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Dating & Relationships

Centenarians who’ve been married for 81 years share the secret of a long-lasting marriage


Ron and Joyce Bond. (ExtraCare via SWNS)

By Ben Turner via SWNS

Britain's longest married couple have celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary - after pals warned they wouldn't last long.

Ron and Joyce Bond, aged 102 and 100, said a bit of "give and take" was the secret of a long-lasting marriage.

The pair have seen 15 different Prime Ministers take power since they were wedded in 1941 after a "love at first sight" meeting.

Ron and Joyce Bond, from Milton Keynes, Bucks, could be Britain's longest-married couple after they celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary last week. (ExtraCare via SWNS)

Ron and Joyce, from Milton Keynes, England have claimed the title of Britain's longest married couple after celebrating their anniversary on January 4.

A couple previously thought to be the record-holders - Ron and Beryl Golightly from Yorkshire - were married for 80 years before Ron sadly passed away aged 101 in December.

Joyce, a former Woolworths worker, said: “We never expected to reach 81 years of marriage, we know we are very fortunate to have achieved this amazing goal.

"It feels excellent! There is no boss in our relationship, we both give and take.”

The couple - who are now great-great-grandparents - married at Newport Pagnell Registry Office when Ron was 21 and Joyce was 19.

Ron and Joyce Bond wedding day January 4, 1941. (ExtraCare via SWNS).

They went on to have two children, Eileen and Bill.

Ron, who served in the Second World War before working at a local garage, said: “Sometimes life is hard but we work through it together. We look after each other too.”

When asked if it was love at first sight both Ron and Joyce gave a unanimous yes without hesitation.

The couple celebrated their anniversary at ExtraCare’s Shenley Wood Retirement Village in Milton Keynes, where they share a flat.

They were treated to cream teas and got a shout out from Ken Bruce on Radio 2 at the request of son Bill.

Letter from the Queen to Ron and Joyce Bond. (ExtraCare via SWNS)

Last year, Queen Elizabeth II sent them a signed letter for their oak anniversary, which read: "How wonderful to learn of your eightieth wedding anniversary on 4th January, 2021. I do hope you enjoy this marvellous occasion."

Daughter Eileen said that her parents' friends initially doubted how long the couple would last when they married 81 years ago.

Eileen said: "My parents are a truly inspiring couple, not only to my brother and I but to their grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

"It was said of them at the time of their wedding, it would not last long, how wrong did folks get that?

"You only have to spend time with them to know they love and care for each other, even after 81 years of being married."

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