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The couple, who met at a 1998 lunch hosted by Sting and wife Trudie Styler, made an early public appearance in Feb. 2000 at the New York City premiere of Madonna's film The Next Best Thing.
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STANDING ON CEREMONY
The day before their Dec. 22, 2000 wedding, Madonna and Ritchie held an evening christening for then-4-month-old son Rocco at Dornoch Cathedral in Scotland. The next day, the couple walked down the aisle to the sound of a lone bagpiper at Skibo Castle before 220 guests, including pals Gwyneth Paltrow and Sting. At the ceremony Rocco wore a kilt that matched his father's, and Madonna's daughter Lourdes, then 4, led the processional, tossing handfuls of red rose petals.
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MEET THE MRS.
Madonna proudly displayed her newlywed status with her iconic "Mrs. Ritchie" blazer at the Feb. 2001 premiere of Ritchie's film Snatch in Los Angeles.
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WARM & COZY
Ritchie was his wife's biggest fan during a party at The Forum in Los Angeles celebrating the opening night of her 2004 Re-Invention World Tour. "Guy and I have done a lot of growing up in the last few years, and we understand that marriage is about having shared goals," Madonna told PEOPLE in 2003. "We have things we each want to do, but we're clear that partnership comes first."
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Ritchie took a break from shooting a commercial in New York City in June 2004 to spend some family time with Madonna, Lourdes and Rocco. "I am in a very good place," Madonna told PEOPLE. "Our whole life is based around the children. We get up with them in the morning. . . . Either Guy or I am always with them at dinner, and we spend evenings together."
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KEEPING THE FAITH
Celebrating Purim in March 2005, Madonna and Ritchie stepped out at London's Kabbalah Centre dressed as a nun and the Pope. The singer, no stranger to stirring up religious controversy, brought the mystical Jewish tradition into her husband's life. In fact, the couple's Kabbalah teacher Rabbi Eitan Yardeni "has been the glue that's really held things together for them," a source told PEOPLE in July.
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A MANOR OF FACT
Photographed at Ashcombe, the $16 million 1,200-acre English countryside estate the couple shared with their children, Madonna revealed her life with Ritchie in the pages of Vogue. "I see England as my home," she said in Aug. 2005. "And I now know how to ride. I know how to shoot. I know how to fish. I could be a connoisseur of ales if I wanted to – I never used to like the stuff, but when you're married to Guy Ritchie you spend a lot of time in pubs, and I learned to like it!"
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THEIR GROWING FAMILY
After being granted temporary custody of David Banda in Oct. 2006, a Malawi judge finally ruled this past May that Madonna and Ritchie were "perfect parents" for the 2-year-old, who officially joined the singer's daughter Lourdes, 12, and the couple's son Rocco, 8, in the Ritchie family.
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In a big night for the Material Girl, Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York City in March. But where was her Guy? Ritchie was in London at the time, which brought into focus the reality that the couple were leading separate lives – something Madonna addressed with music in "Miles Away," a song on her Hard Candy album.
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QUEEN OF DENIAL
Rumors of a split really heated by summer when reports spread that Madonna was having an affair with New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez. The singer stepped out publicly with Ritchie on July 1 and released a statement denying the allegations. "I want to officially and for the record state the following facts: My husband and I are not planning on getting a divorce . . . I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez," she said.
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SIGNS OF TROUBLE
Madonna supported Ritchie on the red carpet for the London premiere of his film RocknRolla on Sept. 1, but all did not seem well. A month later, her rep confirmed the couple were divorcing: "Madonna and Guy Ritchie have agreed to divorce after seven-and-a-half years of marriage," Liz Rosenberg wrote in an email to the Associated Press. "They have both requested that the media maintain respect for their family at this difficult time."
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