A pair of septuagenarians have recently tied the knot, and their love story has been 60 years in the making, after their their teenage romance was abruptly ended. In 1963, Len Allbrighton was 19 years old when he met Jeanette Steer, just a year his junior, at nursing school on the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. While they were prevented from marrying at the time and ultimately took different paths in life, the pair found their way back to each other, decades after they first fell in love.
Allbrighton and Steer described their teen romance as “love at first sight,” and quickly made plans to marry only months after knowing each other. Back then, however, the age of consent was 21, so Steer—who was 18 at the time—was prevented from accepting Allbrighton's proposal. Their separation was made even more heartbreaking by Allbrighton's move to Australia, where he planned on building a house for himself and Steer.
When Steer couldn't follow him across the world, Allbrighton had to settle on his own in a new country, eventually marrying a different woman. Then, after 52 years of marriage, he divorced and journeyed back to the Isle of Wight with the intention of reconnecting with his first love. “I went on the off chance. It was not an easy place to find, but I did,” he says.
At the time of his visit, Steer was married and living with her husband, so she had to turn him away. In fact, she told her husband at the time that Allbrighton was just a lost stranger looking for directions. But two years later, after her husband died from cancer, Steer decided to reach out to Allbrighton again. “I just hoped she was OK—I didn't expect anything else,” Allbrighton admits. “I'm very surprised by the outcome of my trip down there and very happy too!”
The pair rekindled their romance, and eventually, Allbrighton invited Steer to live with him in Stevenage, England. They finally married in February 2022, surrounded by their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Allbrighton says, “We fell in love again. We read poems to each other and exchanged rings—I got emotional when reading mine. I was overwhelmed with my love for her.”
“Married life is fantastic—it couldn't be better,” Steer says. “It's nice to have someone who treats me with respect. I like doing everything and anything with Len.” We wish the married couple many more happy years together.
60 years ago 19-year-old Len Allbrighton met 18-year-old Jeanette Steer at a nursing school in the UK. They wanted to get married, but the age of consent was 21 at the time, and Jeanette's parents put a stop to their romance.
60 years later, the couple unexpectedly rekindled their romance and got married.