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Queen and Duke pose for anniversary pictures

By Scott D'Arcy

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have posed for a new series of portraits to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

The photographs, taken by British photographer Matt Holyoak, show the Queen and Prince Philip standing in the white drawing room at Windsor Castle earlier this month.

The 91-year-old monarch opted to wear the cream day dress by Angela Kelly that she also wore at the diamond wedding anniversary thanksgiving service, along with a yellow gold, ruby and diamond scarab brooch, designed by Andrew Grima and gifted to the couple in 1966.

They are framed by Thomas Gainsborough's 1781 portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, who were married for 57 years, and the Queen holds her hands clasped in front of her, while Prince Philip stands upright with his hands behind his back.

Mr Holyoak has worked with a host of British and Hollywood celebrities and his photos have regularly been splashed on the covers of magazine such as Harper's Bazaar, Shortlist and Dazed and Confused.

The photographs were taken for Camera Press, which also celebrates its anniversary 70 years after the agency distributed the royal pair's official wedding photos as its first assignment.

The Queen, who married her consort at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947, is the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary.

Their enduring relationship has lasted the longest of any British sovereign, and Philip has been at the Queen's side throughout the decades, supporting her as she devotes herself to her duties as head of state.

The monarch, who was a 21-year-old princess when she walked up the aisle, is the nation's longest reigning sovereign, having overtaken the record set by Queen Victoria.

The 96-year-old newly retired Duke, who was 26 and fresh from serving for the Royal Navy in the Second World War when he wed, is the longest serving consort in British history.

Together they have celebrated the silver, golden and diamond jubilees of the Queen's reigns, and faced ups and downs over the years including the breakdown of three of their four children's marriages, and the backlash which followed the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in August of 1997.

Celebrations for the Queen and Duke's 70th wedding anniversary will be a private affair at their request, markedly different from the public commemorations of the diamond wedding anniversary in 2007 which included a service of thanksgiving.

Belfast Telegraph

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