Secrets of Victoria and David Beckham’s cheesy engagement uncovered – and role Spice Girls played

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Twenty-two years ago a grinning Victoria Adams and her floppy-haired beau David Beckham summoned the press to a hotel in Cheshire to announce their engagement.

Ignoring the January chill in a de rigueur Posh Spice mini skirt and huge cross necklace, Victoria, then 23, giggled shyly as she showed off her £65,000 diamond solitaire handcrafted by Manchester jewellers, Boodle and Dunthorne.

“I am the happiest girl on the world today,” she told the assembled media on the steps of the plush Rookery Hall hotel in Nantwich.

“I’m with the man I know I’m going to grow old and wrinkly with.”

It’s January 1998 and Posh Spice announces her engagement to footballer David Beckham
(Image: Cousans Paul)

On the day she insisted David’s proposal had been a ‘surprise’  but it later emerged that it was anything but.

Despite having only been together for 10 months, according to author Gwen Russell, they’d decided to get engaged while VB was at the Spice World premiere in Los Angeles, and once she arrived home they set the wheels in motion.

“We’d already looked at a few rings but I didn’t know which one he had chosen. I’d told him what my dream ring would be. He remembered and had it specially made for me,” she reportedly said.

They were just a couple of kids crazy in love
(Image: Getty Images)
Vicky was too overjoyed to feel the cold
Vicky was too overjoyed to feel the cold
(Image: REX)

For the proposal itself, they checked into the hotel straight after David’s game with Manchester United, where Victoria was apparently presented with 30 roses before being escorted to their room which was festooned with £200 worth of red and yellow lillies.

And after getting into their bath robes and ordering dinner and champagne to the room, David popped the question.

“We were sitting there in our dressing gowns when David pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me, Victoria?'” she said, according to the book Arise Sir David Beckham: Footballer, Celebrity, Legend.

David and Victoria got engaged at Rookery Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire
David and Victoria got engaged at Rookery Hall in Nantwich, Cheshire

For David’s part, his nerves didn’t kick in until the final second.

“I wasn’t at all nervous about getting engaged, we’d decided a while ago we would make it official this weekend,” he apparently said.

“I got the ring and was really looking forward to it. But when the moment came there were a few butterflies.”

But Posh had a trick up her sleeve. As a Spice Girl and one of the pioneers of Girl Power, she also wanted to ask the question and had gone and bought David a £50,000 diamond encrusted gold ring from exclusive jewellery store Van Cleef and Arpels on Rodeo Drive, Hollywood.

They held a press conference within hours of the proposal
They held a press conference within hours of the proposal
(Image: Splash)

“I said yes, then produced my own ring and said, “Don’t forget Girl Power – will YOU marry me?” she reportedly said, adding that she’d chosen the ring with her mum and dad.

David found her stunt “very funny”, and after calling friends and family to share the happy news, they arranged the press conference for the very next day.

Their love story began in 1997, when Victoria marched up to David in the Manchester United players’ lounge and asked him out.

David and Victoria have been married for two decades
David and Victoria have been married for two decades

She told Ruby Wax: “I went over to him. I said to him, ‘are you going to come down and take me out type thing. And he came down to London and took me out.”

They conducted their relationship in secret, spending hours in David’s BMW parked up in the back of a Harvester’s pub, although she refused to kiss him until their fourth date.

But their main concern was to not be spotted together – in case she changed her mind!

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“We had to be really, really careful to begin with,” she said, explaining, “You might go out with him once, it’ll get in the papers and you think, ooh, god, I don’t even like him and then you’ve publicly humiliated yourself!”

As it turned out, Becks was the guy for her and two decades and four children later, they’re still going strong.

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