Britain’s ‘longest married couple’ celebrate 81st wedding anniversary – after friends said they ‘wouldn’t last’

Ron and Joyce just marked their 81st year of marriage (Picture: ExtraCare / SWNS)

Ron and Joyce Bond say a bit of ‘give and take’ is the secret to a long-lasting marriage.

The pair have just celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary and are thought to be Britain’s ‘longest married couple.’

Ron and Joyce, aged 102 and 100 respectively, have seen 15 different Prime Ministers take power since their wedding in 1941 – after a ‘love at first sight’ meeting.

The duo, from Milton Keynes, then went on to have two children called Eileen and Bill.

On their wedding day in 1941 (Picture: ExtraCare / SWNS)

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.’

While Joyce, a former Woolworths worker, adds: ’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 marked their anniversary on January 4 at ExtraCare’s Shenley Wood Retirement Village in Milton Keynes – where they share a flat.

They were treated to cream teas and were even given a shout-out by Ken Bruce on Radio 2, at the request of their son Bill.

Friends initially said they ‘wouldn’t last’ (Picture: ExtraCare / SWNS)

But it seems the couple’s friends were initially doubtful that the pair would last.

Their daughter Eileen said: ‘It was said 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.

‘My parents are a truly inspiring couple – not only to my brother and I, but to their grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.’

Their letter from the Queen (Picture: ExtraCare / SWNS)

Last year, the Queen wrote to the pair as they celebrated their 80th (oak) wedding anniversary. 

The letter read: ‘How wonderful to learn of your eightieth wedding anniversary on 4th January, 2021. I do hope you enjoy this marvellous occasion.’

The couple previously thought to be the record-holders for ‘longest marriage’ were Ron and Beryl Golightly, from Yorkshire.

They were married for 80 years, before Ron sadly passed away in December at the age of 101.

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