Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with a service at Westminster Abbey today.
They were married on Thursday 20th November 1947 and the service of celebration for their diamond anniversary was held a day early to allow them to leave for a return visit to Malta – their first home as a married couple.
The service was attended by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall together with TRH Prince William and Prince Harry and many other members of the Royal Family.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were welcomed to the Abbey by the Dean of Westminster the Very Reverend Dr John Hall who said in his Bidding: ‘God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them
‘With them we give thanks to Almighty God that, as we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. We give thanks for God’s continuing blessing on their life together. With them we give thanks for the gift of children and grand-children. With all those celebrating long and happy years together we rejoice and give thanks to God.’
In his address the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams, said: ‘Every marriage is a public event, but some couples have to live more than others in the full light of publicity.
‘We are probably more aware than ever these days of the pressure that brings. But it also means we can special thanks for the very public character of the witness and the sign offered to us by this marriage and what it has meant to the nation and the Commonwealth over the decades.’
Dame Judi Dench read a specially-commissioned poem written by the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. Prince William read the Lesson from 1 John 4: 7-16.