A BOLTON couple who have spent their lives travelling the world looking after the likes of The Queen and Margaret Thatcher are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary today.
Sir Gordon Booth, aged 92, and Lady Jeanne Booth, aged 91, have lived in countries all over the world, including Canada, Trinidad, Denmark and New York because of Sir Gordon’s job with the Foreign Office.
The pair have looked after the highest echelons of society, including the Queen and Prince Philip during the Bicentennial in 1976.
They moved back to the UK in 1980 in the same year Sir Gordon received a Knight Commander (KCMG) award from the Queen.
The couple who have a son and a daughter, and 16 great grandchildren now live in Poole, Dorset, and plan to enjoy a party with close friends to celebrate their milestone followed by a meal at their daughter’s home on Saturday.
Lady Booth said: “It’s hard to believe it was 70 years ago when we married. We have had a wonderful life together.
“Gordon and I met at school in 1934. I lived on Beverley Road and he lived in Bridgeman Street.
“The school was then called the Bolton Church Institute and later became Canon Slade.
“We were married during the war. He was in stationed England as a tank captain when we got married on February 5, 1944, and our daughter Pam was born a year later.”
After the war Sir Gordon worked for the Ministry of Labour and became the manager of the Labour Exchange in Westhoughton. The couple moved to London in 1952 when he went to work for the Board of Trade.
Lady Booth said: “In 1955 we went overseas with his work to Canada, and from there we moved to Trinidad. After then we lived in Denmark when he changed jobs and worked for the Foreign Office. In 1975 we entertained Margaret Thatcher when she became the leader of the opposition. She was very pleasant, as was her husband Denis. They stayed with us for about four days. It’s quite surreal when you think about it.
“We spent the last five and a half years from 1975 in New York. We even had the Queen over for the bicentennial in 1976 and Gordon planned the whole visit.
“Then after the event we were both invited on board the royal yacht with the Queen and Prince Philip. The Queen gave Gordon a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) award aboard the yacht, and then in 1980 he received his knighthood.”
Despite living in Dorset they still make occasional trips to their home town.
Lady Booth said: “Gordon retired from the Foreign Office when we came back and went into business where he stayed until he was 81.
“We have been back to Bolton many times. Both our parents were from there and we have friends there. It has changed a lot since we were young. In fact we even went back to Canon Slade. It’s changed so much.”