included a live performance by pop star Robbie Williams and a 15ft-high cake, followed her wedding to fellow PR worker Khaled Khawaja, 27.
High-profile guests included Samantha Cameron’s mother Annabel Astor, the chief executive of home furnishings design firm OKA, and international development minister Alan Duncan.
It was paid for by Wafic Said, the 72-year-old tycoon who is a close friend of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and was one of the Tories’ prominent financial backers before being linked to a shady arms deal.
Mr Said’s donations were banned during a crackdown because he was not deemed to be a British resident, but in 2005 his daughter was recorded as giving £47,000 to the Conservatives.
Then a teenager, Rasha did not have enough money to fund the donation, prompting claims that she had unlawfully acted as a proxy for her father.
But the Conservatives said the money had actually come from Rosemary Said, Rasha’s British mother and an Electoral Commission inquiry found there had been no wrongdoing.
On Saturday Rasha’s family and friends filled Versailles, and guests enjoyed a banquet in a resplendent state room.
Dressed in black tie and ball gowns, they filed through the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed to officially end the First World War in 1919.
Williams, who is unlikely to put on a private performance for less than £1?million, serenaded the revellers in the manicured Orangery gardens.
One guest said: “It was an incredible celebration — one that couldn’t be more luxurious. Many of the guests were so rich they arrived by private jets, but even they were surprised by how lavish the whole thing was.
“The whole thing would have cost millions. People came from all over the world and there were plenty of Conservative Party supporters from England too.”
Mr Said also organised a pre-wedding celebration and dinner at the Paris Opera on Friday night, filling it with fresh flowers and dancing ballerinas in honour of his only daughter.
The extravaganza in France rivalled the celebrations of one of Britain’s richest men, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, whose daughter Vanisha married at Versailles seven years ago.
Earlier this year Rasha said: “We want to keep it very private. It is an occasion just for our family and friends.”
Mr Said, who sold a collection of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels for almost £8?million in 2010, wanted no expense spared on Cheltenham Ladies’ College-educated Rasha and Khaled, a trainee at Lord Bell’s PR conglomerate, Chime Communications.
Guests were instructed on wedding invitations: “Your presence is enough but if you want to buy us a gift we are registered at Harrods.”
The Said family are based in Monaco but also spend time at homes in Paris, Marbella, Saudi Arabia and London’s Eaton Square, as well as a £50?million Oxfordshire estate.
Mr Said admits that he played a “small” role in the 1986 Al Yamamah deal which saw Saudi Arabia buy £40?billion of fighter planes from the UK amid allegations of bribery.
As well as Baroness Thatcher and her son, Mark, close personal friends of Mr Said include numerous other senior Conservative politicians and former Labour Minister Peter Mandelson./dailymail.co.uk/