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Robbie and Ayda Field Williams admit they’re often at odds over their attitudes to scrimping versus splurging – and they put it down to being born on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
The couple, who’ve been married for 10 years, live in Ayda’s native Los Angeles with their children Teddy, seven, Charlton, five, Coco, two, and seven month old Beau. They also have a home in London.
Revealing that he’s only just coming to terms with his success, Robbie says it took him 12 years to find the “courage” to buy a Rolls-Royce and he stills watches the pennies at home – to extreme effect.
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The entertaining and clearly loved-up pair reveal their differences while chatting in the latest episode of Ayda’s hilarious podcast, Postcards From The Edge.
As Robbie, who’s estimated to be worth over £200 million, reminisces about sharing bath water with his family while growing up in Stoke-on-Trent, Ayda points out that he hasn’t shaken the practice. She tells her listeners, “We do share bath water. He thinks I’m the Queen for having an en suite my whole life!”
Other self-confessed money-pinching tendencies of Robbie’s include querying his wife’s habit of spending £1.99 on music for her Instagram posts, and policing her use of “posh” scented candles.
“I lit the candle then I just went into the bathroom to pee,” says Ayda, recalling one such incident. “By the time I’d come back he’d blown out the candle and went, ‘You’re just burning money. You’re not even in the room!’ I’d say that’s the difference between Beverley Hills and Stoke-on-Trent.”
Ayda had a tough start in life with single mum Gwen but made her first million aged 21 via her role in US soap Days Of Our Lives.
While she accepts her wealth thanks to the American spirit of “aspiration”, Robbie says, “I’m only now, as a 46 year old, giving myself permission to be that person that has been this successful. It’s something I battled with for a long time.”
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Ayda, 41, who Robbie describes as having the “most beautiful lips” he’s ever seen, sums up the US/UK divide. “If we were talking to the Kardashians right now, I’m not sure they’d understand why you’d even need to apologise for your wealth. It would be completely over their heads.”
Meanwhile, voicing his initial preference of sending his children to school in LA, the former Take That star says, “Here, I can just be ‘dad’ instead of ‘Robbie Williams being a dad.’”
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He has one condition for his brood though. “There’s these kids [in LA] with entitlement because of the place they were born… I don’t want my kids anywhere near those kids.”
Ayda’s podcast Postcards From the Edge is available to listen to now.
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