The wedding of Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Ieva Kupce was held today in St. Anna’s Church in the town of Halliste, the home church for the Ilves family since the 18th century, and the legal registration of their marriage entered into force as well. Ieva Kupce changed her last name to Ilves.
The wedding ceremony and marriage registration, witnessed by family members and close friends, was conducted by Marko Tiitus, the Viljandi County provost of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, assisted by the pastor of the Riga St. Gertrude congregation, Krists Kalniņš.
"Over the last half year, I have had by my side an intelligent, charming and happy woman, and we have now decided to join our lives together," said President Ilves.
Ieva Ilves said: "This is a very happy day for us, and we thank everyone who has wished us well."
Ieva (Kupce) Ilves, 38, grew up in the Latvian towns of Limbaži and Salacgriva, graduated from Riga University and attained a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in the US. Her activities in the last two decades have been related to foreign and security policy, NATO, the European Union, Eastern Partnership countries, human rights and democracy. She is currently in charge of the cyber security policy field at the Latvian Ministry of Defence. In this role, she served as one of the key officials leading the preparations for the 2006 NATO Summit in Riga and later worked to bring the NATO Strategic Communication Centre of Excellence to Riga.
Toomas Hendrik and Ieva Ilves do not have children together. Ieva Ilves is the mother of two children – a son, Ralfs Pundurs, age 13; and a daughter, Isabella, who is almost 2. Toomas Hendrik Ilves and his previous spouse are the parents of 12-year-old daughter, Kadri Keiu. Toomas Hendrik Ilves also has a grown son, Luukas Kristjan, and a daughter, Juulia.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Ieva Ilves will visit Ruhnu island to meet the local people and open a photo exhibition depicting the life of the people of Ruhnu.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Ieva Ilves, who is a patron of SOS Children's Villages, last night visited the family of SOS Keila Children's Village as it celebrated its 21st birthday.
"It is good and necessary that the children of Narva can receive modern, high level medical treatment here in their home town," said Ieva Ilves, who today visited the children's ward of Narva Hospital, which is run by doctor Reet Välja, who has worked in this hospital for over thirty years.