The Queen is a fan of putting pen to paper, and like rest of the royal family, she’s famed for sending kind letters of thanks to members of the public.
But the Queen has recently sent one particularly sweet message, to a couple who have been married for 75 years, congratulating them on their long and happy marriage.
The note is even more poignant, given that the Queen and Prince Philip have only just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary – it seems they’ve got a bit of catching up to do!
The monarch penned the letter to Reg and Joan, who are both 94, and got married in 1942 just before Reg was drafted into the army. He joined up to the Royal Artillery, and served as a mechanic.
Reg said, “I was soon going to be sent overseas, so we made a quick decision.
“Joan was going to get a marriage allowance of about 75 pence a week, so that swung it, and we married in Uxbridge Register Office, with just one witness, no guests, no photos and no presents.”
And their tense and uncertain past means that reaching this impressive milestone is all the more special.
Reg explained that, after their wedding, the couple were separated – “We spent our honeymoon at my parents’ house in Portsmouth, which was bombed night after night. Then, I was sent to the 8th Army in the Western Desert, and Joan went into the RAF. We didn’t know when we would see each other again.”
The couple were than apart for a huge four years – not even getting the chance to see each other for visits.
Reg fought abroad in Italy, and when the war was over, Joan eventually managed to stow away on a ship bringing Prisoners of war home. The couple were then finally reunited after such a long time apart. After his career in the army, Reg became a teacher – by which time, the couple had had a son, Clifford.
Clifford, who is now 68, explained how much the Queen’s letter meant to his parents on their special day. He said, “Having both seen service in the war it means so much to get a message from The Queen, who was in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorials,”
He continued, “It would be wonderful if The Queen and Prince Philip can do the same as Mum and Dad, and reach 75 years.”