LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary on Friday, an occasion they were unable to share with their family during England’s current coronavirus lockdown.
Elizabeth, 94, and Philip, 99, married in London’s Westminster Abbey on Nov. 20, 1947, just two years after the end of World War Two.
“Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes on the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s 73rd Wedding Anniversary,” Buckingham Palace said on Twitter.
To mark the occasion, the palace released a photograph of a smiling monarch and her husband looking at a card made by her great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, alongside other cards and letters from well-wishers.
The picture was taken at Windsor Castle, the queen’s home west of London where the couple are staying during the lockdown.
In a nod to their early days of marriage, Elizabeth was wearing a chrysanthemum brooch, made of sapphires and diamonds, that she wore for pictures taken at Broadlands in southern England during the first part of their honeymoon.
The couple first met when they attended the wedding of Philip’s cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, to Elizabeth’s uncle, the Duke of Kent, in 1934.
Philip gained the attention of his future wife when the then-13-year-old princess made a visit with her parents to Britain’s Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in southwest England where he was a cadet.
While royal watchers say Elizabeth and Philip have had their ups and downs, they have avoided the travails of three of their four children whose marriages have ended in divorce, most notably Charles’s ill-fated union with his late first wife Princess Diana.
“The main lesson that we have learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage,” Philip said in a speech on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.
“It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when things get difficult – you can take it from me that the queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)