Kings College London

Valentine's love stories from our very own alumni

Ben and Sophie met at King'sBen and Sophie Wiseman met at the King's Musical Theatre Society in 2003

Valentine’s Day has come around once more and, for some, love really is in the air. Whether you’re single or part of a couple, we’ve got some shamelessly nostalgic love stories to share with you from our married alumni who met their partners here at King’s.  

These are no erstwhile university dalliances that have faded into bashful memory: these are the romances that lasted.

Ben and Sophie

A shared love of theatre brought Ben and Sophie Wiseman (Classics, 2006 and Medicine, 2006 respectively) together whilst studying at King’s.

They met at King’s Musical Theatre Society in 2003 – the very beginning of their distinctly theatre-themed romance. Sophie was the play’s producer, and Ben a fresher who was hoping to successfully audition for a part in West Side Story.

Ben says, ‘She claims not to remember me from that day as there were hundreds of people auditioning. I’m not sure that I can believe her as I remember that I was wearing a very fetching corduroy jacket which must have caught her eye!’

Despite the jacket, all was not lost, and Ben and Sophie spent more time together when she became President of the society and he, Treasurer. While rehearsing for Anything Goes, the pair became inseparable.

Sophie says fondly, ‘We became friends, and grew closer and closer until I knew that it was inevitable that we would end up together. It was an old-fashioned courtship really. Ben was, and is, the perfect gentleman.’

Despite their obvious rapport, it wasn’t until their friend, Helen Mumby (Classics, 2005), gave them some tickets for The History Boys at the National Theatre, that their relationship truly blossomed.

Ben recalls, ‘They were excellent tickets and after enjoying the show we went for a walk along the South Bank. That would have been an excellent place for a first kiss, but instead we went for the more romantic location of the bus stop outside Sainsbury’s Local on Waterloo Road,’ (a location many alumni will be very familiar with).

They were finally married in Sophie’s hometown of Geneva in July 2011, surrounded by family and friends (many of whom they had also met at King’s). Ben and Sophie’s advice for a happy relationship is to laugh often, forgive easily, and always keep hold of that magic.

Hilary and Trevor

Trevor and Hilary Cheeseman (both Theology, 1967) met and fell in love at King’s several decades before Ben and Sophie, but are still happily married. They recently celebrated the 46th anniversary of their first date.

The odds were in Hilary’s favour right from the beginning.

Hillary and Trevor met at King'sHilary and Trevor Cheeseman were on the same Theology course at King's

She says, ‘There were 120 men to eight women in our year – rather a good ratio! One day the ladies were discussing the men we had met. Some had spoken to a nice man from New Zealand. He sounded a bit different, was quite old (26!) and had three degrees already, so I went and sat next to him and introduced myself.’

Apparently something about Hilary caught Trevor’s eye, as he says, ‘Hilary appeared quiet and friendly and I thought “She’s nice”. She was wearing a light green roll-neck wool jumper. It is very clear in my memory still.’

A group of them would go for coffee after weekly Hebrew lectures and their relationship developed naturally.

‘One day Trevor asked me if I would like to go to lunch at LSE. Of course I said “yes” and the rest is history,’ Hilary says.

Friends of the couple threw them a surprise party at Clapham Common in an effort to nudge the relationship along, but Hilary and Trevor turned up already holding hands. ‘One of our friends exclaimed “What a waste of chocolate biscuits!”’ Hilary laughs.

Their friends needn’t have worried, as Trevor says, ‘I think that we had both pretty well assumed that we would end up marrying each other before either of us had put it into words.’

Hilary and Trevor insist they somehow just knew they would end up together, and got engaged and married in 1966. They now have two children.

Their recipe for a happy marriage is to be kind, honest, seek pleasure with each other and, most of all, hang in there! This is wise advice for anyone, and it seems to have served Hilary and Trevor very well.

If you enjoyed these stories and want to share your own King’s romance with us, you can get in touch with our editorial team

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!







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