Home / World News / Forget Harry and Meghan, Albert and Valerija are the heroes we need

Forget Harry and Meghan, Albert and Valerija are the heroes we need

It is impolite to speculate on others’ relationships, especially people you haven’t met and know next to nothing about. Now we have that out of the way: what odds are you giving Albert and Valerija making it last?

This is the couple from Sheffield, UK, who are currently bunking in with Albert’s cousin after their flat was gutted by fire when Albert, in what was supposed to be a romantic gesture, spelt out the words “Marry Me” in tea lights, filled the living room with 60 balloons and then went out (yes, leaving all the candles burning) to pick up his girlfriend.

The couple returned to find smoke billowing out the front door.

Despite this, Albert got down on one knee in the wreckage and proposed.

Valerija said yes in what is, depending on how romantic/cynical you are, an incredibly sweet moment or just a Very Bad Idea.

“It will always be an unforgettable day for us and a story which will be amazing to tell our children.” Albert told the media.

I read this story cackling with laughter and you can bet plenty of others did too. Don’t judge us, Albert and Valerija were in on the joke.

They happily posed for photos recreating the moment in their burnt out living room, and even furnished journalists with quips like: “I wanted to say something like: ‘she was the light of my heart,’ but maybe that was too much light.”

It’s got to say something about the grim nature of the news lately that a young couple losing all their worldly possessions is now considered a light-hearted jape. Albert and Valerija may not be the heroes we asked for in 2020, but they are the heroes we need.

Albert and Valerija may not be the heroes we asked for in 2020, but they are the heroes we need.

A few months ago, when we thought it couldn’t get any worse (oh, how young and innocent we were, in … April), there was a slew of articles predicting the events of this year might just mean the death of The Influencer. How, opined countless culture-watchers, are we supposed to take advice from wealthy layabouts with an Instagram account when suddenly we have real problems to contend with?

“Accomplishing anything except getting by can read as privileged,” wrote Kenzie Bryant in Vanity Fair. The Guardian pondered if the “aspirational lifestyle lauded by influencers can emerge unscathed,” considering our new economic reality.

They have a point. Who wants to be lectured by some impossibly wealthy WAG on how to meal-plan your way to happiness anymore?

We don’t need Harry and Meghan telling us they have been hard done by while they bunker down in a borrowed LA mansion.

We don’t want the Kardashians showing us how to live our best lives while they barely seem to be keeping it together. And we certainly don’t need anyone to sing Imagine to us.

Belle Taylor.
Camera IconBelle Taylor. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

No. If we are going to be influenced by anyone, it might as well be a couple who have watched their worldly possessions disappear in a puff of smoke and then decide to celebrate by planning a wedding on the anniversary of the day their house burnt down.

We need Albert and Valerija.

“It’s such a beautiful day, the most beautiful day in my life,” Valerija said, standing in the burnt out husk of her former life.

“You can replace things in the house but not our love for each other.”

What a vibe. I want to see the magazine spread of Albert and Valerija’s wedding in a year’s time (they invited the fire crew to their nuptials, because of course they did), and then see shots of their honeymoon at home because they still won’t be able to go anywhere. I want to follow Valerija’s home decorating tips for when you’re sleeping on an air mattress in your fiance’s cousin’s study, and watch Albert’s home workout videos because he can’t afford a gym membership. It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s going to be real. And right now, that is exactly the kind of influence we need.

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