Parents Stopped Teen's Wedding And 60 Years Later, She Finally Gets Married To The Same Man

March 27, 2023

Six decades after their parents called off their engagement, a couple has finally exchanged wedding vows.

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Credit: Len Albrighton / SWNS

Len Allbrighton, 79, and Jeanette Steer, 78, first met in 1963 when they were training together as nurses at St. Mary's Hospital in the Isle of Wight, an island in the English Channel. Len was 19 and Jeanette was 18 at the time.

They said it was "love at first sight" and a few months later, Len asked Jeanette to marry him. She said yes.

Shortly after, Len moved to Australia to buy a plot of land and build a house for them to live in once they were married.

However, the age of consent at the time was 21 and Jeanette's parents put a stop to the wedding as she was only 18. Her parents wouldn't let her move to Australia either. Jeanette sent him a letter explaining why she had to end their engagement.

The years went by and Len eventually married someone in Australia and Jeanette married someone on the Isle of Wight.

But 52 years later, Len was divorced and looking for love again. He decided to travel back to the Isle of Wight and look for his first love's address in a directory.

"I was daunted, not knowing what her reaction would be or if I would even see her," Len told SWNS. "I went on the off chance. It was not an easy place to find but I did."


Len was standing by her garden fence looking at the house when Jeanette noticed him and asked who he was.

"I nearly died when I realized it was him standing by my garden fence," she said. However, Jeanette was still married at the time and turned him away.

But two years later, Jeanette's husband died of cancer. So, she reached back out to Len. He had sent her a Christmas card the year before and still had his contact information.

"I was glad he looked me up. I thought of him a lot at the time," she said.

In 2018, she agreed to move up to Stevenage to live with him, and last year Len once again got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

They tied the knot on Feb. 11, with new matching rings and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to bear witness.

"Married life is fantastic – it couldn't be better," Jeanette said. "It's nice to have someone who treats me with respect. I like doing everything and anything with Len."

"We fell in love again," Len said. "We read poems to each other and exchanged rings – I got emotional when reading mine. I was overwhelmed with my love for her."

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