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Queen presents Duke with special honour as they celebrate 70 years of marriage

EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT REQUIRED THIS IMAGE IS INTENDED TO BE USED AS ONE OF A SEQUENCE OF THREE IMAGES. (this is the second in the sequence.) Handout photo issued by Camera Press of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh by British photographer Matt Holyoak, taken 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. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 20, 2017. The Queen is wearing a cream day dress by Angela Kelly and a 'Scarab' brooch in yellow gold, carved ruby and diamond, designed by Andrew Grima, and given as a personal gift from the Duke to The Queen in 1966. See PA story ROYAL Anniversary. Mandatory credit must read: Matt Holyoak/CameraPress/PA Wire IMPORTANT NOTE : Publishers are requested to use the sequence of pictures, in the first instance, as provided. IMAGE IS PROVIDED FOR FREE EDITORIAL USE UNTIL DECEMBER 3RD. WHEN IT MUST BE REMOVED FROM ALL SYSTEMS AND THOSE OF YOUR SUBSCRIBERS. THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS STRICTLY FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL, SOUVENIR, COVERS OR PROMOTIONAL USE PERMITTED. THE PHOTOGRAPH CANNOT BE CROPPED, MANIPULATED OR ALTERED IN ANY WAY.

The Queen has presented the Duke of Edinburgh with a rare honour as a special anniversary present as they celebrate 70 years of marriage.

As the royal couple reached their milestone platinum wedding anniversary yesterday, Elizabeth II appointed Philip a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) for services to the sovereign.

The touching gesture will be seen as the Queen's recognition of the devotion Philip has shown through the decades, supporting her publicly and privately.

Philip, 96, retired from his public role in the summer after years of royal duty alongside the monarch.

He is the longest serving royal consort in British history, and the Queen, the nation's longest reigning monarch, is the first to celebrate a 70th wedding anniversary.

Awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by the Queen and bestowed independently of Downing Street.

The monarch presented Philip with the honour at Windsor Castle, where they are marking their anniversary privately.

They are celebrating with close family and friends at a special dinner at the Berkshire residence yesterday evening.

Philip is already a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG), a Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (KT) and a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE)

Now with his GCVO he will have four UK order of chivalry breast stars. The last UK citizen to equal this was his uncle Lord Mountbatten of Burma.

Philip also has many other honours including the Order of Merit (OM), Order of New Zealand (ONZ), and Knight, Order of Australia (AK).

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