DEL-BOY actor Sir David Jason has married his long-term partner, Mirfield- born Gill Hinchliffe, in secret.
The happy couple announced the surprise news yesterday - after the actor collected his knighthood from the Queen.
The much-loved 65-year-old star wed Gill on Wednesday, in front of just 12 family and friends at the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, central London.
The couple's daughter Sophie Mae, now nearly five, was bridesmaid.
Gill, who met the actor while working at Yorkshire Television, is a former head girl of Mirfield High School - which is now Mirfiled Free Grammar.
Some of the unsuspecting guests were not told they were attending their wedding until Sir David and his bride-to-be walked into the room.
His new wife excitedly showed off her platinum diamond wedding band as they posed for pictures in the quadrangle of Buckingham Palace after his investiture.
"We got married yesterday at The Dorchester in a most beautiful suite. It was intimate and very romantic," she said.
"Some of the guests didn't even know. It was a very low-key surprise."
Sir David, known to millions as the wheeler dealer Derek Trotter from the hit sitcom Only Fools And Horses, first met Gill in 1989 when she became a production assistant with Yorkshire TV.
His previous partner of 18 years, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, died of breast cancer in 1995.
He once described marriage as like throwing yourself into a river when you only wanted a drink of water.
Sir David became a father for the first time at the age of 61 after he and Gill had Sophie Mae in 2001.
The new Lady White - Sir David's real surname is White - revealed she wore a long gold lace beaded dress for the civil ceremony.
She said they had thought it would be nice to tie in the wedding with Sir David's date with the palace.
After receiving his knighthood, Sir David insisted Del Boy would have reacted to such an honour with his usual Cockney charm as he swapped Peckham for the Palace.
Dressed in a top hat and black morning suit with a grey waist coat - with no sign of Trotter's gold jewellery or cigar, he declared: "He would have said `Stone me Rodders, we'll have to come back tonight, she's got some good gear here'."
Asked afterwards if the Palace would have let Del Boy's trusted sidekick and brother Rodney inside, Sir David remarked: "You must be joking. I've already seen someone who looked like Uncle Albert.
"I said to my wife `I thought we told him to stay in the van'."
The star showed some Trotter tendencies by demanding money for a glimpse of his accolade. "£10 a look," he joked.
But he refrained from using Del Boy-speak while chatting to the Queen.
"I think she's the sort who wouldn't have appreciated a witticism of that degree," he said.
The acclaimed actor knelt before the monarch to receive his honour and was given a tap on each shoulder with a silver sword.
Sir David's highly successful 38-year television career includes the role of Granville in Open All Hours, grumpy Detective Inspector Jack Frost in A Touch Of Frost, and Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds Of May.
But he said that Del Boy was probably his greatest achievement.
He said: "It's taken up so much of my time and it's affected so many people and given them so much pleasure. Being a fool is probably the only gift I possess."
He revealed today that he had an amusing moment when he returned to his seat after collecting his honour.
"I was sat next to this woman - a wonderful lady. She was looking a bit nervous so I asked her what was the matter.
"She said `Well, my tights have snapped and when I stand up they're going to fall to the floor'.
"I did offer her a few suggestions which she refused. That was quite interesting. It made my day."
Outside in the quadrangle, the delighted newlyweds posed together for photographs with the actor holding his smart top hat aloft.