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Richard Branson gives tour of Necker Island as he reveals that love led him there

16 APRIL 2010

Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island has a reputation as the ultimate luxury retreat, a paradise frequented by the rich and famous looking to get away from it all.

For the island's owner however, it represents something entirely different – the start of his 34-year long romance with his wife, Joan.

The Virgin boss billionaire recently opened up the doors of his newly finished private residence on the island, and revealed his motives behind its purchase, as he gave the Oprah Winfrey Show unprecedented access to his 74-acre Caribbean home.

 

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Speaking about his decision to buy the island for just $200,000 in the late Seventies, Richard revealed: "I was about 26 years old. I was chasing this beautiful lady, trying to persuade her to come and live with me and we discovered this beautiful island.

"I somehow managed to get the island, get the lady, and get the mother of my children," he said, before adding: "I appreciate every moment of my life. I was born under a lucky star."

 

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The 59-year-old entrepreneur began the tour of the property by showing presenter Nate Berkus his main home – featuring a moon-shaped infinity pool, a master bedroom with barely any walls, an open kitchen, outdoor bathroom and a bar, all with beautiful views of the blue waters.

After a quick stop by Richard's office, where he conducts business from a hammock, the duo headed on to his cliff top guest house, also boasting an outdoor bathroom.

 

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Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the tour came as Richard took his guest down to the water, where he unveiled the Necker Nymph, a high-tech mini submarine.

The only one of its kind in the world, the battery driven watercraft has an open cockpit and can take two passengers and a pilot down to depths of 150ft thanks to installed scuba gear.

 

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"It's like an aeroplane that flies, underwater, a little fighter plane," said the dad-of-two before embarking on his very first journey in the submarine.

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