I have been married for quite some time (22 years in two days!) but my husband and I don’t care much about our marriage anniversary. We somehow feel it is just the day we “legally” became a couple and what we do instead is to celebrate the day we started dating 😀 And I obviously do not know if Damian and Helen are having a big celebration for their anniversary, but one thing I know is that even if they are not, an entire nation is celebrating with fireworks today on their behalf 😀
Happy July 4th!
Happy 11th Anniversary, Damian and Helen! We wish you two many, many, many more decades together!
Last year Helen talked about celebrating anniversaries with gifts appropriate for that anniversary: cotton for first, paper for second, leather for third and so on. She laughed as she told she had made a bikini from paper that would fit her for their paper anniversary and sent it to Damian. Quite SEXY! Steel for eleventh. So… any guesses? We have some traditional gift ideas here! 😀
We earlier shared the story of how the couple met here and how Damian proposed to Helen here. The couple married on July 4th 2007 in front of friends and family at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office.
What about honeymoon? Helen’s words make it even lovelier than it is:
“I did have a honeymoon. It lasted an evening. It was very short, but very lovely. We got married in the Kensington and Chelsea registry office, then walked down the King’s Road and had lunch in a nice restaurant (La Famiglia) around the corner with 11 people. A very romantic day.”
It’s VERY romantic and the way they kept it simple is very telling: these two are absolutely my kind of people 🙂
Now, there is no question that 10 years of marriage is quite an accomplishment in show business. So does our favorite couple have a secret recipe for a successful marriage?
Well, you see their love and affection for each other not only in how they look and move together…
…but also in their ways to balance life…
Damian comments in an interview with Vogue:
“As much as we may look like power-hungry, mad people, we are very committed, first and foremost, to living our life.”
Michael Attenborough, who directed them in Five Golden Rings, the play in which the couple met and fell in love with each other both on stage and off stage, says:
“The key to the success of Damian and Helen’s partnership is laughter. And that, above all else, endures.”
Helen tells Woman and Home in a recent interview:
“Damian is my best friend. Why? Because he’s the most available person to me! No, it’s because I love him to bits and because I respect his opinion and because he’s funny.”
And Damian shares with The Evening Standard about the humor at home:
“My wife makes me laugh a lot. [Our humour] is very dry. Very cut and thrust. I’m not always sure it is a joke. Or who is being laughed at, in fact.”
Helen gives a very critical piece of hint about their relationship in a Telegraph interview:
“We’re never our own masters, Damian and I, so it’s about being patient and kind to each other. When the other person said they were going to be home at 7pm and you’ve made dinner, and they don’t actually get back till 3am… do you know what? It’s not their fault, don’t give them a hard time. Even if it upsets you. Because they’re not in control of that.”
Moreover, it seems talking is a good chunk of the secret recipe…
Evening Standard reports in an interview with Helen that the couple is a gregarious pair and even though they have two busy careers with two kids, they still enjoy socializing. Helen says:
“We just drink less and go home earlier…”
Their perfect night is going to theatre, the cinema and a meal, and Helen adds:
“And we talk. Damian and I talk an awful lot.”
As a couple, they also have huge respect for each other’s careers, which I would personally list as one of the most, if not the most, important components of a successful two-career marriage.
Helen tells Evening Standard about their respect for each other when work is concerned:
“I have a huge respect for Damian’s work that has nothing to do with me or our relationship. Meeting each other at work means it’s always been easy to maintain independence… we’re very respectful of each other in that way. I think that’s what’s allowed us to keep working.
It’s the thing of every marriage, isn’t it? It’s the balance between wanting to be with someone but wanting them to fulfill themselves the best way they can and wanting to support them in that.”
Damian reveals in an interview with Telegraph that, as they were planning in 2016 to move to New York for six months as a family, Helen received a job offer to lead the new ITV show Fearless. It was him who insisted Helen take the job — this is what every man should do but because they most often do not, I give Damian standing ovation for what he did — and took the kids with him to New York. And I love it that he is honest about the experience 😀
“I’m not going to pretend that I swanned through it – I felt pretty frazzled by the end of it. I think Helen adjusted… alarmingly well, shall we say, to four months without the kids or me. Never seen her happier, calmer.”
It goes without saying it is a pleasure to witness our favorite couple keep supporting each other’s careers as well having fun together. Here is Damian and Helen enjoying the good life together at a fashion show, a 80s-themed charity fundraiser, and oh yeah, at a Rolling Stones concert, too! 😀
And Damian never shies away from taking his support for Helen to the next level as he talks to Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs:
“I fully expect to be the butler to her Dame one day.”
Respect and support each other.
It is certainly an excellent recipe, and not a very secret one, is it?
Let’s close with a poem Damian read at Cheltenham Literature Festival that brought tears to my eyes then and brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Not that it is the most romantic poem… it does not talk about love in every line, but it, in fact, talks about love, the endurance of it in every line, especially for a hopeless romantic like me 🙂 Cheers to Damian and Helen and to all couples out there that are in love!
Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.