David and Victoria Beckham are the showbiz world’s most iconic power couple.
And as their 24th wedding anniversary approaches, we take a look and the highs and lows, trials and tribulations and sweet and sour moments between the pair, who fell in love as their stars rose in the sporting and showbiz worlds in the mid-nineties.
The couple, who are parents to Brooklyn, 24, Romeo, 20, Cruz, 18, and Harper, 11, tied the knot in Ireland in 1999 and have lived their life together in the spotlight.
Last year, they revealed naysayers were rife, with Victoria saying: ‘They say he isn’t funny, they say I never smile, they said it wouldn’t last… Today we celebrate 23 years being married. David you are my everything, I love you so much!”.
In 2017, Victoria wrote a letter to her 18-year-old self back for Vogue, offering marriage tips. She wrote: ‘In marriage: have patience. Bite your tongue. Be supportive. And preserve a bit of mystique. Never let yourself go completely.’
And as they prepare to celebrate their anniversary on Tuesday, a look at their romance – complete with THAT iconic wedding, their lavish lifestyle, Beckingham Palace, their shock cheating scandal and their promise of lasting love.
True love: David and Victoria Beckham are the showbiz world’s most iconic power couple (pictured in 1997)
Loved up: And as their 24th wedding anniversary approaches, we take a look and the highs and lows, trials and tribulations and sweet and sour moments between the pair (pictured earlier this year)
Where it all began: The couple were introduced in 1997 – a year after David has spotted the former Spice Girl in a music video and vowed to marry her
Happy days: David and Victoria are pictured with Brooklyn, his wife Nicola Peltz, daughter Harper and son Cruz
1996 – WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
In 1996 — when Victoria was the more famous of the two, thanks to her role in chart-topping girl band the Spice Girls — young Manchester United footballer David, knew she was the one for him before they even met.
Then known to her legions of fans as Posh Spice, Victoria admitted that nobody even wanted to date her before she was eventually introduced to David in 1997 — at his request — after his team’s charity football match.
Speaking in 2012, the mother-of-four told Spice Girls’ Story: Viva Forever: ‘There was a stage where someone wrote once how every woman wanted to be one of us and every man wanted to date one of us. Not that anyone wanted to date me. I think everyone wanted to sort of like just brush my hair.’
For prolific sportsman David, there was no question that she was the one he wanted to be with — and he even dreamed of the day he would marry the singer as he watched her writhe around in the video for her group’s hit single Say You’ll Be There.
‘That’s the girl for me and I’m going to get her!’ David told The Sun of a conversation he had with a pal as he watched the star strut her stuff onscreen. ‘She’s my idea of perfection. I knew that if she wanted me, we would be together forever.’
Later speaking to Vogue in 2016, Victoria said: ‘Love at first sight does exist. It will happen to you in the Manchester United players’ lounge — although you will get a little drunk, so exact details are hazy.’
Stunner: For prolific sportsman David, there was no question that she was the one he wanted to be with — and he even dreamed of the day he would marry the singer as he watched her writhe around in the video for her group’s hit single Say You’ll Be There
Woo! David was a rising star when he met the stunner (pictured in 1996)
1998 – POPPING QUESTIONS
Just over a year after meeting, in January 1998, the couple, now affectionately dubbed Posh and Becks, ended weeks of speculation over whether they’d taken their romance to the next level, when they announced that they were engaged to marry.
Speaking about the proposal, Victoria said at the time: ‘We’d already looked at a few rings but I didn’t know which one he had chosen. I’d told him what my dream ring would be. He remembered and had it specially made for me’.
The proposal came when they checked into a hotel after a Manchester United game, after which Victoria was presented with 30 roses before being escorted to their room which was packed with £200 worth of red and yellow lillies.
The duo slipped into bath robes, ordered dinner and champagne and David popped the question much to Victoria’s utter delight.
In the book Arise Sir David Beckham: Footballer, Celebrity, Legend, it was reported Victoria said: ‘We were sitting there in our dressing gowns when David pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me, Victoria?”
David meanwhile said: ”I wasn’t at all nervous about getting engaged, we’d decided a while ago we would make it official this weekend. I got the ring and was really looking forward to it. But when the moment came there were a few butterflies.’
The couple swiftly called a press conference where Victoria flashed her bling and told the gathered media at Rookery Hall hotel in Nantwich.: ‘I am the happiest girl on the world today. I’m with the man I know I’m going to grow old and wrinkly with.’
Loved-up: Just over a year after meeting, in January 1998, the couple, now affectionately dubbed Posh and Becks, ended weeks of speculation over whether they’d taken their romance to the next level, when they announced that they were engaged to marry
True love: The couple have been media darlings since hurtling into the spotlight (pictured in 2001)
MARCH 1999 – BABY BROOKLYN ARRIVES
Before marriage came the baby carriage, with the increasingly famous duo welcoming the birth of their first child, a son called Brooklyn, in March, 1999.
He was born at London’s Portland Hospital in London and t is often reported that he was named Brooklyn because he was conceived in NYC.
Despite the frequent reports, in Victoria’s 2001 biography, Learning To Fly, Victoria insisted she simply liked the name. She wrote: ‘We already knew he was a boy and so I knew he could end up a footballer, so it had to be a name that was a bit bloke.
‘I had always liked the name Brooke and then we suddenly thought about Brooklyn. I’d always like it as a place – it’s very multi-cultural, very grounded.
‘And it was only afterwards that I realised how appropriate it was because it was in NYC that I found out I was pregnant and where David came after the World Cup.’
Our boy: Before marriage came the baby carriage, with the increasingly famous duo welcoming the birth of their first child, a son called Brooklyn, in March, 1999
Sweet: The family are pictured in 2006, prior to the arrival of Harper
JUNE 1999 – THE BIRTH OF THE MATCHING – AND DIVISIVE – FASHION
The couple established themselves as a fashion powerhouse – for the right and wrong reasons- from the late Nineties, when they wore matching outfits.
Things began at the Versace Club Gala Party in June 1999, when they hit headlines for sporting matching head-to-toe leather ensembles designed by Gucci.
Speaking about the ensembles last year, Victoria said: ‘I mean it haunts me. It does haunt me, but I love it. It was hot. We were wearing Gucci…
‘It was a Versace dinner, which was inappropriate in itself. But we really considered those outfits. We really thought about it. There was a naivety to it that was just so sweet.’
When asked in 2021 why they wore matching looks, she explained: ‘It just seemed like a really good idea at the time. t really did…
‘I think there was a naiveté then, we didn’t know about fashion. We were just having fun with it, which to be honest with you, is kind of the way it should be. I really wish I had the courage to do it more now.’
At the 2003 MTV Movie Awards in LA the couple sported matching white ensembles while they recently joked when they ‘accidentally’ wore double denim.
Squeaky! The couple established themselves as a fashion powerhouse – for the right and wrong reasons- from the late Nineties, when they wore matching outfits
All white? At the 2003 MTV Movie Awards in LA the couple sported matching white ensembles while they recently joked when they ‘accidentally’ wore double denim
Twinning! In June, they stepped out in matching double denim outfits and shared a snap showing off their twinning ensembles to Instagram in a reference to their past ensembles
JULY 1999 – POSH AND BECKS MAKE IT OFFICIAL
The Beckhams famously married in a spectacular ceremony, costing a reported £800,000 in which they both donned bold ensembles. Images from the big day featured in an OK! spread and front cover story.
Their marriage came when David had just won the treble with Manchester United and Victoria was a global icon with the Spice Girls.
Their highly-anticipated wedding ceremony came on July 4 in an extravagant ceremony — complete with golden thrones and a glittering tiara for the bride.
Happy days: The couple are pictured headed to their Irish wedding in 1999
While no expense was spared for the nuptials — conducted by Bishop of Cork, Paul Colton — the day was also filled with touching, heartfelt moments, including four-month-old Brooklyn serving as the ring bearer.
Sparing no expense, the power couple hired Bentley’s Entertainments, organisers of Elton John’s birthday as well as Princess Anne’s 40th, to mastermind the highly-publicised showbiz event.
Their picturesque Irish venue sat on 560 acres and dated back to the 18th century, with organsier Peregrine Armstrong-Jones telling OK! how ‘Victoria wanted somewhere really private and unique, somewhere leafy and green’.
She had hired Simon Lycett, who worked on the 90s rom-com Four Weddings And A Funeral, to set up the floral arrangements – complete with fresh apples which had been pierced and dotted around the castle in order to discharge the scent of fruit.
With David rocking up in a £230,000 Bentley Azure wearing a cream suit designed by Timothy Everett, Victoria sported a Vera Wang dress as she rode in style in a Bentley Arnage.
She commanded attention in a diamond-and-gold crown, which was custom-built by Slim Barrett who had previously crafted accessories for Princess Diana.
Despite the nuptials being covered as part of the lucrative magazine deal, last year Victoria was adamant the wedding wasn’t as fancy as it appeared.
Speaking to The Business of Fashion as part of the BoF VOICES 2022 event, she said of her big day: ‘I think that the media glamorised the wedding much more than it actually was … [It was] actually much more intimate than it looked.’
She added: ‘I love to have fun. I work very very hard. I take what I do very seriously. I want to be a great wife, a really great mum, but I wanna have fun as well…
‘Sometimes my tongue-in-cheek sense of humour does tend to get me in trouble, but the wedding wasn’t as huge as everybody made it out [to be].’
Sparing no expense, the power couple hired Bentley’s Entertainments, organisers of Elton John’s birthday as well as Princess Anne’s 40th, to mastermind the highly-publicised showbiz event.
OCTOBER 1999 – BECKINGHAM PALACE
And once it came time for them to set up home together, things were no less lavish, with the lovebirds constructing an abode in the leafy green county of Hertfordshire so grand that it was dubbed Beckhingham Palace — worth an estimated £7.5 million.
The duo purchased the 12 acre estate just three months after their wedding.
The property has a woodland chapel, fake ancient ruins forming a playground, gardens including a Capability Brown-style maze and barbecue area.
Elsewhere the home, a former children’s home, had a professionally tended football pitch, a recording studio, an indoor swimming pool, a snooker room and a gym.
In 2013 the house went up for sale when they opted to relocate to Kensington and they sold up in 2014, when insurance tycoon scooped the home for £11.5million.
Neil Utley, the chairman of Hastings Direct, also picked up an Aston Martin and two Jaguars as part of the deal.
The couple are believed to have pooled the cash from the property as well as from the sale of a number of their luxury cars, to buy their £45million mansion in London.
Wow! And once it came time for them to set up home together, things were no less lavish, with the lovebirds constructing an abode in the leafy green county of Hertfordshire so grand that it was dubbed Beckhingham Palace — worth an estimated £7.5 million
SEPTEMBER 2002 – ALONG CAME ROMEO
The following year, the couple welcomed baby Romeo to the world.
At the time David announced the news, revealing the baby weighed 7lbs 4ozs when he was born at the exclusive Portland Hospital in London.
He said: ‘Mother and baby were doing well’ and added that the singer was recovering with three-year-old son Brooklyn and relatives at her bedside.
A smiling David emerged from the hospital near Regent’s Park to tell the waiting media the news. Flanked by his personal assistant, he told reporters: ‘We’ve had a little boy called Romeo.’
Asked about the birth, David said that he had been present and the experience had been nerve-wracking: ‘It’s always nervous having children but it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. (Victoria’s) great. She’s sitting up in bed. The family are here…
‘He looks like Brooklyn. He’s got Brooklyn’s nose and Victoria’s chin’.
The private hospital, near Regent’s Park, was where Brooklyn was born by Caesarean section in March 1999. A spokeswoman for the couple later told PA News that Romeo was born at 9.40am by Caesarean section.
But she stressed that the procedure was not elective surgery and had been carried out under doctor’s orders.
Some reports at the time suggested that Victoria had opted for a Caesarean instead of a natural birth because of her husband’s busy football schedule – giving birth to the phrase ‘Too posh to push’ in regards to elective C-sections.
Denying the suggestion, the spokeswoman said: ‘Because Brooklyn was a breech birth, she had to have a Caesarean section. This time it was under doctor’s orders.’
Sweet: The following year, the couple welcomed baby Romeo to the world (Victoria is pictured with Romeo
SEPTEMBER 2003 – SPAIN CALLS… AND REBECCA SPEAKS
In 2003, the family moved to Spain when David was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid leading to a shock revelation for the couple.
The following year, Rebecca Loos shook the showbiz world to its core, when she alleged to have had an affair with David while acting as his personal assistant.
In a shocking blow to their relationship, Rebecca claimed she had a four-month affair with the footballer in September 2003, in the wake of the move, however he strenuously and continually denied the allegations.
They defiantly stuck together after his alleged infidelity with Rebecca. The pair were pictured in a nightclub when David was playing with Real Madrid and while he denied reports of a four-month affair, she lost her job.
Rebecca sold her story to the News Of The World- before appearing on a string of reality TV shows, appearing topless on the cover of Playboy and Zoo and making a number of red carpet appearances.
Speaking about their alleged first night together, Rebecca said: ‘That was the night. September 18th. We had all been out with a group of people for dinner, having a few drinks and relaxing, there had been some flirting and I was getting a few innuendos but I kept saying, ‘No he doesn’t fancy you’.
‘I would always say to myself ‘don’t risk your job’ and I knew there was a huge risk involved if I got involved with this man.’ That night we just really hit it off. It was the first time, we were just locked into each other all night conversation wise. We just connected. People noticed it.’
She claimed they had finished dinner late that night and decided to go on to a club, where David suggested they all go back to the hotel for drinks at around 2.30am but then he turned to her and said: ‘Why don’t we just lose the rest and why don’t we just go back together?’
She said: ‘I gave him a look I was very surprised, very taken aback. I said, ‘**** off’ in a joking manner. But there was a look and he was still looking at me and I was looking at him. I think one of the girls we were with came up and sat between us.
‘I think the chemistry between David and I was so strong and people were not happy because I was being very unprofessional and he’s a married man.’
Shock: The following year, Rebecca Loos shook the showbiz world to its core, when she alleged to have had an affair with David while acting as his personal assistant
What affair? Victoria and David put on a united front in the wake of the claims in 2003
‘Then it dawned on me what he had asked me and I decided I did want to go back with him so we gave each other a look and paid the bill and left.’
She said: ‘We got in the car, David and I with two other members of the group, and we were going to drive them to the hotel and drop them off and he was sitting next to me in the car and his leg was rubbing up against mine quite strongly.
‘I couldn’t wait to be alone with him and I knew he felt the same. We dropped off the other two people in the car and starting kissing quite passionately all the way back to the hotel.’ She added: ‘It was like magnets, pretty amazing.’
She said they drove into an underground carpark beneath his hotel room and said: ‘We ran up to the room laughing and smiling. It was a nice moment.’
Speaking in the same interview about his relationship with Victoria, she was asked if he ‘missed’ Victoria while he was with Real Madrid, she said: ‘I’m not answering that question. I think so yes.’
On Victoria’s attitude towards her, she said: ‘I don’t expect any sympathy from her at all. I think it’s bad enough for me to do what I have done without me expecting any words of sympathy. I really hope that they get through it.
‘I think the problems were in their marriage long before I came into the picture. I in no way intended to break up their marriage especially when there are young children involved. I hope they stay together.’
Way back when: In a shocking blow to their relationship, Rebecca claimed she had a four-month affair with the footballer in September 2003, in the wake of the move, however he strenuously and continually denied the allegations
FEBRUARY 2005 – CRUZ ARRIVES!
In the wake of the scandal, the Beckhams truly moved on when they welcomed baby Cruz in February 2005 with David announcing the news.
David told reporters: ‘We’ve got a baby boy. His name is Cruz. He is beautiful. He is in there with his brothers now and he is very happy.,,
‘”It’s just a name we liked. We found it hard this time but we came up with a name that we both loved and stuck to it. He’s got Victoria’s nose and lips. He’s gorgeous so we’re very happy.’
A statement from the hospital said Cruz – meaning Spanish for “cross” – was delivered after a 30-minute operation with no complications, weighing 3.22 kilos.
Sweet: Davis is pictured in 2007 with Brooklyn (left), Romeo (right) and Cruz (centre)
JULY 2011 – HERE COMES THEIR GIRL
In July 2011, David again acted as the big revealer to announce they had welcomed their fourth child – and their first daughter – baby Harper.
David confirmed the news on his Facebook page after he and wife Victoria welcomed the baby, who weighed 7lb 10oz, at 7.55am.
The footballer wrote: ‘I am so proud and excited to announce the birth of our daughter Harper Seven Beckham. She weighed a healthy 7lbs 10oz and arrived at 7.55 this morning, here in LA.
‘Victoria is doing really well and her brothers are delighted to have a baby sister xx’
After months of speculation, they also announced they named her Harper Seven.
The Seven in the name is believed to be a reference to David’s football number when he played for Manchester United and England, while the Harper could be referring to Harper’s Bazaar magazine or perhaps To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee.
A close friend of the couple said: ‘Harper is an old English name, something Victoria has always liked. Seven is a very lucky happy number and the baby was born just after 7am, in the seventh month.’
Following the birth of the couple’s fourth child, a spokesperson said: ‘David and Victoria Beckham are delighted to announce the birth of their daughter.
‘Happy and healthy she arrived at 7.55 am this morning at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz are excited to welcome their new baby sister to the family.’
The child was born by elective Caesarean, in the same way as the Beckhams’ older children.
Beloved: In July 2011, David again acted as the big revealer to announce they had welcomed their fourth child – and their first daughter – baby Harper
My girl: David confirmed the news on his Facebook page after he and wife Victoria welcomed the baby, who weighed 7lb 10oz, at 7.55am
2017 – NO SPLIT HERE
In 2018, the Beckhams were suddenly forced to vehemently deny speculation that they were heading for a divorce.
Later that year, David and Victoria addressed the state of their then-19-year marriage in an interview with Vogue, having been plagued by split rumours in recent months.
Cutting to the chase, Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer Victoria admitted persistent speculation regarding the state of their marriage comes with the territory.
She said: ‘People have been making things up about our relationship for 20 years, so David and I are pretty used to ignoring the nonsense and just carrying on as normal. But these things have a wider effect on the people around us, and that’s unfair.’
Talking about Brand Beckham, she went on: ‘We both realise that we are stronger together than we are as individuals. Would either of us be in the position that we are in now had we not met and been together all those years ago?…
‘It’s all about the family unit. We are much stronger – the six of us – than we would be if we were individuals. We respect that family bond and that is key.’
At the time of the divorce rumours – which seemed to involve speculation about David’s faithfulness to his wife – Jo Milloy, a spokesman for Victoria, told the Daily Mail the gossip was ‘absolute nonsense’.
Meanwhile, former England football captain David’s spokesman, Simon Oliveira, dubbed the claims ‘embarrassing and laughable’.
‘There is no statement due, no divorce, and a lot of Chinese whispers and fake social media news,’ he said. ‘This is all very bizarre and an embarrassing waste of time.’
He then added, bluntly, that the rumours were ‘a crock of s**t’.
Claims the couple were planning to divorce circulated on social media earlier in the summer, prompting high street bookmaker Paddy Power to suspend betting on them separating. Paddy Power’s move came despite there having been no suggestion the couple were having any marriage difficulties.
Later that month, Victoria revealed she tries to be ‘the best wife’ as she discussed juggling her busy work and home life at the Forbes Women’s Summit in New York, where she gushed about her ‘incredible’ husband.
Happy days: The couple are pictured in Versailles earlier this week
True love: In 2018, the Beckhams were suddenly forced to vehemently deny speculation that they were heading for a divorce (pictured in 1998)
A look back at David and Victoria’s romance
Family: The couple have four children together; Brooklyn, 19, Romeo, 15, and Cruz, 13, and Harper, six
The couple met at a Manchester United charity match at David’s request and started dating – they were soon dubbed Posh And Becks by the media
The couple announced their engagement, with Victoria showing off a huge diamond rock
March 4 1999
The couple welcome son Brooklyn, who acted as a ring-bearer at their wedding when he was four months old
July 4 1999
They tied the knot in a lavish £500k ceremony at Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland, sitting on golden thrones. Soon after, they bought the famous Beckingham Palace in Hertfordshire, worth around £7.5 million
The dream is over: Victoria and David have been married for 20 years
Victoria gave birth to the couple’s second child, Romeo. Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley are godparents
The family moved to Spain when David was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid
David’s personal assistant, Rebecca Loos, claimed she had an affair with David for four months. She lost her job and David has always denied the claims
Cruz David was born – his name means cross in Spanish and he was born in Madrid
The couple welcomed fourth child Harper Seven, with David saying she is ‘very feminine in every way’
Victoria broke her silence on rumours she and David had an ongoing rift, telling Grazia that she and her family have ‘nothing to prove.’
She said: ‘I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and beautiful, healthy, happy children.