Tue, Nov 21, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Queen Elizabeth, husband celebrate 70 years together

Reuters, LONDON

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, yesterday marked their platinum wedding anniversary with a small family get-together, a far cry from the pomp and celebration which greeted their marriage 70 years ago.

The couple married at London’s Westminster Abbey on Nov. 20, 1947, just two years after the end of World War II, in a glittering ceremony which attracted leaders and royalty from around the world and huge crowds of cheering well-wishers.

Seventy years on, no public events were planned and Elizabeth, now 91, and her 96-year-old husband were to celebrate the milestone with a private party at Windsor Castle, the monarch’s home to the west of London.

That contrasts with their silver, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries when they attended thanksgiving services at the thousand-year-old abbey, where the queen was crowned and where her grandson and his wife, Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, were married in 2011.

However, the abbey itself was to mark the occasion with a full peal of its bells involving 5,070 sequence changes, with the 70 reflecting the anniversary, which would last more than three hours.

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, to the dashing naval officer Philip Mountbatten was seen as raising the nation’s spirits amid an austere background of rationing and shortages that followed the war.

“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the hard road we have to travel,” then-British prime minister Winston Churchill said.

Five years later, Elizabeth succeeded her father, George VI, on the throne and has ruled for the following 65 years, longer than any other monarch in British history, with Philip by her side throughout.

“The support he gives to my grandmother is phenomenal,” Prince Harry said in a documentary to mark her 60th year on the throne.

“Regardless of whether my grandfather seems to be doing his own thing, sort of wandering off like a fish down the river, the fact that he’s there — I personally don’t think that she could do it without him,” he said.

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