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Bear Grylls and His Rarely Seen Wife Shara Cannings Knight - Inside Their Marriage

Andile Mthimkhulu
Aug 05, 2022
08:15 P.M.

Shara Grylls opened up about her 20-year marriage to Bear Grylls and the difficulties they had to overcome.


Adventurer and outdoorsman Bear Grylls and his wife Shara have been married for 20 years and share three children.

But keeping that flame alive hasn't always been easy. Bear and Shara went through a particularly challenging time at the beginning of their life together that could have ended their marriage.

Bear Grylls and wife Shara at the Global Angel Awards in London | Source: Getty Images

Bear Grylls and wife Shara at the Global Angel Awards in London | Source: Getty Images

For the first time in his life, Bear was faced with a problem he couldn't solve through action.


The couple got married in 2000, and as a wedding present, they asked guests for their best advice on how to have a loving and successful marriage. Shara's husband revealed one of the best counsel came from a couple who'd been happily married for 50 years, who told them to never stop holding hands.




If Bear is tough, Shara Grylls is tougher. She has raised their three boys while her husband spent much of his time climbing mountains, crossing deserts, and hacking through impenetrable jungles.

And even though raising two teens and a preteen is a handful, Shara still has time for her philanthropy. She is involved in raising money for organizations dedicated to helping young people at risk.


Shara wrote a book in 2009 titled "Marriage Matters," a compilation of quotes she and her husband received after their wedding. The book has been described as a "sparkling collection of wise and witty sayings on marriage."

In an interview, Shara Grylls talked about her husband breaking his back during a parachuting accident, fighting his way to recovery, and then entering the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest two years later. She also said her spouse is the only person she would ever be out in the wild with.



The "Treasure Island" star and Shara met in Scotland on New Year's Eve 1997 on a beach, where the adventurer had just taken a dip in the icy ocean.

The survival expert, then 23, was running naked along the beach looking for his clothes, which had been swept away by a wave.

The 48-year-old revealed their unconventional first meeting happened months before climbing Mount Everest. At the time, he was busy training while living with a friend and practically climbing every day.


Bear shared other interesting tidbits about the couple. He said they took a marriage course in 2000, the same year they got married.

However, he insisted that he and his wife doing it didn't mean anything was wrong in their relationship. According to him, they did it to ensure they avoided anything that could break their marriage.


The first blow to the young couple came a few months after the wedding in late 2000, when Shara's father passed away. Then, 12 weeks later, in February 2001, Bear's father, Sir Michael Grylls, succumbed to a heart attack while recovering from an apparently successful procedure to fit him with a pacemaker.


Shara and Bear were both grieving, and the adventurer struggled to come to terms with the loss of his father. He confessed:

"Her father died. Twelve weeks later my father died. (...) I felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t talk to Shara because I felt I had to be strong for her."

For the first time in his life, he was faced with a problem he couldn't solve through action. The adventurer and military man felt helpless. He admitted:

"My feelings were, ‘Bear (...) You’ve got no job, your wife is in a bad way, you’re in a bad way, what are you going to do?’"


Bear had had a brilliant military career in the British Army until 1997, when a freefall parachuting exercise ended tragically. His parachute failed to open, and although he survived, he broke three vertebrae and was considered unfit for further military service. He said:

"I went to see this very good therapist and it really helped. For a young couple, a shared crisis can really make or break you. It certainly made us."

And their harrowing experience certainly made them stronger. Twenty years after they got married, the couple still shares an unbreakable bond.


The "Man vs. Wild" star, who has a knack for making it through physical challenges in the wildest places on earth, shared:

"Whatever you see on TV, no man doesn’t have doubts or fears. No man ever has everything totally sorted."

Shara and Bear's relationship hasn't always been rosy; the two have experienced various hardships. The adventurer once told The Times how he didn't have a job at one point.


Their living conditions weren't that great either. They lived on a rusty barge on the Thames and had a broken boiler. Shara's husband said he felt overwhelmed and had to be strong for his wife, so he didn't tell her he was also struggling.


During their relationship, Shara and her husband welcomed three kids. They have three sons: Jesse, who's 19, Marmaduke, 16, and their youngest, Huckleberry, is 13.

Shara and her spouse raised their three sons on a houseboat on the River Thames. Their boat had a hammock, outdoor bath, and a canoe.


In 2015, Shara's husband revealed that he purchased a luxury apartment for his family in London. The property is situated where penthouses cost over $36 million. Speaking about their new place, Bear said:

"As a family, we didn't just want a run-of-the-mill townhouse or riverside development; we were attracted to Battersea Power Station because it was a chance to own a bit of history that we could pass on down through the family."

The survival expert further shared that they have moored their houseboat barge in Battersea for years and were happy to continue doing so. He also said they felt buying a home on that landmark was a special opportunity, and the house would "make a very unique home."


The family spends their summer holidays on the adventurer's private island, St. Tudwal's West. The father of three also shared that the couple has been able to have a long, happy marriage because he always puts his wife's needs first. He told GQ magazine:

"We must prioritize our partners above everything else: even our kids."

The family man said most couples make the mistake of prioritizing their kids instead of their partners. He said if the relationship is nurtured and protected, the kids can be loved properly.


In an interview with Hello magazine in 2021, Bear spoke about his family and lockdown. When it comes to how the family coped during the pandemic, he admitted it was not easy. However, the positive thing about it was he was able to spend more time with family.

He also spoke about how challenging homeschooling was and the tricky restrictions that were in place. However, he remembered the health workers' sacrifices working during those hard times and called them "the real heroes in life."

The 48-year-old was asked what his sons thought about his job and if they were taking after him. The father of three said his sons were different and changed their minds often like other typical teenagers.

However, he did say that the boys loved the outdoors and have "a respect for nature." Maybe one of them will be an adventurer like their dad.

Bear Grylls and Shara haven't just survived their first 20 years together; they've thrived and are ready to take on the challenge of the next 20.

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