Queen and Duke star in new portraits to mark 70th wedding anniversary

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been pictured in three more photos as part of a series of portraits released to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

The photographs, taken by British photographer Matt Holyoak, show Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November.

In the latest second sequence of pictures, released on Sunday, the royal couple are photographed against a platinum-textured back drop.

One shows the Queen beaming as she sits on a golden chair with matching upholstery with her hands resting on her lap, and the Duke standing next to her with his left hand in his pocket.

The 91-year-old monarch wears 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.

In another of the portraits, Philip looks tenderly at his wife as they stand side by side, turned slightly towards each other, while a third image shows them standing next to each other, looking straight at the camera.

In the first photo, released on Saturday ahead of their anniversary, the couple 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 celebrities and his photos have regularly been splashed on the covers of magazines 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 her 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.

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.

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