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Last Updated: Monday, 4 August, 2003, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Pauline Prescott's reunion delight
Pauline Prescott and her son Paul Watton
Pauline Prescott and Paul Watton were reunited two years ago
Pauline Prescott, wife of the deputy prime minister, has told of her delight at being reunited with the son she gave up for adoption more than 40 years ago.

And in an interview for BBC's Look North, 47-year-old Paul Watton said it was fantastic to discover Mrs Prescott was his natural mother.

Mr Watton, who is now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Military Police, was born in 1956 when Pauline Prescott was 17 and single.

He was first reunited with Mrs Prescott two years ago when he was told who his mother was by a tabloid newspaper.

"If my stepfather was not John Prescott then I would not have found out," he said, telling how the deputy premier had welcomed him into his family.

Family likeness

Since then, he has regularly met up with Mr and Mrs Prescott and their two sons Jonathan, 40, and David, 33.

Mrs Prescott said the reunion with her son was "just absolutely amazing".

"It is very hard to put into words but I started to look for little sort of family similarities, you know, and picked up the cleft in the chin."

It's happiness, it's family, it's something which I am sure all your people will see 'aah'
John Prescott
Mrs Prescott said the reunion had been emotional, adding: "But we have had about two years now to get to know one another and it's been very easy."

Asked if the meeting had been a dream come true, Mr Watton replied: "totally" and admitted it had come as a bit of a shock.

"After 45 years, I always knew I was adopted but never had any idea at all who my natural mother was," he said.

"So the whole thing has just been fantastic and my adoptive mother is overjoyed as well."

Past and future

Mrs Prescott has indeed become friends with Mr Watton's 87-year-old adoptive mother.

The deputy prime minister said he had thought about the possibility of a reunion between Pauline and Paul when fellow minister Clare Short had been reunited with her son.

News of his natural mother's identity must have come as a surprise to Mr Watton, said Mr Prescott.

And he suggested it might cause some stick for him in the officers' mess.

Mr Prescott continued: "It's a happy situation, isn't it. You can see exactly how they feel. It's a kind of uniting, a bringing together of the past with the future.

"It's happiness, it's family, it's something which I am sure all your people will say 'aah'."

Mr Watton is a Conservative voter and a supporter of fox hunting.

Asked if that had provoked some political debate in the family, Mr Prescott joked: "No, I do not tolerate any opposition at home."

On Sunday, Mr Prescott told BBC1's Breakfast with Frost that several newspapers were aware of the reunion but had not revealed any details after his family insisted it was a "very private situation".

Now the secret had been made public, he appealed for the family to be left to continue its life in private.


Mrs Prescott, 64, was working as a hairdresser in her home town of Chester when she fell pregnant with Paul in 1955, when she was 16.

She looked after him for the first three months, however with her father dead and her mother struggling to make ends meet, she placed him in a children's home.

Three years later he was adopted by school teacher Ted Watton and his wife Mary, a school district nurse.

Mrs Prescott met her husband, then a merchant navy steward, in 1957 and they married in November 1961.

Mr Watton was awarded an MBE for his services in Northern Ireland and an OBE for his work in Kosovo. He has also served in the Falklands.

In 1999, he was made head of the Royal Military Police in Scotland and the north of England.

The BBC's Helen Fospero
"Pauline was proud to discover Paul is a high-ranking army officer"

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