In honor of their 70th wedding anniversary, the royal palace released new portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip this week, showing the long-lasting couple ahead of their landmark milestone.
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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh wed exactly 70 years ago on Nov. 20, 1947, when she was 21 and he was 26. The ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey — the coveted spot for marriages in the Royal Family. The Queen’s parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth wed there in April 1932, and Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, had their ceremony there in 2011. (Queen Elizabeth was the 10th member of the Royal Family to be married there, according to The Royal Family’s official website.)
Two thousand guests attended their ceremony, which was broadcast to millions worldwide by BBC Radio. Then-Princess Elizabeth wore a gown — decorated with crystals and 10,000 seed pearls — designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, according to the Royal Family.
Six years later, the Queen returned to Westminster Abbey for her coronation after the death of her father, King George VI.
In addition to being the world’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth is now the first to have a platinum wedding anniversary. Since they wed, the couple has had four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The Royal Family celebrated the landmark event this year at a private family event at Windsor Castle, according to People. During their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen reflected on their decades of marriage, what Britain had been through since then and the placement of their wedding in history — just after World War II.
“What a remarkable fifty years they have been: for the world, for the Commonwealth and for Britain,” the Queen said in 1997. “Think what we would have missed if we had never heard the Beatles or seen Margot Fonteyn dance: never have watched television, used a mobile telephone or surfed the Net (or, to be honest, listened to other people talking about surfing the Net).”
And for words about her husband?
“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know,” she said.