David Beckham and Victoria Beckham have turned their marriage into an empire, supporting each other through all sorts of career changes and developments. They’ve been together for over 25 years, marrying only two years after meeting, and now share four children: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper.
While they’ve had some public challenges, they seem to have overcome them all and talk openly about the work that goes into a long-term marriage. It also seems like they were enamored with one another from the start. David said he wanted to marry Victoria back when he first saw her as Posh Spice with the Spice Girls on TV, and she claimed to experience “love at first sight” after spotting her future husband at the Manchester United players’ lounge.
Here’s the complete relationship timeline of their long love story.
During an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, David described their first meeting back in 1997, saying, “She came to a football match—soccer match—and I said hi from across the room and that was it. I thought I’d missed my chance, and then a week later she turned up at another football match. She had a few to drink, and she gave me her number.”
It was memorable for Victoria, too. She wrote a letter to her 18-year-old self for Vogue that promised “love at first sight does exist,” telling her past self that “it will happen to you in the Manchester United players’ lounge…Although you will get a little drunk, so exact details are hazy.”
She went on, “While the other football players stand at the bar drinking with their mates, you will see David standing aside with his family. (He’s not even in the first team at this stage—you are the famous one.) And he has such a cute smile. You, too, are close to your family, and you will think how similar he feels to you.”
In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, David shared more details, saying, “We talked for about an hour in the players’ lounge and then she actually got the train up that day, so she wrote her number down on her train ticket, which I still have.”
They soon went on their first date.
Just one year later, they were engaged, celebrating the new year with the news and that the wedding was planned for summer 1999. But before the end of the year, they were expecting their first child.
On March 4, 1999, their oldest son Brooklyn Joseph was born. In her 2001 autobiography, Learning to Fly, Victoria shared how they came up with his name.
“It was when we were in Marbella [Spain] that we came up with the name Brooklyn. We already knew he was a boy and so I knew he could end up a footballer, so it had to be a name that was a bit blokey,” she wrote. “I had always liked the name Brooke and then we suddenly thought about Brooklyn. I’d always liked it as a place — it’s very multi-cultural, very grounded. And it was only afterwards that I realized how appropriate it was because it was in New York that I found out I was pregnant.”
They were officially wed that summer at Luttrellstown Castle close to Dublin. Victoria wore a Vera Wang gown and an 18-karat gold tiara.
In 2002, they announced they were expecting their second child, and Romeo James came into the world on September 1, 2002.
In 2003, David signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid, and the entire family moved over to Spain.
They welcomed their third son, Cruz David, on February 20, 2005, while still living in Madrid.
“We’ve got a baby boy. His name is Cruz,” David told reporters at the time. “He is beautiful. He is in there with his brothers now, and he is very happy.”
After Real Madrid, David signed a new contract in 2007 with the LA Galaxy, and they headed back to the States together to a home in Beverly Hills.
“It will be especially nice for the children,” Victoria told People then. “To be able to be outdoors so much of the time will be wonderful.”
In a profile on W Magazine, they discussed the rumor David had an affair in 2004.
“I’m not going to lie. It was a really rough time … David and I got through it together,” Victoria said. “No one said marriage was going to be easy. Yes, there have been bumps along the road. But the fact is we’ve come out of everything we’ve been through stronger and happier. It’s even better now than when we were first married. After all these years, we can just come home and have a laugh together.”
David shared more about what keeping the marriage together takes during an interview at The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“We’ve got three beautiful boys, which is our priority, but I think … in a marriage, you make it work, and you have to make time for each other,” he said. “And we do that. So I think that’s important.”
He also shared when he first saw Victoria performing, watching the Spice Girls on TV.
“I was in a hotel room with my best friend, who was my best man at my wedding,” he said. “I remember turning around—before I’d even met Victoria — and said, ‘I want to marry that one.’”
Victoria’s menswear fashion line was developed with her husband in mind, according to a letter she published on her website
“The dVb mens collection has just launched, and who better than David to be my muse!” she wrote. “I am looking forward to the brand developing … I have many ideas; patience is something I’m trying to learn but haven’t got to grips with as yet!”
To celebrate their 10-year anniversary, David got a tattoo in honor of his wife.
“I had 10 roses ’round my arm, for the 10 years,” he told DeGeneres. “We always try and do things special, you know. It’s not always about buying gifts for each other, of course. We just make sure that we make time together or go for dinner together and do special things. That’s important to us.”
In an interview with Marie Claire UK, she was asked about David’s notably “high voice,” answering, “I don’t really notice that he’s got a high-pitched voice. I just think he’s so god damn perfect that people have to find something wrong with him.”
She went on, “We were about to go out somewhere the other day, and he was sending an email. He was sitting at the end of the bed, and he had no clothes on whatsoever. He was getting out of the shower, and I just stood there looking at him. He was all tan. Has all those tattoos—which I love. Hadn’t done his hair. He just naturally looks good all the time. He never looks like shit in the morning. Never. So he’s sitting there sending his emails, all ripped. Not an ounce of fat on him. And I thought, ‘You done good, girl.’ I sure wasn’t thinking of his high-pitched voice!”
The couple welcomed their first baby girl, Harper Seven, on July 10, 2011.
Victoria won a designer brand award at the 2011 British Fashion Awards. She got emotional during her speech, saying, “Without David, I wouldn’t have had the courage to do what I am doing.”
David left LA Galaxy to play briefly with Paris Saint-Germain. In 2013, he retired from soccer. The couple moved to London together.
In an interview with Grazia, Victoria addressed rumors that she and might be splitting up.
“David and I have nothing to prove,” she said. “We love each other, look out for each other and are strong as both partners and parents.”
She went on, “My husband constantly inspires me and guides me,” she shared. “He has done so much good work, I look up to him and have the utmost respect and admiration for all that he has achieved.”
In her thank you speech after winning Glamour Women of the Year award in 2015, Victoria thanked her husband.
“Running a business, my work with UNAIDS and most importantly, being a mum, wouldn’t be possible without David,” she said. “Not only is he the most incredible father, but he’s supportive and someone who loves and inspires me every single day.”
The couple renewed their wedding vows, which David discussed in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
“It was a lot more private, about six people there in our house,” he said. “We know each other better than anybody. People have talked about, ‘Do we stay together because it’s a brand?’ Of course not. We stay together because we love each other, because we have four amazing children … Do you go through tough times? Of course. That’s part of relationships. It’s part of marriages.”
More rumors of a divorce circulated in summer 2018, and their rep told People it was nonsense. Victoria shared a picture soon after of herself with daughter Harper and a caption about how much they were missing dad.
Victoria said more about the rumors in an interview with British Vogue, saying, “People have been making things up about our relationship for 20 years, so David and I are pretty used to ignoring the nonsense and just carrying on as normal. But these things have a wider effect on the people around us, and that’s unfair.”
She added, “Would either of us be in the position that we are in now had we not met and been together all those years ago? It’s all about the family unit. We respect that family bond and that is key.”
While talking with The Sunday Project’s Lisa Wilkinson, David shared some thoughts on maintaining a long marriage.
“I think marriage is always about hard work,” he said. “To have been married for the amount of time that we have, you know it’s always hard work, everybody knows that, but you make it work, you make difficult situations, like traveling away, being away from each other, you make it work.”
He added, “We recently did a Vogue front cover, which was all about Victoria’s 10 years in fashion. The amount she’s achieved in such a short space of time with four beautiful young children … but obviously her business world, you know, to be on the front cover of Vogue, was a huge thing.”
On their 20th anniversary, they each shared loving tributes on Instagram about one another.
While on The View, Victoria called David her “soulmate.”
“Obviously, he’s incredibly good-looking, but David is the most wonderful husband and fantastic father and a real inspiration to all of us,” she said. “He’s hardworking … I’m lucky to have him as my soulmate.”
Victoria wrote an open letter to her future self for British Vogue, much like her letter to her 18-year-old self. In it, she discussed dressing up during COVID-19 lockdown for David.
“You’ve said f*ck it, and put on a great dress and a smoky eye. You always liked to surprise people—especially David. Preserving that bit of mystique is always helpful after almost 22 years of marriage. (What anniversary are you celebrating now?)”
On Valentine’s Day in 2022, Victoria shared a picture from the day they found out they were expecting their son Brooklyn.
“1998 in NYC! And still my Valentine 24 years later,” she captioned the pic. “Taken on the day we found out I was pregnant with @brooklynbeckham! I love you @davidbeckham.”
David wished a “Happy valentines to my girls,” including pics of his wife and daughter, Harper.
On April 9, 2022, Brooklyn married his girlfriend of two years, Nicola Peltz. Victoria and David walked down the aisle together.
On July 4, 2022, it was their 23rd wedding anniversary.
At Paris Fashion Week, Victoria displayed her spring/summer 2023 line on September 30, 2022, and shared a pic of the whole family supporting her.
They celebrated Valentine’s Day with their traditional throwback pics.
For Victoria’s 49th birthday on April 17, David shared a tribute to his wife.
They marked their 24th anniversary as a wedded couple on July 4, 2023.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.