The “Prue Leith effect”: not just cakes that are on the rise…

I’ve written quite regularly in the last couple of years about the huge increase in so-called ‘silver splitters’, ie the over 60s getting divorced: something like a 100% increase in the last decade.

So how lovely to see the ONS (Office for National Statistic) figures just published showing that the number of over 70s getting married is the highest its ever been.  I can’t imagine it can only be the influence of Bake-Offs Prue Leith, but she certainly appears to be given some credit for the somewhat surprising phenomenon. Its interesting that in all other age-groups the numbers getting married are in fact falling: and certainly more than 50% of all children born in the UK do so out of ‘wedlock’ (what an odd and profoundly archaic word that has always seemed to me!).

Walking down the aisle in later life has clearly brought great joy to Mrs Leith and many like her. With my legal hat on, I can’t help wanting to offer this advice however: as well as organising the flowers, the dress, the music and the bridesmaids, don’t forget to sort out new wills, formalise your property ownership and sign the all-important Pre-Nuptial Agreement!

Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith remarried in 2016, at the age of 76. She had been widowed eight years previously but decided to marry new partner John Playfair.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Prue defended the decision to marry later in life. The presenter said: 'I am giddy with the joy of it.
Over the past ten years, there’s been a decline in the number of women getting married in the UK.
According to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 49.5 per cent of women were married in 2018, compared to 50.8 per cent in 2008.

But that doesn’t mean women aren’t getting married, in fact, more are getting married later in life. Those aged 70 and above are choosing to walk down the aisle, with 55.8 per cent doing so in 2018.