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The Queen and Prince Philip spend wedding anniversary apart

The royal couple marked their 72nd wedding anniversary on Wednesday 20 November

Hanna Fillingham

The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary on 20 November, having tied the knot back in 1947. But on their special day, the royal couple were unable to spend it together due to the Queen's work commitments in London. Royal correspondent Richard Palmer reports that the monarch has official duties in the capital, while Philip is staying at home in Windsor. They have only seen each other twice for short periods in almost three months, but will no doubt have something special planned for when they are together. Since retiring from royal duties in 2017, Philip has been rarely seen in public, and instead spends the majority of his time in Windsor.

The Queen and Prince Philip spent their wedding anniversary apart on Wednesday

Watch the Queen and Prince Philip's wedding day

Elizabeth first set eyes on Philip when she was just a teenager, while touring the British naval academy where he was training. From that time on, "she never thought of anyone else," said the Prince's cousin, Lady Pamela Hicks. The Queen's cousin Margaret Rhodes also revealed: "I've got letters from her saying, 'It's so exciting. Mummy says that Philip can come and stay.' She was truly in love from the very beginning." When Philip returned from the Second World War eight years later, the pair's courtship began in earnest. But it took some time for Philip to be accepted by the establishment, because his family was exiled from Greece and without land or fortune. Elizabeth's devotion never wavered and in July 1947, their engagement was announced.

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Philip was last seen out in public at Princess Eugenie's wedding anniversary

Four months later, the then Princess Elizabeth tied the knot to Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth's dress was designed by court designer Norman Hartnell, who created her gown from ivory silk, and decorated it with crystals and 10,000 seed pearls. Despite being a member of the royal family, the Queen still had to buy her wedding dress with ration coupons at the time, and many members of the public sent her in their coupons to help her buy the dress. However, they were returned, and instead the government donated coupons to help her.

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While the Queen is still often seen out and about, Philip was last seen in public at his granddaughter Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank in October 2018. He joined his wife in Balmoral over the summer period and undertook a rare royal engagement with her during their stay. It was revealed in August that the couple had received Mr Paul Hughes and invested him with the Insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order. Paul had worked as the chief clerk and accountant of the Duke of Edinburgh's household.

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