Think you’ve left it too late to get hitched? Ted Parsons finally popped the question to his 90-year-old girlfriend at the grand old age of 98.
Gladys “Jean” Reed said yes and they officially tied the knot at Kingston Register Office on Saturday morning in front of friends and family.
The nonagenarians are believed to be Kingston’s oldest newlyweds, although they have known each other for 30 years, meeting when Ted, a painter, visited Jean’s home in Stuart Lodge, New Malden, where they have lived for more than 20 years.
Ted said of his eventual marriage proposal: “We used to go out for dates, but nothing too romantic – we were grown up. We never went mad – might have been different if we were 17 or 18.
“If I had gone down on one knee I would have needed help to get up again.”
The ceremony was a simple affair. Ted wore a pale blue suit and the couple walked in arm-in-arm with the youngest of Ted’s five children, Andrew, as best man.
Andrew, 63, said: “One of dad’s neighbours – she is very operatic in her singing and she sang ‘Here comes the bride’ as we went through to the registry. That took us all by surprise.
“It’s not the norm to get hitched, when most people are getting divorced.
“It’s just one of those things where they are not going to live forever – happiness in their last few years of life is all they want.
“I told my dad I could take him paintballing or quad-biking for his stag but he declined – no sense of fun.
“He said to me ‘Andrew I just want a quiet day, I don’t want any fuss’.”
Ted, who served in the Royal West Kent Infantry regiment, said the couple hoped to get out more now they were married and were thinking to drive to the south coast for their honeymoon as he has just had his licence renewed for three years.
He said: “I love her very much. It grows with age – it started as a friendship and then it grew into something different. I have got to look after Jean now for the rest of my days and she has got to look after me.”
The couple were a few years short of making the Guinness Book of Records.
Widower Lillian Hartley, 95, and retired vet Allan Marks, 98, married in California last March with a combined age of 193, beating a French couple from 2002.
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