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The Royal Family have released a new portrait of The Queen and Prince Phillip in celebration of their birthdays.
The couple, who will celebrate their 69th anniversary in November this year, are pictured together in a portrait by photographer Annie Leibovitz. The image was shared on the official Royal Family Twitter account, accompanied by the caption, ‘He has, quite simply, been my strength & stay all these years.’
The Queen’s official birthday is always celebrated on a Saturday in June, although she was actually born on 21st April, whilst Prince Philip turns 95 on June 10th.
Public shows of affection from the monarch and her husband are rare, but there have been a few occasions throughout the years that have given the nation an insight into their close knit relationship.
Having attended countless Royal engagements together, the pair are often overheard laughing and joking together. During one trip to Australia, Philip even let slip his pet name for Elizabeth, telling her as she lamented the hot weather, ‘Cheer up, sausage, it’s not so bad as all that.’ He also refers to her as ‘Bet’, short for Lilibet, another shortened moniker.
Speaking at the couple’s golden wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen returned his affections, telling the assembled crowd, ‘I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.’
Throughout their journey together, the pair have become parents, to Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, and subsequently grandparents and then great grandparents, with the arrival of the newest generation of Royals, including Prince George, Prince Charlotte, and Mia Tindall.
Elizabeth and Philip pictured on their wedding day in 1947
Whilst increasingly discreet about his emotions after their wedding, before their marriage, Prince Philip penned a letter to his princess, telling her that he wondered if he deserved ‘all the good things which have happened to me,’ and in particular, ‘to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly’ – a love that has continued for almost 70 years.
Happy birthday, your Majesties!