Titanic romance with echoes of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio

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A romance aboard the Titanic with echoes of the screen affair has been disclosed by a survivor's relative.

Joanna Wood said the love story involved her great aunt, Roberta Maioni, who was a maid travelling first class on the Titanic's maiden voyage in 1912, and a young ship's steward who died as the liner sank.

During the voyage, 21-year-old Roberta is believed to have fallen in love with the young employee and when the Titanic struck an iceberg he gave her his lifejacket and helped her into a lifeboat.

As a final gesture he pressed his White Star brooch into Roberta's hand, leaving her with a lasting memento. In the film version, directed by James Cameron, DiCaprio's character leaves his lover with a necklace before dying.

Roberta and her employer, Countess Lucy Rothes, were among those rescued by a nearby ship, Carpathia, and they travelled on to New York.

Her story was published in a newspaper in the 1920s, which her great niece believes may have helped inspire the fictional affair in the film, although other affairs have been suggested as the source.

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