A Couple's Parents Forbid Them From Marrying As Teenagers But 60 Years Later They Finally Tied The Knot

He moved all the way to Australia just to receive a letter from her that she couldn’t join him.

An elderly couple holds hands with wedding bands on their fingers. Martina Ebel / shutterstock

In 1963, a teenage couple, Len Albrighton and Jeanette Steer, met for the first time in a hospital on the Isle of Wight, an island off the coast of England. They were training to become nurses, and when they first saw each other, they said it was “love at first sight,” according to South West News Service. But the road to making it official was much longer than either had anticipated.

They tried to marry as teenagers, but her parents didn’t allow it.

Len was just 19 years old at the time, and Jeanette was 18. After a few months of knowing each other, Len got down on one knee and popped the question. Jeanette agreed, and they began to plan the wedding. 


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Len decided to start their new life together in Australia. He moved there and bought a piece of land to build a house for them to live happily ever after. But soon, a letter came in his mail that changed everything. Jeanette wrote to him that her parents would not permit the marriage because the legal age of consent was 21.

She had to call the wedding off, and on top of that, her parents wouldn’t let her move to Australia. Len decided to stay in the place down under and ended up marrying someone else. Jeanette did the same, except she stayed on the Isle of Wight. She wed a naval officer with whom she had two children. Len had three children and ended up splitting with his wife after 52 years.


After the divorce, he returned to England to continue working as a nurse. Then, he had the idea of finding Jeanette once again. He went to the Newport library and found her address using the electoral roll. She was retired and still married to her husband but his intentions were pure—he simply wanted to know how she was doing.

“I was daunted, not knowing what her reaction would be or if I would even see her,” he said. “I went on the off chance. It was not an easy place to find but I did. I just hoped she was ok – I didn’t expect anything else.”

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She didn’t recognize her long-lost lover at first.

Jeanette saw Len standing by the garden fence of her home, donning a beard—something he didn’t have all those decades ago. She asked who he was, and her reaction was overwhelming when he told her.


“I nearly died when I realized it was him,” she said. “I was glad he looked me up. I thought of him a lot at the time.”

Since she was still married, she shooed Len away and told her husband that he was just a stranger asking for directions. Len sent her a Christmas card but remained out of touch until two years later when her husband passed from cancer. She decided to reach back out to Len using the address he provided on the Christmas card. In 2018, she agreed to move to his current residence in Stevenage, a town in England, to finally live in the same house together.

Last year, he popped the question to her for the second time, and she accepted once again, except this time, no one stood in the way of their marriage. On February 11th, they had their wedding with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all in attendance. Today, Jeanette remarked that she enjoys her new life with Len.  

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


Len is also filled with emotion and romance for his old flame-turned-life partner.

“We fell in love again,” he 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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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. He writes on entertainment and news.