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Platinum anniversary for royal couple

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-16 07:53

LONDON - Britain's Queen Elizabeth will add another landmark to her record-breaking reign on Monday when she and Prince Philip celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

Princess Elizabeth, as she was at the time, married dashing naval officer Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at London's Westminster Abbey on Nov 20, 1947, just two years after the end of World War II, in a lavish ceremony attended by statesmen and royalty from around the world.

Seventy years on, Elizabeth, 91, and her 96-year-old husband will mark their platinum anniversary with a small family party at Windsor Castle, the monarch's home to the west of London.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said there would be no public event to mark the occasion.

Greek-born Philip, a descendant of Elizabeth's great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria in his own right, has been at his wife's side throughout her 65-year reign, the longest in British history. He was the person who broke the news to her in 1952 that her father, George VI, had died and that she was now queen.

"One of the secrets of this very, very long marriage, and it's an incredibly impressive anniversary, is the fact Prince Philip has always seen it as his main duty to support the queen, to help her in whatever way he can," said royal historian Hugo Vickers.

"He is the only person who can actually tell the queen absolutely straight what he thinks, and if he thinks some idea is ridiculous he will say so in whatever language he chooses to use."

The couple first met when they attended the wedding of Prince Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, to Elizabeth's uncle, the Duke of Kent, in 1934.

Philip then gained the attention of his future wife when the then-13-year-old princess made a visit with her parents to Britain's Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in southern England where he was a cadet.

Truly in love

"She was truly in love from the very beginning," the queen's cousin Margaret Rhodes, a lifelong friend and one of her bridesmaids who died last year, wrote in her memoir.

Their engagement was announced in July 1947 and they married four months later.

While royal watchers said Elizabeth and Philip have had their ups and downs like any married couple. They have avoided the travails of three of their four children whose marriages have ended in divorce, most notably heir Prince Charles's ill-fated union with his late first wife Princess Diana.

It was at the couple's 50th wedding anniversary in 1997 that the queen paid a rare personal tribute to her husband.

"He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years," Elizabeth said.

Reuters

Platinum anniversary for royal couple

(China Daily 11/16/2017 page12)

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