Much photographed but rarely quoted, Pauline Prescott has remained very much a private person despite her husband's habit of grabbing the headlines - often for the wrong reasons.
Hairdresser Pauline Tilston married one of her chum's ex-boyfriends, the dashing Merchant Navy steward John Prescott in 1961.
He knew she had had a baby boy when she was just 16 and put him up for adoption aged three months.
"John knew when he first met me. He was going out with a girlfriend of mine. We have had a great marriage. John was wonderful and always knew that there was that little part of me that was always there," she told the Sunday Telegraph.
She was speaking in 2003, two years after she had been re-united with her son Paul - who turned out to be a foxhunting Conservative and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Military Police.
Mr Prescott had offered to bring up Paul as his own before he was adopted.
Mrs Prescott told the Sunday Telegraph: "If I was given the same circumstances, I would do it again. It was agonising but I knew I had done the best thing for Paul and it has proved right."
It was a rare insight into the woman more famous now for her cast-iron, extravagantly coiffured hairstyle and her striking outfits.
In 1999, when Mr Prescott was under fire for riding by car 250 yards from a hotel to Labour's conference in a windy Bournemouth, he famously deflected criticism by explaining why he had taken the limo: "Because of the security reasons for one thing and, second, my wife doesn't like to have her hair blown about."
Mrs Prescott has loyally stood by her husband as he has been embroiled in controversies over his cars, his fisticuffs - and now his affair.
She made the headlines herself last year when Greenpeace protesters scaled the roof of the couple's home near Hull as a protest.
She was trapped in her bedroom, telling a court later she was "absolutely terrified" and in fear of her life because she at first thought the intruders were terrorists.
Yesterday her husband said she was "devastated" by news of his affair with one of his secretaries, Tracey Temple. But nobody was betting that she wouldn't still stand by her man.