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Sussex couple George Kirby and Doreen Luckie become the oldest in the world to marry

New groom says he didn't get down on one knee to propose because he didn't think he 'would have been able to get back up'

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Wednesday 18 November 2015 12:32 GMT
The 'besotted' couple on their wedding day, in front of 50 guests and a Guinness World Records representative, after 'courting' since 1988
The 'besotted' couple on their wedding day, in front of 50 guests and a Guinness World Records representative, after 'courting' since 1988 (JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

A British couple has officially been recognised as the oldest in the world to marry with a combined age of 194 years and 280 days after their wedding day this summer, according to Guinness World Records.

Proud groom George Kirby, 103, described how he proposed to his new bride Doreen Luckie, 91, on Valentine’s Day. Remembering the moment he asked the new Mrs Kirby to be his wife, he said: “I didn’t get down on one knee, because I don’t think I would have been able to get back up.”

Despite describing how she wasn’t a typical blushing bride, Mrs Kirby said: “But I was a bit giddy.”

The couple first met in 1988 through an organisation which helps older people make friends.

The newlyweds proudly show-off their Guinness World Records certificate (Neil Kirby)

Speaking with the Rye and Battle Observer, the couple’s son Neil described how the international reaction to his parents’ wedding was ‘just extraordinary’, adding how the pair featured in TV news programmes, not only in the UK, but also in America, with film crews even coming from as far as Thailand to film the wedding.

Mr and Mrs Kirby - from Sussex - even made front page news in Australia, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and Russia, added Neil.

The newlyweds have seven children, 15 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren between them and, on the day their record was announced, the first child of Mr Kirby’s grandson was born who was named George after his record-breaking great-grandfather.

The couple beat the previous record which was held by François Fernandez - born in France in 1906 - and Madeleine Francineau - born in 1907 also in France - who married at the age of 95 years 290 days, and 94 years 201 days respectively. The combined age between the couple at the time of their wedding was a record 190 years 126 days.

Confirming the new record, Guinness World Records said: “We can confirm that the aggregate age of the oldest couple to marry is 194 years 280 days, and was achieved by George Kirby (b. 13 June 1912, UK) and Doreen Kirby (nee Luckie, b. 6 September 1923, UK) when they were married in Eastbourne, East Sussex on 13 June 2015.”

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