Dame Judi has found love again in her 80s - she’s an in­spi­ra­tion

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - EDUCATION -

I’m de­lighted that Dame Judi Dench has had found love again in her 80s.

She met her new “chap” two years ago, at the same time as she reached the mile­stone of turn­ing 80 years old.

He’s David Mills, a dap­per con­ser­va­tion­ist who is six years her ju­nior.

The two of them met when David asked Dame Judi to pen his new badger en­clo­sure at his zoo in Sur­rey.

They’ve been to­gether ever since and this week she spoke about them go­ing swim­ming on hot sum­mer evenings and en­joy­ing a glass of cham­pagne to­gether.

It’s all won­der­fully ro­man­tic and shows age re­ally doesn’t mat­ter when you fall in love.

Dame Judi was dev­as­tated when her hus­band Michael Wil­liams died of lung cancer in 2001.

They were mar­ried for 30 years and starred to­gether in the gen­tle sit­com A Fine Ro­mance, which I ab­so­lutely loved. It was clever, poignant and beau­ti­fully writ­ten and acted.

I think it is ter­rific that she has now found some­one else to share her life.

I re­mem­ber Es­ther Rantzen talk­ing about the death of her hus­band Des­mond Wil­cox 17 years ago.

She said that she had lots and lots of peo­ple “to do things with”, but no one “to do noth­ing with”. I think ev­ery­one who has lost their hus­band, wife or part­ner will iden­tify with that.

Es­ther has a busy so­cial life but she went back to a house that was usu­ally empty and a bit lonely.

When you suf­fer a be­reave­ment like that, you can go out with friends for a meal, or to see a movie; but those times of just sit­ting watch­ing TV to­gether, read­ing the pa­pers or sim­ply re­lax­ing in com­pan­ion­able si­lence, are so spe­cial when you are with the per­son you have de­cided to set­tle down with.

I’m sure Dame Judi wasn’t re­ally look­ing for a new love, but like most things in life, the tim­ing was just right and the two of them clicked.

What I ad­mire about her is that she is work­ing as hard as ever and still loves mak­ing films.

In her latest role she reprises her por­trayal of Queen Vic­to­ria in “Vic­to­ria and Ab­dul” about the queen’s friend­ship with a young In­dian clerk who be­comes her con­stant com­pan­ion.

It brings back mem­o­ries of the 1997 movie Mrs Brown where she orig­i­nally starred as Queen Vic­to­ria along­side Billy Con­nolly, who played the Scot­tish ser­vant she adored.

Judi also mem­o­rably played M in the Bond movies un­til she was killed off in Sky­fall plus she has had a glit­ter­ing ca­reer in stage, on TV and on film for the past 60 years.

Con­tin­u­ing to work ob­vi­ously keeps her not only youth­ful look­ing, but also re­ally young at heart.

The only thing slow­ing her down is fail­ing eye­sight, but Dame Judi is the kind of per­son who counts her bless­ings and doesn’t let this get her down.

She had in­sisted that she and David won’t get mar­ried be­cause things are just fine the way they are and she is “too old” for re­mar­riage.

To be hon­est I don’t be­lieve she is too old for any­thing.

The word na­tional trea­sure is bandied around far too in­dis­crim­i­nately, but Dame Judi thor­oughly de­serves that ti­tle and she is an in­spi­ra­tion to us all.

Dame Judi Dench.

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