I have been married for quite some time (24 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 13th Anniversary, Damian and Helen! We wish you two many, many, many more decades together!
Two years ago, 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! Lace for thirteenth. So… any guesses? 😀 We have some traditional gift ideas here!
We shared with you the story of how our favorite couple met earlier here and how Damian proposed to Helen here. They 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 13 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.”
Absolutely. But it seems they may be working together soon. Helen tells in her recent and absolutely fantastic Desert Island Discs that they are looking to do something together at the moment.
“I’d like to work with him not because he’s my husband or because I know him, but because I like his acting. I think we’d probably try and do a comedy because we’re doing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf at home.”
But their version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf seems to be a happy one with a lot of talking!
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.”
And as Helen points out in her recent fantastic Desert Island Discs, having similar values absolutely helps keep a happy marriage:
“We are completely different as people but we’re very similar in our values. I very rarely ever sort of disagree with very fundamental things like parenting, which is a real acid test I think for any couple. I don’t want to say too many nice things because he’s going to be roaring with laughter at the radio and tease me.”
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.”
And he 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.”
It goes without saying it is a pleasure to witness our favorite couple keep supporting each other’s careers as well having fun together. We have once again seen them this past year enjoying theatre performances, sports events, attending awards shows and summer festivals, and doing charity work. But, of course, when the corona virus hit the UK in March, lo and behold, Damian and Helen found themselves staying at home like the rest of us!
The thing is that our favorite couple did not just stay home quietly and enjoy the family time they do not typically get during the school year (either one or the other or both have to film outside London) but instead they launched FeedNHS, a nonprofit campaign to raise as much money as possible to help feed NHS workers one healthy meal each day. Partnering with Leon CEO John Vincent, and comedian Matt Lucas, Damian and Helen started the campaign in London hospitals and soon after took it nationwide. They raised over 1.4 million pounds to feed the front line heroes! Hats off!
Here is our sweet ending to this anniversary post – our favorite couple’s favorite dance song! Helen explains on Desert Island Discs:
“One of my happiest moments, and still is, (and we danced to this when I was selecting for this program) is dancing with my husband. Damian is a superb dancer. And that’s very important to me – I love dancing. This [selection] just brings out all the naughtiness and I know that if ever I want him at a party and I can’t see where he is – and ladies and gentlemen it won’t surprise you to know that’s quite often – I will go up to the DJ and I will say ‘Put this song on.’ And I know if I’m in another building he will find me and we will dance to this.”
Happy Anniversary, Damian and Helen. We hope you get to dance to “Pull up to the Bumper” for many more decades!