It’s hard not to be obsessed with Victoria and David Beckham.
She’s a former Spice Girl turned fashion designer whose petite figure and eye for style have infatuated both men and women for years. He’s one of the greatest soccer players who ever lived (oh, and he’s undeniably sexy).
But what’s more fascinating about the duo, whom the media dubbed “Posh and Becks” in 1997, when their romantic relationship went public, is how they have defied the celebrity marriage odds and lasted 15 years.
When couples like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, and Heidi Klum and Seal announced their separations, fans wept: If they couldn’t make it, there was certainly no hope for the rest of us. Yet the Beckhams, our beacon of hope, have continued to shine since the late ’90s, together proving that although time may pass, romance can prevail.
On Wednesday, British Vogue unveiled its August cover star, Victoria Beckham, timed to her milestone of a birthday (the designer turned 40 in April), the opening of her first stand-alone boutique, and her 15th wedding anniversary.
“I looked at [turning 40] and said to myself, I have four incredible children, an incredible husband, a business that’s doing very well. I’ve worked hard and achieved a lot. I don’t think I could have achieved much more,” she told the magazine. “I wouldn’t be where I am without David. He gives me the security and encouragement to do what I do. I do the same for him.”
It’s refreshing to hear Victoria gush about her hubby after so many years of marriage, but it’s certainly no surprise. Although extremely private, the couple has been particularly candid about their attraction and devotion to each other.
The two first met at a charity soccer game in February 1997 in London; Victoria attended with one of her fellow Spice Girls. And while she says she “didn’t really know who he was. I was never into football,” she admits their encounter was “completely love at first sight.” David has recounted that he was completely infatuated with “Posh Spice” after seeing one of her music videos. “I turned around to [Manchester United teammate] Gary [Neville],” David told W magazine in 2007 of seeing Victoria prance across the screen in a catsuit, “and said, ‘That one there, that’s the girl I’m going to marry.’”
Their shared familial and professional goals, and their down-to-earth lives together, out of the spotlight that surrounded the beginning of their relationship, became their ticket to romantic success. Their early days, despite their rising public profiles, reportedly were filled with chats in the park, car rides, and evenings at the pub. David, the consummate suitor, naturally pulled out all the stops to woo his lady love.
“When I first started going out with Victoria and we went away for the first time, I remember I took a pair of small, tight, dark blue Gucci trunks with me—I was obviously trying to impress her,” he told GQ U.K. in May. “They were really small, but they worked!”
Sure, the Gucci swimwear may have been a bit gimmicky, but they worked: A little over a year after they met, David proposed—and Victoria accepted. On July 4, 1999, they were married.
How have they stood the test of time? Maybe it’s their four beautiful children: Brooklyn (14), Romeo (11), Cruz (8), and Harper (3). Or possibly their relationship success hinges on their über-successful careers. Their personalities, too, seem to mesh in the ideal “opposites attract” kind of way, with Victoria’s more guarded persona blending with David’s soft-spoken demeanor. “He’s got more personality than people think and he’s very deep and spiritual,” Victoria told The Guardian of her husband. “He always knows how to dress, that was part of his appeal originally. We’ve got matching dogs, matching watches, similar wardrobes, matching Jags. I know it’s tacky, but it makes me laugh.”
Of course, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the couple. In 2004, David was accused of having affairs with two women, first his former personal assistant, then a New York-based call girl. The British tabloids dubbed the allegations “the biggest story since Princess Diana’s death.” Although a lack of concrete evidence, as well as David’s denial, eventually helped defuse the headlines, it proved to be a true test of their relationship.
“I’m not going to lie: it was a really tough time,” Victoria said of the scandal. “It was hard for our entire families. But I realised a lot of people have a price… We are as in love, if not more in love, than ever.”
In the end, what has stood out most about Victoria and David’s relationship is their seemingly unending devotion and admiration for each other as a spouse, friend, and human. Through scandal, changing careers, multiple city relocations, four children, and countless other ups and downs, they’ve still been able to stay the Posh and Becks we know and love.
“[David] is the most wonderful man I have ever met,” she said in a recent interview with Allure. “He’s a fantastic father. He’s incredibly talented, a wonderful husband. I supported him for many years, and he’s proud of me. He supports me. We’re very equal at home.”
“People can say what they like,” David told The Daily Mail in June 2004. “But me and Victoria will always stay together as husband and wife...We’ll always stick together.”
And we certainly hope they do. Here’s to the next 15.