Series of portraits to mark Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's wedding anniversary
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh smile as they stand side by side in the first of a new series of portraits to mark their 70th wedding anniversary tomorrow.
The photographs, taken by British photographer Matt Holyoak, show Elizabeth II and Prince Philip standing in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November.
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.
Elizabeth II, who married he 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.
With their family growing year by year, the Queen and Philip are preparing to welcome their sixth great-grandchild in April - a third child for the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
They already have five great-grandchildren - Savannah and Isla Phillips, Mia Tindall, Prince George and Princess Charlotte - as well as eight grandchildren - Peter and Zara Phillips, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn - and their own four children the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
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.
Close family and friends are gathering with the couple at Windsor Castle for a special private dinner on Monday evening.
Bells will also ring out at the historic London church where they said their vows.
At Westminster Abbey on Monday at 1pm, a team of 10 ringers will sound a full celebratory peal in tribute, lasting three hours and 20 minutes.
Late in their life, the Queen and Philip have entered a new phase in their marriage.
While the monarch continues her duties as head of state at Buckingham Palace, Philip is enjoying his retirement, spending plenty of time at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate, reading and painting, away from the pressures of royal engagements.
But the Duke did make an appearance over Remembrance weekend, notably watching with the Queen from a balcony at the Cenotaph as the Prince of Wales led the nation in honouring the country's war dead.
It was a symbolic moment for the sovereign - the first time she has broken with tradition and not performed the duty of laying a wreath at the Whitehall service - and once again Philip was at her side.
The pair, who are distant cousins, attended the same wedding and coronation in the early 1930s but had their first publicised meeting in 1939 when Princess Elizabeth visited the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, where Philip was a cadet, with her parents.
She is said to have fallen for the dashing, blond Prince of Greece and Denmark as she watched him jump over the tennis nets.
They corresponded and Philip also went to visit the royals for Christmas, and their engagement was announced in July 1947.
The fairy-tale royal wedding was a morale boost in the tough years that followed the Second World War and millions of people tuned in to listen to the ceremony on the wireless.
War-time leader Winston Churchill summed up the occasion as ''a flash of colour on the hard road we travel''.
Royals and dignitaries gathered inside the Abbey, waiting for the young royal bride, whose Norman Hartnell wedding dress was hand-embroidered with more than 10,000 pearls and crystals.
Less than five years later, the Duke had given up his promising Naval career for royal duty, and the Princess became Queen Elizabeth II on the death of her father George VI.
While the monarch is seen as passive, cautious and conventional, the Duke is more adventurous, tempestuous and active.
The success of their long-lasting union has been put down to their compatibility. They have shared interests - horses and outdoor life - and the same dutiful royal training.