An­niver­sary facts

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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