An Eastbourne couple have walked into the world record books for becoming the oldest pair of newlyweds ever - with a combined age of almost 200.
George Kirby also became Britain’s oldest ever groom when he tied the knot with Doreen Luckie, 91 - on his 103rd birthday.
They wed in front of around 50 delighted guests and a representative from Guinness Book of World Records on Saturday (June 13).
The pair exchanged vows and set the world record for the oldest pair of newlyweds, with a combined age of 194 and 281 days.
The couple have been together for 27 years, and George finally proposed on Valentine’s day.
George and Doreen, who have been ‘living in sin’ since 1988, have finally decided to make their union official by giving into pressure from their elderly children.
Between them the pair have had seven children, 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
George said, “It’s about time, really. Doreen keeps me young and I can definitely say we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
Doreen added, “I wasn’t a blushing bride, but I was a bit giddy. It was such a lovely day - and great to see everybody.”
The pair live together at the Langham Hotel in Eastbourne, which is run by George’s son Neil Kirby, 63, where the ceremony took place.
“It’s about time, really. Doreen keeps me young and I can definitely say we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”George Kirby, 103-year-old newlywed
Best man Neil said, “It was a great day - everybody was so happy for them. They are such a beautiful couple.
“Dad missed his stag do lunch because he wasn’t feeling up for it, but Doreen had a hen party luncheon which was a complete laugh with all her golden girls.”
The loved-up newlyweds started courting in the 1988, when they met through an organisation to find friends for mature people.
George, then 76, had just got divorced while Doreen, who lived in Staplehurst, Kent, had become a widow three years earlier following 36 years of marriage.
She said, “He used to come to my house. We got on straight away. He liked the roses in my front garden - he was a real smooth talker.”
The couple quickly became an item and set up home together in 1990, but George only proposed to her on this February 14.
George said, “We were having dinner and I asked Doreen if she wanted to be married to me for a short time. I was so happy that she said yes.”
Neil added, “Long ago we adopted Doreen as our mum, and we’re all delighted that she’s now a Kirby.
“I’m not sure if she’s going to change her name though. I wouldn’t blame her for not, it is about time my dad finally made an honest woman out of her.”
George was born in London in June 1912 and joined the RAF as a physical education instructor in 1933, where he stayed for 25 years.
He was a passionate and talented boxer, winning every single one of the 60 fights he entered during his life.
In 2009, he was guest of honour at the Army London Regiment at a dinner and charity boxing match in London.
After leaving the RAF in 1958, George did a string of jobs, including restaurant manager, chauffeur and gardener.
He finally gave up work, and lifting dumbbells, at the age of 94, although continued to tend Doreen’s garden in Kent.
Doreen was born in Brixton in September 1923 and spent much of her career as a shorthand typist for the Director of Public Prosecutions at Temple, where she had to type out documents and transcripts of court cases including those of the Kray twins and Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
Sprightly Doreen keeps herself in shape by doing yoga classes on the seafront every week.
Neil added, “At their age, there’s nothing that they want materially and so they asked for donations to be made for charity rather than gifts.”
Instead of wedding presents, the pair would like to raise as much money as they can for their chosen charities - the Royal Air Forces Association and the Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust.
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