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Last updated at 15:20 BST, Friday, 02 May 2014

Twins meet after 78 years apart


2 May 2014

Twin sisters from Aldershot in the UK have met in the United States after spending 78 years apart. Elizabeth Hamel and Ann Hunt found each other after the longest period of separation ever recorded for twins.


Peter Bowes

Twin baby girls

Twins brought up separately are of particular interest to researchers


Click to hear the report


It was an emotional reunion.

Elizabeth Hamel and Ann Hunt, twins:
Oh, how lovely to see you in the flesh.

Ann grew up never knowing she had a twin. Elizabeth stayed with her mother, who was in domestic service and could afford to bring up only one child. It wasn't until last year, with the women in their late 70s, that Ann discovered she had a twin sister, now living in America.

Ann Hunt:
You're meeting someone in the flesh for the first time, and you know that you've been in the womb together for eight months.

The sisters have agreed to take part in a research programme looking into the lives of reunited twins. Dr Nancy Segal is the director of the Twin Studies Center at California State University.

Dr Nancy Segal:
We want to get a comprehensive overview of their lives, their abilities, their interests and really put it all together as an important case study, because this is the world's longest-separated pair of twins.

Ann and Elizabeth plan to spend some time together. They have two lifetimes of memories to share, and new families to get to know.


Click here to hear the vocabulary



situation where people meet again after a long time

in the flesh

in real life (not just on television, on the internet, by phone, etc)


organ inside a mother's body where a baby grows before being born


brought together again after a long time apart


description of the main features of something

case study

detailed piece of research with a lot of information

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