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Semi-interesting article on the Martin's


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The very genteel Mr Paltrow



The features were contorted with rage, the mouth held wide to unleash a torrent of expletives in the face of the cowed paparazzi photographer.


Claims were later made that the man in question had also punched a photographer and attacked another's car with a key.


To most observers yesterday the picture of rock star Chris Martin would suggest he is every inch the uncouth wild man in the mould of the Gallagher brothers, Noel and Liam.


Yet the reality - most of the time - could not be more different.


In fact, the man who is set to marry the pregnant Gwyneth Paltrow is a nice middle-class boy from Devon who is possibly the poshest rock star in the world.


When the couple wed, Miss Paltrow will be entering a quite extraordinary family of monied, fiercely religious high achievers - and one that has surprisingly strong connections to Conservative politics.



Nice middle-class boy from Devon


Today, the Mail can also reveal that the Martin family is connected, by marriage, to no less a figure than Winston Churchill.


The Coldplay singer is, by pedigree, a Tory thoroughbred; evidently much to his embarrassment.


Chris, after all, makes a point of parading his Left-wing politics - against student loans, in favour of fair trade, concerned with the plight of Mexican farmers and so forth.


He has never said a word about his connections with Churchill, or of his family's own political traditions.


Instead, he and Gwyneth, 31, share an impeccably fashionable liberal agenda. She was proud of him when he declared himself anti-Bush and anti-war at last year's Brits.


Like their shared teetotal habits, vegetarianism and fondness for macrobiotic foods, their common political ground is one of many ties.


But what do Chris's parents, Anthony and Alison, committed Christians and very much part of the cricket, jam and golf brigade, make of young Chris's A-list friend, who is pregnant - as yet without the benefit of wedlock?


The Martins, who live in a beautiful red brick Georgian manor house in the hamlet of Whitestone (pop 663), are "absolutely delighted" by the news, both in public and in private.


The baby will be their first grandchild and they are already "very fond" of Gwyneth.


She is one of their son's few girlfriends. Chris, 26, is a serious-minded young man and has had only one long-term relationship before falling for Gwyneth.



One serious girlfriend before Gwyneth


(He admitted in one interview that he was a virgin until he was 22, which must be some kind of record in pop circles.) His parents appreciate how important she is to him, and are pleased that he is settling down.


If they are disappointed that he is heading for a private £48 wedding in Santa Barbara - where he would be married by a judge - in a bid to prevent his big day from becoming a media circus, they would never say so.


But Anthony and Alison are heavily involved in Belmont chapel, an independent evangelical church based in Exeter.


As such, they might have hoped for a formal church wedding. Chris's father Anthony, a lifelong Conservative and magistrate, is nothing if not traditional.


The Martins' eight-seat aquamarine Volkswagen Caravelle bears the proof - a fish symbol and a rear window sticker that reads: "Long standing problem? Try kneeling."


Chris does not share his family's religious faith, although he says: "I have a lot of respect for them."


Like most parents, they accept that their views are not necessarily to be shared by their offspring.


"The main thing," said a local who knows the family, "is that they do genuinely very much like Gwyneth."


Gwyneth had 'meat-free' Christmas with Martins


Gwyneth spent last Christmas with them and by all accounts, the visit was a big hit.


The couple visited the Royal Oak pub, in nearby Nadderwater, for a quiet, alcohol-free drink with Chris's brother Alex.


Alison Martin happily prepared a meat-free Christmas feast for her eldest and his lover.


One can imagine that with one of the world's biggest stars perched at the table it must have resembled the scene in the film Notting Hill when Hugh Grant turns up to his pals' dinner party with Julia Roberts in tow.


After Christmas, Alison Martin was touched when Gwyneth went to the Barnfield theatre in Exeter to watch Chris's 11-year-old sister in a school production of Wind In The Willows.


Gwyneth and Chris, who generally crave anonymity, braved the inevitable fuss to spend half an hour backstage signing programmes and chatting to the children.


Before Chris's romance with Gwyneth, Anthony and Alison would happily chat about their famous son and his gold discs were proudly displayed in their home, which is thrown open for annual summer parties.


Friends asked not to talk to media


Now all that has changed. The villagers in Whitestone, where the Martins have lived for more than 20 years are being asked not to share their stories with the world.


At a recent gathering, Anthony Martin solemnly told those present not, on any account, to indulge in gossip with the media about his family or Chris and Gwyneth.


Presumably anticipating last week's pregnancy announcement, he told friends: "Please just keep your mouths shut about us lot. Chris finds it embarrassing and the attention isn't fair on the rest of our family."


Questions about the pregnancy, and impending wedding, are firmly rebuffed on their doorstep by Anthony.


All queries about Chris and Gwyneth are referred to his record company, EMI.


Alison feels that the attention centred on Chris is not fair on her four other children (one is a DJ, another a nurse, the other two are students), and will do nothing to encourage it.


Not everyone is so circumspect. Villager and electrician Adrian Down said: "The whole village is very pleased for Chris and Gwyneth and for the whole family. They are all very nice people and Chris's parents have lived in the village for a very long time and are very much part of village life."



Keen to remain part of local life


Chris and Gwyneth are keen to remain a part of local life. They will maintain her home in Belgravia, but are also looking at country properties in the Cotswolds.


And after the arrival of the baby there will naturally also be weekends spent with Chris and his large and close family.


Gwyneth can expect her life as the new Mrs Martin to involve quite a lot of cricket, which is not something that her Manhattan upbringing has prepared her for - indeed it is an open question as to whether she has ever seen a cricket match.


But her future father-in-law is the life president of the Countess Wear Cricket Club and Chris and his brothers Richard and Alex are all keen on the game.


Cricket teas - consisting of cucumber sandwiches and cakes - may pose a slight problem as Gwyneth's macrobiotic diet forbids the consumption of sugar or wheat.


She may also find Anthony Martin's fondness for spreading clotted cream on his toast a shade de trop as well.


But then the Martin family are a world away from the Paltrow clan.


Gwyneth's mother, Blythe Danner, is an actress whose family are patrician and Philadelphian.


Her beloved father Bruce, who died last year, was a TV producer and great friends with Steven Spielberg.


Gwyneth spent her childhood watching her mother on stage at the theatre and attending the prestigious girls' school, Spence, where she excelled at drama and modern languages.


The Martins owe their fortune, somewhat less glamorously, to caravans. Chris Martin's grandfather, John Besley Martin, known as Jack, set up his firm, Martins of Exeter in 1929.


It was sold in 1999 to employee Nick Sanderson - and in that year its sales were worth £8,825,000.


Martins owe fortune to caravans


The deal is thought to have netted Chris's father Anthony around £5million. The family is also understood to have made a fortune through the sale of land around Exeter in the past.


Jack Martin was an imposing man, both a landowner and a businessman. He was created CBE before his death in 1982, and served as Tory alderman, sheriff and mayor during a long political career.


Chester Long was on the council during Martin's time as mayor. He said: "I remember him well, he was a tall, smart man, and he made his fortune with caravans.


"One of Jack's daughters married someone connected to Churchill and I recall that it was quite an event."


That daughter was Elisabeth, Jack's only girl.



Related to Winston Churchill


Although Chris Martin has never, in countless interviews, mentioned it, his cousins are Churchill's great-grandchildren and his aunt is the Hon Elisabeth Sandys, widow of Churchill's grandson-Julian Sandys.


Perhaps such Establishment connections do not sit too well with the popular image of the young Left-wing rock star. Yet one theme running through his family is politics.


As well as the Churchill connection, Chris Martin counts among his relatives a host of other Tory grandees.


His father's brother, David, was an ultra-Eurosceptic Tory MP and once Parliamentary Private Secretary to Douglas Hurd. He lost his seat in 1997 and now lives in Bristol where he is a barrister.


Meanwhile, Chris's late uncle, Julian, an Etoneducated barrister with a passion for flying, was a Conservative candidate.


Julian's wife, aunt Elisabeth, even attended Enoch Powell's funeral - and wrote a letter to The Times about his "much misunderstood" "rivers of blood" speech.


In another letter to the paper, she also declared her preference for the Right-wing John Redwood as Tory leader.


Chris's father Anthony, a chartered accountant, is a lifelong Conservative, and has been spotted on the party's fund-raising circuit.


As a magistrate at Exeter, he has a reputation for making rather longwinded and pompous remarks when sentencing offenders.


Well-mannered family


Mrs Joyce Pike, whose son taught Chris during his preparatory years at Exeter Cathedral School, describes the Martins as 'well-liked, hard-working people.'


The ethos of family life was impeccably upper middle-class, and all the Martin children have been taught the importance of good manners - Chris was ticked off by his mother recently for leaving the milk out after making a cup of tea, pop star or not.


He was a boarder at the feepaying Sherborne school in Dorset then took a firstclass degree in ancient history at University College, London.


It's an unlikely background for a pop star, let alone for a consort to a film star.


He has said: "I'd think: 'Gosh, I'm just some public school boy with my house colours. I've got a degree. I'm from a middle-class family in Devon. I've got no story. We're just a bunch of students. I don't drink, I don't take drugs, I don't smoke. I can't be compared with Liam Gallagher or The Sex Pistols, or anyone real'."



Chris and Gwyneth are similar in many ways


In short, you might think he would be the last person to attract a Hollywood movie star.


Yet Chris and Gwyneth are similar in many ways: both privately educated, earnest, bright, spiritually inclined, romantic people who place a high value on creativity.


And of course, with the example of his own parents' enduring marriage, Chris and Gwyneth have happy marriages to emulate.


"Marriage isn't something that should be taken lightly," said Gywneth.


"I don't want to be married for six months and say, 'Oh well, never mind. On to number two'. I can't take life that lightly."


Sharon Smith, the landlady of the Royal Oak pub, which has entertained the couple, agrees that the stable, loving background Martin comes from will be ideal to sustain any forthcoming marriage.


"The baby couldn't ask for a better start," she said. "It will be born into a family of good Whitestone stock, and that's good news for everyone."


The only question that remains is whether Chris and Gwyneth's child becomes quite such a political animal as its illustrious forebears.

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i have just seen these pics of the honeymoon... and.. :stunned: gwynie... pfffff :/ she is a bit... mmmmmm SOSA (in english?? oops... i don't know!) ...... in the car all the time.... buuffff.... :angry: please go out of the car and walk!!! :P :D

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Tory is short for Conservative as in the Conservative party, which is the second biggest political party in Britain after, of course, Labour.

do ppl in britian not like conservatives?


Mimi said it was the sequend biggest party, after the Labour, so it's kind of obvious that they have support in Britain!


Thanks for the information Mimi, I didn't knew that thing about the partyes either! (well yes about teh distribution, but not the "Tory" thing)

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He admitted in one interview that he was a virgin until he was 22, which must be some kind of record in pop circles.)



It says that Chris doesn't share his parents religion, what is he then?


I dunno, I guess I like seeing Chris happy, but I don't like Gwyn with him. She might "seem" nice, but I sense corruption because of her. :angry:

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Mimi said it was the sequend biggest party, after the Labour, so it's kind of obvious that they have support in Britain!


Thanks for the information Mimi, I didn't knew that thing about the partyes either! (well yes about teh distribution, but not the "Tory" thing)


no its just like

everyone hates bush in britian almost

and yet alot are conservative?

doesnt quite click

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