Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Titanic: Some Honeymoon!

Titanic. Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
Shipyard men fitting the starboard tailshaft of the Titanic prior to her launch. Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Harland & Wolff, Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
The Titanic Building will immortalise one of history's most enduring tales

There were 13 honey moon couples aboard the Titanic, though some reports say 12, perhaps an attempt to get away from the raft of superstitious stories that hang around the disaster.

Like a microcosm of the event itself, their fate would be decided by luck, heroism and tragedy.

Among the most glamorous would be 47- year-old divorcee John Jacob Astor IV and his 18-year-old bride, Madeleine, who had eloped to Europe to escape censure in America.

Their hopes for a triumphant return would never be fulfilled alas, with only Madeleine and her unborn child – named John Jacob after his father – arriving home.

Mr Astor had to jump four times into the lifeboat with his wife before persuading her to save herself and leave him.

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