image Following the announcement that former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, 78, plans to marry his 43-year-old partner, economist Maike Richter as soon as he recovers from a fall, one wonders how love can conquer such a great age difference. She’s young enough to be his granddaughter.

The BBC Have Your Say site lists some other high profile imagecouples with large age gaps.  Michael Douglas is 25 years older than Catherine Zeta Jones; Sex & the City actress Kim Cattrall is 23 years older than partner Alan Wyse; film-maker Woody Allen is 35 years older than wife Soon-Yi Previn and nightclub entrepreneur Peter Stringfellow is 42 years older than fiancee Bella Wright.

What Kohl, Douglas, Cattrell and Stringfelimagelow have in their common with their partners is their backgrounds and shared work interests. This is a major plus.

Allen is definitely the odd one out here, this relationship is bizarre and has caused so much hurt to others in their lives, yet they still seem to be together after 16 years.

And well done to the free spirited Cattrell for showing women can successfully overcome age barriers too…