George Galloway and Putri Gayatri Pertiwi met at a conference in Leiden, the old university city, in the Netherlands, on the 20th of October 2011.
George came to speak, Gayatri came to hear Lauren Booth – “I had actually never heard of George before!” That was to change when George began speaking. Gayatri was impressed by the content and passion of his speech and avidly jotted down notes. From the platform, looking into the audience, George was impressed too when he spotted Gayatri sitting in the third row.
Immediately George had finished speaking he directly made his way towards Gayatri and introduced himself. During lunch he invited her to take coffee with him but Gayatri declined, preferring to go out for a cigarette.
George followed her out to join her and Professor Hogen, a fellow conference participant, for a puff and a chat. On a now for them legendary bench outside the Holiday Inn conference hall George spoke the words that set the stage and were as prophetic as any he ever spoke: “I think I just met my future wife…” At this point he had known her for a mere fifteen minutes – and George had only been single a few months and not by his choice either.
As he climbed into his taxi to take him back to the airport, in front of a no doubt astonished Professor Hogen he presented Gayatri with the memorial plaque he had just been given by the conference organisers. “Keep this for our house.” he said. She thought he was mad! But she took it.
Five months later Gayatri did become George’s wife. And the memorial plaque stands in their house.
When they set the date to marry neither could anticipate the Bradford by-election, George standing, let alone George winning.
On the 31st of March 2012, the day after the most sensational by-election result in British history (George still wearing his electoral battle clothes and the dust of the battle field still on his shoes…), George and Gayatri were married at the historic Royal Theatre Carre which sits along the Amstel river in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
On the 26th of August 2012 they held a wedding reception with a spectacular culinary buffet in traditional Javanese style (inlcuding George in sarong!) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
On the 22nd of September 2012 the couple were married under British law at the British Parliament and celebrated the occasion on the beautiful sunlit parliament terrace by the river Thames in London, UK.
After having traveled the world together from Australia to Venezuela, Lebanon to Kazakhstan, George and Gayatri are expecting their first child in the summer of 2014.