Joan Templeman is the wife of business tycoon Richard Branson. Joan, also known as the ‘Lady Branson,’ was already married when she met Richard. After a long period of courtship, they finally got married in 1989. The couple has two wonderful children who have now established a name for themselves. In their more than four decades of togetherness, Joan has been Richard’s pillar of strength. In his autobiography ‘Losing My Virginity,’ Richard has mentioned about Joan and her contributions in making him what he is now. Before being ‘Lady Branson,’ Joan was an ordinary girl who did many different jobs to support her finances. She has worked as a nude model too. Joan makes a perfect wife, a mother, and now a grandmother too.
Childhood & Early Life
Joan Templeman was born in 1948 in the largest city of Scotland, Glasgow. She was born to a ship carpenter and grew up with her six siblings. As a child, Joan was confident and talkative. She was ambitious too and had her own aims to achieve. Despite being a daughter of a rich ship carpenter, Joan had supported her finances all throughout. She had worked in many kinds of jobs including nude modeling.
Joan met the rock group ‘Nazareth’ member, Ronnie Leahy in 1966 in Glasgow. She became his fan after his first band; Stone The Crows began topping the music charts. Soon later, they got married and moved to London. They had 12 years of blissful marriage until Joan met her present husband. Joan and Ronnie did not have any children.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
Joan & Richard
Richard, the rich businessman and the founder of the Virgin Group of companies saw Joan for the first time in the kitchen of Virgin Records studio, the Manor where she was making a cup of tea. Richard immediately fell in love with her. He was then in a wrecked marital status with his first wife, Kristen Tomassi. Joan, at first was not at all impressed with Richard for he had a horrible dress sense. Not even his multi-millionaire status could help him win over his lady love’s heart.
In Richard’s autobiography ‘Losing My Virginity,’ he has mentioned how he wooed Joan to accept his love proposal. To catch her attention, Richard often used to visit the Victorian posters and antique’s shop near London’s trendy Portobello Road which Joan worked at. He used to buy random items in large quantities which he did not really need, just to get himself noticed. He even tried befriending Joan’s friends to get closer to her. He even bought an island worth millions, to express his deep love for Joan. Richard gifted her ‘Necker Island’ a 74-acre luxury property in Caribbean coast. Unfortunately, even that grand gesture could not impress Joan. On the contrary, it was Richard’s nature and simplicity and not his riches that made Joan fall for him.
In late 1978, Joan left her husband Ronnie to settle down with Richard.
Motherhood & Marriage
Joan and Richard moved to Little Venice in London where they lived in his houseboat. In 1979, Joan became pregnant with Richard's child. While the news brought immense joy to Joan, Richard on the other hand was ‘not sure’. Disappointed Joan left Richard and decided to have the child all on her own. In her sixth month of pregnancy, she was diagnosed with appendicitis which eventually caused the death of her four days old pre-mature born girl, Clare Sarah. The incident broke both Joan and Richard to bits but their relationship got strengthened.
In 1982, Joan gave birth to their daughter, Holly. Her birth brought new hopes in Joan and Richard's relationship. Three years later, their son, Sam was born and completed their family. After twelve years of courtship, Richard finally proposed Joan for marriage. However, Holly played a crucial role in persuading her father to get into the marital bond which her mother had been waiting for since long back. The couple had a grand wedding at the Necker Island on December 20, 1989.
Life After Marriage
Joan and Richard have come a long way in their over four decades of journey of togetherness. In Richard’s words, Joan is the reason behind his success, both as a businessman and as a family man. She has been a very understanding wife who never gave importance to the kind of image Richard carries off in public. She is never affected by Richard’s flirtatious nature. She, in fact, dismisses it as ‘typical Richard’.
It was because of Joan’s persuasion that encouraged Richard to renovate the massive Necker Island mansion which burned down to ashes a few years ago.
Richard too is very understanding and has never let Joan’s past career as a nude model affect their relationship. A few years later they started their relationship, a leading tabloid approached Richard to seek his permission to publish Joan’s nude pictures from her modeling days. Instead of getting furious at the publishers, Richard, in fact, asked for a separate set of copies for himself! He thought Joan looked gorgeous in those pictures and would love to keep them with him.
Joan, unlike Richard, is a very private person. She loves reading books and likes spending her family vacations babysitting her grandchildren, Holly’s twins, Etta and Artie and Sam’s daughter, Eva-Deia.