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Two lovebirds who've been together for 85 years revealed the key to a long and loving marriage.

Thomas and Irene Howard of Lancashire, in northwest England, became sweethearts when they were just children and have remained so ever since.

Thomas said he was only about nine when he first laid eyes on Irene, who lived four houses down from his grandmother.

“I thought 'what a lovely girl, she’s going to be my girl, this one' and my fondness for her grew since then," he said.

The two became inseparable and were apart only when Thomas was called up to serve in World War II at age 19. They married in 1945 after VE Day and recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

“Being polite and having good manners has been an important part of our lives. We've thought the world of each other,” Irene said.

“We’re still in love all these years on. I still have her now and I’m proud of her - if I was fortunate enough to do it all again I’d marry the same girl every time,” Thomas said.

"The secret is to go on loving each other and go on being faithful to each other, and we've gone through life very very happy."

Watch them talk about their beautiful marriage above.

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