David and Victoria Beckham’s love story, 25 years on: 'You make mistakes – it’s about working through it'

David and Victoria Beckham dressed in black arriving at Management's 19th Anniversary Party held at the Royal Albert Hall on April 19 2004
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Some said it wouldn’t last, but David and Victoria Beckham have proved their early critics spectacularly wrong. On 4 July, the golden couple will celebrate an impressive 25 years of marriage – a rare feat for most celebrity partnerships.

The pair met in early 1997, at a Manchester United football game – and were engaged by the following January, proving that when you know, you know. And they certainly didn’t waste any time when it came to building the Beckham brand – and brood.

On 4 March 1999, the couple became parents to a son named Brooklyn Joseph, with his first public appearance coming just months later at the wedding of the year – when David and Victoria tied the knot in Ireland.

The nuptials, which were exclusively covered by OK!, were everything you could imagine from one of the most famous pop stars of the 90s and Britain’s heartthrob footballer, plus a whole lot more.

David and Victoria assembled nearly 300 of their closest friends and family at Luttrellstown Castle, near Dublin, on 4 July 1999. And from the couple’s matching outfits to the Spice Girl guests and those thrones, the wedding was certainly done in style.

Set in a 560-acre estate with its own golf course, the castle was the perfect location for such an exclusive event. Surrounded by a high stone wall to keep the frenzy of paparazzi at bay, the newlyweds and their guests had the privacy and space to relax and enjoy the proceedings after months of preparations.

At the time, the couple admitted to us that the wedding was on the cards from day one. Victoria revealed, “I knew from very early on how strongly I felt. “As soon as I met David, I thought, ‘I want to marry this person, grow old with this person. Learn things about life with this person… have a family.’ I surprised myself. When I met David, I thought, ‘Yeah, I really do want to get married.’”

David agreed, telling us, “I was the same. It was that feeling you have of wanting to be with someone, of wanting to make the effort to go and see them. I’d never had that before.” He admitted, sweetly, “The fact is, this is the first time I’ve ever been in love.”

Although she didn’t become a fashion designer until later in her career, Victoria clearly had an eye for style even then. Arriving on her big day in a strapless Vera Wang wedding gown with a 20ft train, the champagne-coloured creation took everyone’s breath away – if Victoria’s 18-carat gold tiara hadn’t already.

David, whose best man was Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville, wore a cream suit by English designer Timothy Everett, with a matching cravat adding to the flawless look. The newlyweds later changed into purple outfits and sat on thrones in a raised “bridal alcove”, accompanied by a sleepy Brooklyn. His swinging chair, which had been decorated with burgundy velvet and gold ribbon, was nearby.

While the big day may have been extravagant, it was also intimate, involving Victoria and David’s nearest and dearest, who would go on to watch the couple prosper for years to come.

“I’ve seen a lot of weddings where there are all these famous, glamorous people walking around, but we didn’t want a wedding like that,” said Victoria at the time. “People aren’t there because of who they are or what they do – they’re all there because they’re friends.”

Real Madrid soccer player David Beckham and his wife, Victoria Beckham, leave Claridges Hotel on April 12 2004 in London
Posh and Becks wore purple at their iconic Irish nuptials

Three years after saying “I do”, Victoria and David welcomed another baby boy, Romeo James. Followed in 2005 by their third son, Cruz David, and finally, in 2011, their family was complete with a baby girl, Harper Seven.

While Victoria and David have moved around the globe over the years and taken on numerous career ventures, the couple’s devotion to their four children has never wavered. “I’m so lucky that we are such a close family, and David is such a great husband, such a great dad,” Victoria said.

David echoed these sentiments in 2014. “My children are my motivation. Simple as that. I want to prove to them that if you work hard you can be successful.”

Keen to give them as normal an upbringing as possible with superstar parents, Victoria and David have often been snapped taking the kids for family days out, while Brooklyn and Romeo even picked up part-time jobs when they entered their teenage years.

These days, Brooklyn, now 25, is married to heiress Nicola Peltz and living in Los Angeles, Romeo, 21, is following in his dad’s footsteps as a footballer, and Cruz, 19, is looking to mirror his mum as a budding musician. Meanwhile, Harper, 12, often accompanies her famous family to glamorous events.

English footballer David Beckham and his wife, singer Victoria Beckham  of the Spice Girls, during the MOBO Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 6 October 1999
Fans loved the power couple dancing to Kenny Rogers in the Netflix documentary Beckham

Clearly enjoying a close bond with their parents, it’s not unknown for the three Beckham boys to gush over Victoria and David on social media, with Romeo even sporting a matching neck tattoo to his footballer dad.

And as for Victoria and David themselves, their enduring love story only seems to be getting stronger as they reach their milestone silver wedding anniversary.

Carrying his wife out of her recent 50th birthday celebrations, piggy-back style, it was clear they are – quite literally – always there to support each other. And as they partied with their children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper – not to mention the Spice Girls and a football team’s worth of celebrity friends – there was clearly a lot of love in the room for the iconic duo.

Their marriage certainly isn’t lacking in romance, either. In October 2023, fans went wild when the couple danced together to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s hit Islands In The Stream, in the Beckham series on Netflix. It even prompted TikTok-ers to challenge their partners to the “Beckham Test”, where they play the song and start dancing to it, and see if their partners “pass” the test by joining them.

Despite their fame and fortune, David and Victoria say that simply putting each other first has been the key to their happiness.

“You have to make time for each other,” David says. “Of course you make mistakes over the years, and we all know marriage is difficult at times. It’s about working through it… We know each other better than anybody.”

“People have talked about, ‘Do we stay together because it’s a brand?’ Of course not. We stay together because we love each other, because we have four amazing children. Do you go through tough times? Of course. That’s part of relationships. It’s part of marriages. It’s part of having children. It’s part of having responsibilities.”

Revealing that they have “a lot of fun together”, Victoria says, “If I really was as miserable as I look in some of those paparazzi pictures, my children wouldn’t be as happy as they are. And I certainly wouldn’t be married any more.”

So what is Victoria’s knight in shining armour truly like, behind closed doors? “He’s just a kind, soft person – well not soft, but a gentle person. He likes things done a certain way, which is great, because I leave a mess everywhere I go. That’s why we are good partners. I leave a mess and he tidies it up.”

Here’s to many more years of love and laughter. Happy anniversary, David and Victoria!

Don’t miss our Beckhams special on sale 27 June. To purchase OK!’s David & Victoria Beckham Anniversary Collector’s Edition for £9.99, visit ok.co.uk/thebeckhams