“Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,” she wrote in a statement at the time.
Now, six months on from Bob’s death, Blanche has opened up about how she’s been trying to come to terms with the loss of her husband of nearly 25 years.
Speaking to The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson, d’Alpuget said that she has been a “wreck” up until recently.
I’d be trying to buy cauliflower and someone would come up and go ‘I just wanted to say’ and I’d cry on the cauliflower,” she said.
After Bob’s death, Blanche received thousands of letters and messages of “
Bob and Blanche met at a friend’s party in Jakarta back in 1970.
Their attraction was “instantaneous” despite being married to different people at the time.
Six years later, Blanche interviewed Bob for a biography on arbitrator Sir Richard Kirby. And that began the pair’s infamous love affair.
“It was the ’70s, and I was a feminist, I was in the women’s movement. We didn’t believe in monogamy, we believed in liberty, equality and sorority and supporting other women, and affairs were par for the course. They were part of that life,” she said.
On The Project, Wilkinson asked if Bob had a problem with how his relationship with Blanche began.
“Are you kidding?” she laughed.
“He was perpetually unfaithful. He loved Hazel and he was perpetually unfaithful,” she said.
Speaking previously to Mia Freedman on Mamamia’s No Filter podcast, Blanche explained, “…one tried to be discreet and not hurt anybody”.
While they were “madly in love”, Bob and Blanche just remained lovers for more than two decades as Bob was still married to his first wife, Hazel Hawke (nee Masterson).