Couple celebrate 81st wedding anniversary - after friends said it 'wouldn't last'

·3 min read
Ron and Joyce Bond are believed to be Britain's longest-married couple after they celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary last week. (SWNS)
Ron and Joyce Bond are believed to be Britain's longest-married couple after they celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary last week. (SWNS)

A couple, believed to be Britain's longest married couple, have celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary, after their friends warned they "wouldn't last long".

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

Since they tied the knot in 1941 after a what they describe as a "love at first sight" meeting, the couple have seen 15 different prime ministers take power.

And after celebrating their anniversary on January 4 this year, Mr and Mrs Bond are believed to have claimed the title of Britain's longest married partnership.

A couple previously believed to be the marriage record-holders — Ron and Beryl Golightly from Yorkshire — were married for 80 years before Mr Golightly died aged 101 in December.

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The couple wed in 1941 and received a letter from the Queen last year to mark their 80th anniversary. (SWNS)
The couple wed in 1941 and received a letter from the Queen last year to mark their 80th anniversary. (SWNS)

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“We never expected to reach 81 years of marriage, we know we are very fortunate to have achieved this amazing goal," Mrs Bond, a former Woolworths worker, says. 

"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 Mr Bond was 21 and the soon-to-be Mrs Bond was 19. They went on to have two children, Eileen and Bill.

Mr Bond, 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.”

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When asked if their meeting had been love at first sight, the couple were unanimous in their response. 

Celebrating their anniversary at ExtraCare’s Shenley Wood Retirement Village in Milton Keynes, where they share a flat, the couple were treated to cream teas and got a shout out from Ken Bruce on Radio 2 at the request of their son.

Meanwhile last year, for their 80th anniversary, which is traditionally known as the Oak anniversary, the Queen sent them a signed letter, which read: "How wonderful to learn of your eightieth wedding anniversary on 4th January, 2021. I do hope you enjoy this marvellous occasion."

The couple share a flat in a care home. (SWNS)
The couple share a flat in a care home. (SWNS)

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

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

"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."

Additional reporting SWNS.

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