70 photos from 70 years mark Queen and Philip's platinum wedding anniversary

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Royal platinum wedding anniversary

Seventy photos - one from each of the 70 years of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's marriage - have demonstrated the close bond between the monarch and her consort.

The images, compiled by the Press Association to mark couple's platinum wedding anniversary next week, chart Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's enduring relationship, which has lasted the longest of any British sovereign.

The photographs include a behind-the-scenes family portrait of the Queen watching Philip push a delighted Prince Charles and Princess Anne together on a swing in the grounds of Balmoral in 1955.

Royalty - Royal Family - Balmoral Castle
Prince Charles and Princess Anne being pushed on a swing by the Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral in 1955 (PA Images)

Thirty years later, the Queen, in a headscarf, and the Duke are pictured as grandparents - keeping an eye on Zara and Peter Phillips and three-year-old Prince William on the Royal Yacht Britannia at Southampton.

The royals were setting sail for a family holiday to the Western Isles.

Royalty - Royal Family Board Britannia
The Queen and the Duke with three of her grandchildren Zara Phillips, Prince William and Peter Phillips, on board Britannia in 1985 (PA Images)

Elizabeth and Philip are seen as young newlyweds on their wedding day on November 20 1947, and 70 years later surrounded by their growing family including great-grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte, watching a flypast from the Buckingham Palace balcony in 2017.

Buckingham Palace accounts
The Royal Family on the Palace balcony in 2017 (Yui Mok/PA)

From their idyllic days in Malta, where Philip was stationed in the Navy, Princess Elizabeth is pictured with the Duke looking over Valletta from the roof of their home Villa Guardamangia in 1949.

Other images from the Press Association archive show the Duke perched on the top of a Land Rover, watching the Badminton Horse Trials with the Queen by the side of the car - both of them wearing sunglasses - in 1968, and the Queen taking a photograph on her own camera during a visit to the South Sea Islands of Tuvalu in 1982.

Horse Trials - Badminton, Gloucestershire
The Queen and Philip at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1968 (PA Images)

Before he retired in the summer, Philip, 96, spent decades at the Queen's side as she carried out her duties as head of state.

The photos show him seated nearby as the Queen reads her speech at the State Opening of Parliament in 1958, and following the traditional few steps behind in 1971 as they get off a plane at Heathrow Airport.

An image from 2008 reveals how duty has sometimes taken its toll, with the Duke resting his chin on his hand and closing his eyes as the Queen listens to a lecture at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Queen Elizabeth II opens new university building
The Queen Elizabeth and the Duke at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2008 (PA Images)

Shared laughter - and solemnity - has peppered their public roles.

In 2003, the Queen is captured grinning as she walks past Philip - in full military dress and bearskin hat - at Windsor Castle, where she was amused by the fact a swarm of bees had colonised chairs set out for VIPs during the ceremonial review.

In 1997, the pair are deep in thought as they view the flowers left in tribute at Buckingham Palace to their former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, after she was killed in a car crash.

Official engagements range from being photographed with American presidents such as John F Kennedy and his wife Jackie in 1961 and Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in 2009, to standing on the Great Wall of China in 1986 when the Queen became the first British monarch to visit the country.

The Queen and Philip's milestone anniversary next Monday will be a low-key, private affair at their request, markedly different from the public celebrations of the diamond wedding anniversary in 2007 which included a service of thanksgiving.

Close family and friends are understood to be gathering with the couple at Windsor Castle for a special private dinner on the evening of their anniversary.