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Queen Elizabeth, Philip, Mark 70th Marriage Anniversary

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrate 70 years of marriage last Monday, becoming Britain’s first reigning couple to mark a platinum wedding anniversary. The decades-spanning marriage of the Queen, the nation’s longest serving sovereign has outlasted those of all prior British monarchs. The royal couple will not hold any public events but have invited family and friends to Windsor Castle for a private dinner.

Earlier in the day the bells of Westminster Abbey, where Elizabeth married the Duke of Edinburgh on November 20, 1947, will ring out in full celebratory peal. The abbey’s company of ringers — a team of 10 — will deliver the tribute uninterrupted for around three hours and 20 minutes, from 1300 GMT. Also in honour of the occasion, Buckingham Palace issued new photographic portraits of the Queen and the Prince, taken earlier this month in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. Meanwhile the Royal Mail, Britain’s postal service, has issued a new set of six stamps to commemorate the historic landmark.

It includes images of the pair’s engagement announcement at Buckingham Palace, their wedding amid the splendour of Westminster Abbey, and the first part of their honeymoon at a country estate in the county of Hampshire. The fairy-tale royal wedding in 1947 was a morale boost during the tough years immediately after World War II. Their marriage endured, as Philip accepted living in his wife’s shadow, and the Queen seemingly forgiving his periodic gaffes.

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