43-yr-old Helen Ratcliffe first got married to her husband Andrew (now Kate) when she was 17 and he was just 22 and had to accept that after 20 years the man she loved was going to start a new life as a woman and the couple divorced
A woman and her husband of nearly 20 years stood before the altar, not to renew to vows but to remarry as same-sex couple.
43-yr-old Helen Ratcliffe first got married to her husband Andrew (now Kate) when she was 17 and he was just 22 and had to accept that after 20 years the man she loved was going to start a new life as a woman and the couple divorced.
But as time passed she realised she wasn’t content with the role of a supportive friend while Andrew made the difficult transition to become Kate.
So, in a remarkable move, she and her ex-husband walked down the aisle once again, this time as wife and wife.
Helen, 43, says: “If you love somebody you stick by them. I decided I loved Kate too much and I couldn’t live without her.
“I was only 17 and Andrew was only 22 when we got married. Everyone told us it wouldn’t last. They gave it six months. But look at us now.
"We have been together for 28 years and I can’t imagine being with anybody else.
"Being together just seems natural and I think we are closer now.
“We are like bickering old women but couldn’t bear to be apart.”
They said their vows as civil partners in December, both wearing wedding gowns.
Kate, 50, recalls: “Walking down the aisle in a wedding dress was brilliant. I felt really, really good.
"I was going to be married again to Helen, the woman I wanted.”
Helen adds: “When we had a civil partnership I started to think, am I a lesbian?
"We are different, but we are just us.”