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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Elderly couple finally ties the knot after being engaged for 60 years

Alex and Jane Hamilton got married after being engaged for 60 years (Image: Kate Hamilton / SWNS)
Alex and Jane Hamilton got married after being engaged for 60 years (Image: Kate Hamilton / SWNS)

A couple have finally tied the knot after a 60-year engagement.

Alex Hamilton, 90, married Jane, 89, in a white wedding where the bride used an electric wheelchair.

The couple got together in 1962 – the year the first James Bond film was released – and planned to wed but never got around to it.

Both had been married to other people when they met and fell for each other in 1956, but had to wait six years before they got together.

Alex asked Jane to marry him when she had left her first husband, and they both already had children from previous relationships.

Being parents along with running a business became the focus of their lives and they never got around to making it official.

Jane changed her surname by deed poll and their kids were only told that they weren’t actually married after they turned 16.

Alex and Jane got married on Saturday

But they finally tied the knot on Saturday. Jane was walked down the aisle in a wheelchair by granddaughter Claire McDonald, 29, while grandson Craig McDonald, 23, made a wedding cake decorated with edible wildflowers.

All the family are massive Heart of Midlothian F.C. fans and the wedding was accidentally booked on the day of the Scottish Cup Final – but despite the team losing nobody was bothered.

Proud daughter Sally McDonald, 59, said both her parents were visibly nervous and that most people at their age were thinking about funerals, not getting hitched.

Sally said: “Usually at this age people are thinking about funerals.

“This is a major celebration, it was really beautiful.

“I think Dad was quite emotional, it was the ultimate gift he had to give her, was to marry her.

“It was almost like this was the way it should be, looking at what they have done together, and the family coming together for that celebration.”

At the time the couple met, Alex had two youngsters already and Jane also was a mother-of-one – living in Birmingham while he was in Edinburgh.

But they are are friends with their exes and they consider each other’s children to be their own.

Together they have five children and 11 grandchildren, and their wedding was held at their church in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, Scotland where they live.

Jane wore a white broderie Anglaise top and wide-legged trousers, and used an electric wheelchair to get up the aisle, which her daughter said “ran over a few toes”.

Care home worker Sally said her parents still behave like loved up teenagers and flirt with each other in public.

She described her parents as “unconventional” for cohabiting during a time when social expectations were fairly strict – and said they had strict standards about many other things.

Sally said: “If we go out to dinner with them, the two of them are looking across the table at each other, they are always so cheeky – they flirt with each other.

“It’s like having a new boyfriend only they’ve been like that for 60 years.”

She said Jane made the first move by taking Alex’s hand as they crossed a road, and described her dad as ‘shy’ while her mum is flirtatious.

She added: “They still go out on little dates, like for lunches.

“He said ‘would you marry me when the divorce comes through’, it was like a 60-year engagement.

“I think there was a bit of stigma at first but it was obviously the right thing.

“Dad talks so highly of her, he says ‘you are one of the most beautiful women and have such a presence.’

“They are really cute, she still giggles like a schoolgirl when he smiles at her.

“Sometimes the hard choices are the good decisions.”

The 60-year-engagement is believed to be a British record. Freda Wood and Jack Lee, from Cheshire, met as teenagers in the 1950s and were engaged by 1957, but only finally exchanged their vows in September 2010.

The longest engagement on record was between Octavio Guillan and Adriana Martinez. They finally took the plunge after 67 years in June 1969 in Mexico City.

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