These young sweethearts with Down syndrome were recently crowned the King and Queen of prom at Monmouth Comprehensive School in Monmouth, South Wales.
Teenagers Dylan Hughes and Amelie Barker, both 16, first met when they were just three years old. They only started dating in March but now, it appears that the pair has gotten head over heels in love with each other.
The couple donned their best evening wear and went together at Chase Hotel in Ross-on-Wye where their prom was held. But little did they know that the night was about to get better for them.
The duo was hugely popular at school, so it didn’t come as a surprise to the community when they were hailed as this year’s King and Queen of prom! Traditionally, students vote for the most popular couple in school, and Dylan and Amelie won by a mile.
Dylan and Amelie felt overjoyed as their classmates loudly cheered and applauded them as they were presented with the crown and tiara.
“He came home a very happy young man. He didn’t want to take his crown off. It’s got quite serious and they are declaring everlasting love for each other,” Victoria Hughes, Dylan’s mother, said of the momentous occasion.
The couple met as toddlers when Amelie’s mom, Katherina Barker, and Victoria started the charity 21 Plus for parents of kids with Down syndrome.
The lovebirds went to different primary schools, but they both started attending Monmouth Comprehensive School at the same time. At first, the two were just friends, but as the months went by, they began to develop a deeper relationship with each other.
“They have become very close over the last 18 months and we all started to realize there was a romance going on. Then in March Dylan asked me if he could take Amelie out on a date. They wanted to go to Pizza Express together, just the two of them. It was a lovely idea,” Victoria recalled of their blossoming romance.
Before the date, Victoria went to the restaurant first to explain to the manager that there was a couple with Down syndrome who would like to reserve a table.
“The manager and staff were really helpful, they kept an eye and had my telephone number just in case,” she said.
Victoria said that the high-schoolers were so excited. However, she felt a bit nervous and “wanted to hide in the car around the corner.”
But as it turns out, there was no need to be worried. The couple really had a great time during their first date, just like any other teenagers.
Since then, the pair had been to the cinema to watch The Greatest Showman. They also spend evenings and weekends together. Dylan also does the sweetest thing before every date with Amelie – he presents her with a bunch of flowers.
Aside from his girlfriend, Dylan’s other love is sports. He plays rugby and is a member of the GB Down Syndrome swimming team. The athlete is also training for the European Championships in Sardinia in September.
According to Victoria, the duo thought that it was “fabulous” being voted as the King and Queen of prom.
“It should be the norm that children with Down Syndrome are in mainstream education and go on to jobs and live independently. We all have high expectations for our children so, as a family, we think of these things as normal, why shouldn’t they be?” she said.
“We should be celebrating the fact that Dylan and Amelie are part of the community and part of the school. They weren’t picked as King and Queen of the prom because they have Down Syndrome but because they are really popular pupils and everyone is really happy for them,” she added.
Congratulations to the adorable couple for the well-deserved win!