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Well wishing as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate 65 years of marriage

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

  • SPECIAL OCCASION: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh leave Westminster Abbey after their wedding and, inset, how the Echo reported the day

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SIXTY-FIVE years ago, an "exquisite" princess made her wedding vows in Westminster Abbey as the world looked on.

Today, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their Blue Sapphire or 65th wedding anniversary – a striking, landmark occasion in what has been a truly landmark year.

On November 20, 1947, Princess Elizabeth's marriage to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was an emotional event for a nation whose Second World War wounds had far from healed.

The Echo's blow-by-blow account detailed the 21-year-old Princess's visible nerves, the patchwork of royal guests, from six kings to Soviet politicians, and the Commonwealth-wide celebration.

Cheltenham children had the day off while their parents kept their noses to the grindstone, unable to take a day's holiday "in this time of austerity."

Parish church bells rang out a "merry peal".

Cheltenham Ladies' College houses had a firework display, and Charlton Kings School had a formal tea.

A whopping 80 per cent of the "fans" making their way to London from Cheltenham were women, the Echo reported.

Mrs Marjorie Drakeford, 89, a former Cheltenham Ladies' College pupil, watched the ceremony on television.

"I knew somebody in the crowd in London who was deaf, so she used to lip read, and she saw Philip say to Elizabeth, 'Cheer up sausage'.

"I've always admired the Queen for being a wonderful ambassador of her country, and a mother to her people."

The Cheltenham Ladies' College archivist Rachel Roberts said: "The college has been privileged to receive visits from members of the royal family throughout its history.

"There were joyous celebrations at college to mark the Royal Wedding in 1947, and we send Her Majesty and His Royal Highness our very best wishes on their 65th anniversary."

The Queen, 86, and Philip, 91, will spend their anniversary privately at Buckingham Palace.

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