A pensioner from Nottinghamshire has had a special reason to celebrate on her 90th birthday – her marriage of 22 years at last appears to be recognized as legal.
Jane Doe from Kirkby-in-Ashfield tied the knot with her partner Cyril "Clem" Clements on 20th May 1991, her 68th birthday, but the authorities refused to accept the marriage as valid.
However, the couple have now received a fresh copy of their marriage certificate which, they say, proves their marital status.
The original problems stemmed from Ms Doe's mysterious upbringing by gypsies which left her without a legal identity. She was brought up as Barbara Hall and in 1945 married her first husband George Worrall under that name. But later in life, she discovered she had no birth certificate and there was no official record of her having ever existed. She walked out on her family, believing her whole life had been based on a lie.
She later met and fell in love with Clem and they married in 1991, only to be arrested for bigamy. Their marriage was declared illegal.
The pensioner finally got an official identity at the age of 83 when she changed her name to Jane Doe by deed poll and received her first passport.
Ms Doe and Mr Clements are now planning a ceremony to renew their wedding vows.