A Royal Wedding Anniversary: 70 Glorious Years
The reign of Her Majesty the Queen has been characterised by her dedication to duty, fulfilling a pledge that she made on her 21st birthday in 1947. Throughout those years, Her Majesty has been accompanied by her loyal consort Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the man she famously referred to as her “strength and stay”. In August, The Duke carried out his final official engagement, at the age of 96, after 70 years of unstinting service; however, as you would expect, he won’t be retiring altogether.
An overwhelming sense of devotion — to the nation, the Commonwealth, their family and to each other — has been at the heart of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh’s life together. This is something that they will celebrate on 20th November this year when they reach a particularly special and personal milestone, their 70th wedding anniversary.
Theirs was a marriage that brought some much-needed joy and happiness to a country that was emerging from the dark shadows of war. The splendour, pomp and pageantry of a British royal wedding was the perfect tonic, providing warmth and brightness to a chilly November day in London. Who could resist getting swept along in the romance of the beautiful young princess and her dashing prince? Here was an occasion blessed with the magic of majesty, which also represented hope for the future. For the 2,600 guests who witnessed the ceremony in Westminster Abbey; the thousands of people who lined the procession route, all eager to catch a glimpse of the fairytale princess and her prince; and 200 million radio listeners worldwide, it was an event they wanted to be part of — to share and to celebrate this historic and personal moment and a new chapter in the life of the royal family. As the wedding united the future queen with the handsome naval lieutenant it united the entire nation with its sense of renewal and optimism.
The couple’s engagement was officially announced on 9th July and an estimated 10,000 messages of congratulations, followed by some 2,500 presents, flooded in from across the world — from heads of state, officials and ordinary wellwishers. Wedding preparations were soon underway, although Buckingham Palace was ever-mindful of the restrictions as wartime rationing was still in place. Princess Elizabeth, like all brides of the time, was allowed an extra 200 clothes coupons towards her wedding dress, but such was the public’s affection for the young princess and their enthusiasm for the wedding, that many people sent her their own coupons. Kind-hearted