Rifling through all the countless Jubilee celebration reports and slightly nauseating amounts of Union Jack images none of us can seem to escape lately, a rather sweet picture jumped out at me. It features the Queen and Prince Philip together when they were young and in the present day, both assuming similar relaxed stances and facial expressions.
Forgetting any past controversy or unfavourable allegations surrounding their union and regardless of their status; there is something nice and almost comforting about seeing an elderly couple – any elderly couple – still looking happy after however many years of marriage. Especially when you take into account the fact Britain is home to the highest divorce rates in the European Union with an unimpressive one in three marriages failing. The pandemic like effect of the dreaded ‘D’ word in the U.K only spread further after the recession hit hard, rising an uncomfortable 4.9% in recent years getting me thinking about marriage and longevity.
Another equally cheery looking couple in the news were Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon and his wife of almost 27 years Yasmin Le Bon, after they attended the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition VIP View. Former super model Yasmin always struck me as a role model for the modern woman having seemingly reached the perfect balance between a solid marriage, family life (they have three girls) and an extremely successful career. Makes you wonder what her secret is, something obviously had to give somewhere along the line and according to an interview she gave in Easy Living magazine earlier this year, something did.
‘I’ve had to accept that if you work, travel and have a family, you can’t keep friendships up. Anybody who thinks they can, without driving themselves into the ground, is mistaken,’
After the initial shock of Yasmin’s controversial revelation that it was in fact her social life she deemed expendable along with the confession she doesn’t even miss friendships, I was torn. On one hand, I felt she had stepped all over sisterhood in some way, as I’ve never thought of my friendships as a task, they are always something I’ve cherished and wanted to make time for because whatever has happened they have always been there. Then on the other hand, I thought – shock of all horrors – was Yasmin maybe onto something? Afterall, we have been brought up to realise that the recipe for a strong marriage includes a great deal of compromise and sometimes sacrifice.
However, these feelings were short-lived. While things have worked out exceptionally well for the Le Bons, this is not a compromise I could ever see myself willing to explore. But everyone has to find a formula that works for them. They do look happy though, don’t they?