The Queen is the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Greece had their first publicised meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, in July 1939 when teenage “Lilibet” joined her parents on an engagement. Dashing, blondhaired, 18-year-old naval cadet Philip caught her eye as he entertained her by jumping over tennis nets.
While Philip was away at sea, the princess kept a picture of him in her room. She later replaced the photograph of a clean-shaven Philip with one of him sporting a large beard to prevent him being recognised and stop any gossip about their relationship.
Philip designed Princess Elizabeth’s platinum and diamond engagement ring himself. It was made by the jewellers Philip Antrobus Ltd using diamonds from a tiara belonging to his mother Princess Alice of Greece.
The Duke had two stag parties the night before the wedding – the first at the Dorchester to which the press were invited and the second with his closest friends at the Belfry Club.
Philip gave up smoking on the morning of his wedding in a bid to please his new bride.
Princess Elizabeth began her wedding day with a cup of tea, while the Duke is said to have supped on a gin and tonic before heading off to the ceremony.
Princess Elizabeth did her own make-up on the morning of her wedding.
The Princess was given 200 extra clothing coupons from the Government towards her wedding trousseau as was the custom for all brides during the time of rationing after the Second World War.
Women across the UK, keen to ensure Princess Elizabeth would have the dress of her dreams, sent their own coupons to the young royal to help out. But it was illegal to give coupons away and the gifts had to be returned.
Gifts from the public included 500 tins of pineapple, 131 pairs of nylons, 17 pairs of silk stockings, 16 night gowns, 30 scarves, 38 handbags, 24 pairs of gloves, a refrigerator, two pairs of bed socks, and a hand-knitted tea cosy.
The Princess’s beloved corgi, Susan, went with them on their honeymoon.