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Last Updated Thursday March 22 2018 05:12 PM IST

UK's royal couple celebrate 70 years of marriage quietly

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UK's royal couple celebrate 70 years of marriage quietly Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip,walk at Broadlands in Romsey, southern England in this undated photograph taken in 2007. REUTERS/Fiona Hanson/Pool/Files

London: Queen Elizabeth and husband prince Philip mark their platinum wedding anniversary with a small family get-together on Monday, a far cry from the pomp and celebration which greeted their marriage 70 years ago.

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

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

UK's royal couple celebrate 70 years of marriage quietly The hand of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) is held by her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, after her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords in London, November 13, 2002. REUTERS/Russell Boyce/Files

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, William and Kate, were married in 2011.

However, the Abbey itself will mark the occasion with a full peal of its bells involving 5,070 change of sequences, with the 70 reflecting the anniversary, which will 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.

UK's royal couple celebrate 70 years of marriage quietly Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrive for the fourth day of racing at Royal Ascot in southern England in this June 18, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/Files

"Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of colour on the hard road we have to travel," said former prime minister Winston Churchill.

Five years later, Elizabeth succeeded her father George VI on the throne and has ruled for the following 65 years, more 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.

UK's royal couple celebrate 70 years of marriage quietly A handout photo shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November, pictured against a platinum-textured backdrop, in celebration of their platinum wedding anniversary on November 20, 2017. Matt Holyoak/CameraPress/PA Wire/Handout via REUTERS

"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."

While the couple's marriage has remained strong, three of their four children have seen their unions end in divorce, most notably heir prince Charles's ill-fated union with his late first wife princess Diana.

Neither the queen nor Philip worry about their popularity ratings, according to royal historian Hugo Vickers.

"They don't waste a jot of time wondering whether we like them or not - they just get on with the job," he told Reuters.

"He's very much like that and so is she. On the occasions when I have been lucky enough to see them together, they always look incredibly comfortable in each other's company."

Read: Latest World News

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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