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Woman whose great-grandparents were real life love story on Titanic visits Belfast museum

A woman whose great-grandparents were one of the real love stories onboard the Titanic has travelled to Belfast to visit the world-famous museum.

Beverley Robert's great-grandparents Kate Florence Philips and Henry Moley had left Worcestershire, England to elope on the Titanic with the hope of starting a new life together in America.

And just like in the famous love story portrayed in the award winning James Cameron film of the tragedy which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year -  her great-grandmother was given a diamond necklace onboard.

Beverley said: “My great grandmother, Kate eloped with the owner of the shop she worked for when she was only 19. He was 20 years her senior with a wife and child. They left for America to start a new life together.

"Henry, gave her a sapphire diamond necklace set in platinum, called the ‘Love of the Sea’, which she wore proudly on board Titanic. Henry did not survive the tragedy; however, Kate got onboard a lifeboat and brought the necklace with her.

"She gave birth to Henry’s daughter, Ellen, a few months later, who was my grandmother.

"So whether it was the inspiration for the movie or not, there was a diamond and sapphire necklace on board that fateful night.”

Titanic went down after hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage on April 14, 1912, with more than 1,500 lives lost.

During Beverley's visit she found out about other known love stories on the Titanic - including the 13 known honeymooning couples.

One of the most popular love stories was that of the owners of Macy’s Department Store, New York,  Mr Isidor Straus, and his wife Ida who travelled back from winter in Europe onboard Titanic.

As they realised that Titanic was sinking, Ida refused to leave Isidor and would not get into a lifeboat without him. She apparently said: "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together.”

Although Isidor was offered a seat in a lifeboat to accompany Ida, he refused seating while there were still women and children aboard.

Ida also reportedly gave her maid, Ellen, her fur coat as she would no longer need it, and insisted that she got on a lifeboat.

A memorial plaque for them can be seen today at the 34th Street Memorial Entrance of Macy's Herald Square.

One of the 13 honeymooning couples was J.J Astor owner of Waldorf Astoria Hotel and his wife.

According to the New York Times Astor “put up and owned more hotels and skyscrapers than any other New Yorker”, he was estimated to be worth as much as $200m and was the richest man on Titanic as well as Nelle Stevenson and John Pillsbury Snyder, a relative of the Pillsbury Company’s founder.

Beverley visited Titanic Belfast on Thursday which was named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction last year and has welcomed more than 4 million visitors.

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