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Changing wedding traditions revealed as Queen and Philip approach anniversary

One in 10 young men now take their bride’s surname, the London Mint Office’s study of British marriages found.

Only around a third of Britons (36%) believe monogamy is the key to a successful marriage, according to research marking the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s platinum wedding anniversary.

As Elizabeth II and Philip approach 70 years of marriage, the London Mint Office’s study of British marriages found that one in 10 young men now take their bride’s surname, just 37% of young brides in the UK wear a white wedding dress, and 8% of the public have been to a wedding which descended into a brawl.

The examination of the changing nature of wedding traditions showed that only 30% of couples aged 18 to 34 said the groom had asked permission for the bride’s hand in marriage from her father.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of young married couples have adopted the husband’s name compared with 97% of couples aged over 55, and 11% take a double-barrelled surname.

But one in 10 men between the ages of 18 and 34 take on their wife’s surname – a subject which troubled the Duke of Edinburgh many years ago.

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Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten announcing their engagement (PA)

After the Queen’s accession in 1952, the monarch declared that the Royal Family’s surname would still be Windsor and not Mountbatten, much to Philip’s annoyance.

“I’m just a bloody amoeba,” he is said to have shouted, and complained: “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children.”

In 1960, the Queen revisited the issue of the family name and as a gesture to her aggrieved husband, for the direct descendants of the Queen and the Duke who require a surname, it became Mountbatten-Windsor.

The couple celebrate their historic wedding anniversary on November 20, having married at Westminster Abbey in 1947, and Philip in his golden wedding anniversary speech cited “tolerance” as the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage.

According to the survey of 2,003 adults, the majority (73%) of the British public feel that showing each other respect is the key to wedded bliss and 70% place emphasis on maintaining a shared sense of humour.

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(PA Graphics)

Only 36% cited monogamy as the secret to a lifelong partnership. Two thirds (67%) said sharing problems was important, 64% said patience and 53% dividing up household chores, while 50% put an emphasis on having your own personal space.

Some 42% said a good sex life was the key, 42% said holidays together, 39% sharing everything together, 27% said sharing a kiss each day, 24% saying “I love you” daily and 19% having regular date nights.

Two fifths (42%) of younger men proposed on bended knee versus just 19% of the older generation. Couples over the age of 55 invited an average of 48 attendees to their wedding, compared to an average of 98 guests for younger couples.

Only 17% of young couples said the bride’s parents paid for the wedding, compared with 30% of those aged over 55.

Around 12% of young couples organise photo shoots to announce their engagement, and 36% of the 18-34 age group believe hair and make-up are an important element of the big day, compared to just 6% of older couples.

While the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, did her own make-up on her wedding day, 37% of brides today hire hair and make-up artists.

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(PA)

Emotions can also run high at weddings. In the UK, 8% of people have witnessed weddings descend into a brawl, one in four (25%) have encountered extremely drunk guests, and 11% said interference from parents sparked pre-wedding arguments between the couple.

The research coincides with the London Mint Office unveiling a platinum wedding anniversary commemorative coin – which bears an image of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke on their wedding day, and features the words “strength” and “stay” – how the Queen referred to Philip on their golden wedding anniversary.

:: The special commemorative coin is available from the London Mint Office free, with £2.50 postage, from www.freeweddingcoin.com or 0808 123 7070.

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