Victoria Beckham's engagement trick on David – and punching him before wedding

The Beckham’s love story began in 1997 when Victoria marched up to David in the Manchester United players’ lounge and asked him out.

The Spice Girl star met the legendary footballer at one of his matches, and it was rumoured she asked band manager Simon Fuller to arrange a meeting.

Victoria would later admit that she “didn’t really know who he was” because she was never into football.

“I went over to him. I said to him, ‘are you going to come down and take me out type thing. And he came down to London and took me out,” she told Ruby Wax.

They conducted their relationship in secret, spending hours in David’s BMW parked up in the back of a Harvester’s pub, although she refused to kiss him until their fourth date.

But their main concern was to not be spotted together – in case she changed her mind.

David and Victoria married in 1999 - two years after starting their romance
David and Victoria married in 1999 – two years after starting their romance

“We had to be really, really careful to begin with,” she said, explaining, “You might go out with him once, it’ll get in the papers and you think, ooh, god, I don’t even like him and then you’ve publicly humiliated yourself!”

Despite having only been together for 10 months, according to author Gwen Russell, they’d decided to get engaged while Victoria was at the Spice World premiere in Los Angeles.

Therefore it wasn’t a surprise, and once she arrived home they set the wheels in motion and went looking for the perfect ring.

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“We’d already looked at a few rings but I didn’t know which one he had chosen. I’d told him what my dream ring would be. He remembered and had it specially made for me,” she reportedly said.

For the proposal itself, they checked into the hotel straight after David’s game with Manchester United, where Victoria was apparently presented with 30 roses before being escorted to their room which was festooned with £200 worth of red and yellow lillies.

And after getting into their bath robes and ordering dinner and champagne to the room, David popped the big question.

It's January 1998 and Posh Spice announces her engagement to footballer David Beckham
It’s January 1998 and Posh Spice announces her engagement to footballer David Beckham

“We were sitting there in our dressing gowns when David pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me, Victoria?'” she said, according to the book Arise Sir David Beckham: Footballer, Celebrity, Legend.

For David’s part, his nerves didn’t kick in until the final second.

“I wasn’t at all nervous about getting engaged, we’d decided a while ago we would make it official this weekend,” he apparently said.

“I got the ring and was really looking forward to it. But when the moment came there were a few butterflies.”

But Posh had a trick up her sleeve. As a Spice Girl and one of the pioneers of Girl Power, she also wanted to ask the question.

Victoria had only gone and bought David a £50,000 diamond encrusted gold ring from exclusive jewellery store Van Cleef and Arpels on Rodeo Drive, Hollywood.

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“I said yes, then produced my own ring and said, “Don’t forget Girl Power – will YOU marry me?” she reportedly said, adding that she’d chosen the ring with her mum and dad.

David found her stunt “very funny”, and after calling friends and family to share the happy news, they arranged the press conference for the very next day.

They held a press conference within hours of the proposal
They held a press conference within hours of the proposal

Victoria and her floppy-haired beau summoned the press to a hotel in Cheshire to announce their engagement.

Ignoring the January chill in a de rigueur Posh Spice mini skirt and huge cross necklace, Victoria, then 23, giggled shyly as she showed off her £65,000 diamond solitaire handcrafted by Manchester jewellers, Boodle and Dunthorne.

“I am the happiest girl on the world today,” she told the assembled media on the steps of the plush Rookery Hall hotel in Nantwich.

“I’m with the man I know I’m going to grow old and wrinkly with.”

On the day she insisted David’s proposal had been a ‘surprise’ but it later emerged that it was anything but.

They soon started to plan their family and Victoria got pregnant with first born Brooklyn.

Victoria was pregnant with their son Brooklyn at the time
Victoria was pregnant with their son Brooklyn at the time

However, their relationship faced its first test before they had even tied the knot.

VB saw red when the footballer called her to say he’d been accused of kissing someone else while the Spice Girls were away on tour.

And when their paths next crossed, Victoria described how she, “went straight up to him and just swung at him, punched him.”

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“I hadn’t planned it. I hadn’t punched anybody before. Just instinct,” she wrote in her 2001 autobiography Learning To Fly.

“I just felt angry and hurt.”

They fled to Lake Como in Italy to work things out, and Victoria eventually decided to believe David and married him four months after Brooklyn’s birth on July 4, 1999.

However, they smoothed things over and they tied the knot months later with a star-studded ceremony at Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland – with baby Brooklyn acting as the ring-bearer.


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