THE first opposite sex civil partnership in Worcestershire took place on Tuesday (December 31) at the register office at County Hall.

Charli Hartley and Fred Hartley, both aged 29, are the first couple in Worcestershire to become civil partners.

The duo, from Broadway, signed the partnership agreement at 9.20am.

They attended the register office in Worcester with their daughter and their two witnesses, Charli’s sister and their best friend.

The couple have been together for 13 years. They have a daughter, Aurora Grace, who was born on October 12, 2018.

Also part of the family is their dog, Shadow, a Siberian Husky who they rescued in 2014.

Charli said: “Neither of us subscribe to the religious beliefs, nor the gender stereotypes and notion of ownership, that come with marriage.

"Many people have said to us in the past, ‘why not just marry? You don’t have to say the typical vows, celebrate in your own way, and then you’ll get the legal status that you want’.

"It never sat right with us, no matter what people said.

"Our relationship will not change as a result of this, but to have the legal rights means a lot.”

“For us, the civil partnership is a contract for legal status and we don’t need that to prove our love and devotion for each other by signing a document.

"We made that commitment to each other long ago in our hearts.”

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for communities, said: “Congratulations to Charli and Fred on their civil partnership. I wish them all the best for their future together.”

Charli changed her name by Deed Poll when her daughter was born so they all kept the same family name.