Royal Platinum Wedding: Europe's other monarchical marriages
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are about to break yet another royal record. On November 20th 2017 they will mark their 70th wedding anniversary, the first British royals to make that milestone. But how do Europe's other monarchs match up when it comes to marital marks? As Elizabeth II and her consort prepare for their platinum, here's a run down of how the sovereigns of Europe measure in the matrimonal market....
Denmark - 50 years
Margrethe of Denmark married Henri de Monpezat on June 10th 1967
Then heiress to the Danish throne, Margrethe wed her French fiance at Holmens Kirke in Copenhagen, before a congregation packed with royals. Queen Margrethe, now 76, has ruled Denmark since 1972 . Her husband. who uses the Danish version of his name (Henrik) now, was officially Prince Consort until 2016. The couple marked their Golden Wedding Anniversary privately this summer but the year has been hard for them. After a row about where they would be buried became very public indeed, it was confirmed by the Danish Royal Household that 83 year old Prince Henrik has dementia.
Norway - 49 years
Harald of Norway married Sonja Haraldesn on August 29th 1968
Harald was Crown Prince of Norway when he caused a controversy with his pick of royal bride. Sonja Haraldsen was without the royal blood on the wish list for anyone marrying the future King of Norway but Harald dug his heels in and after a long courtship, the couple finally got to say 'I do' in August 1968 at Oslo Domkirke. Harald became King of Norway in 1991 and earlier this year he and Queen Sonja celebrated their 80th birthdays with one of the biggest gathering of royals seen in Europe for several years. Their Golden Wedding Anniversary next year could provide another popular party.
Sweden - 41 years
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden married Silvia Sommerlath on June 19th 1976
Most of Europe's current crop of sovereigns were already married when they took their throne but Carl Gustaf is among that rare group that said 'I do' while already ruling. The young King of Sweden had met his future wife in 1972 but succession laws meant that, had he wed her then, he would have lost his right to the throne and his country would have faced a succession dilemma as only men had rights to the crown at the time and the only other available prince was his ageing uncle, Bertil. But if you can't change laws to marry your love when you are a king, then when can you? Following his succession in 1973, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden sorted out the royal marriage rules and wed Silvia Sommerlath at Stockhol Cathedral in 1976. The couple marked their Ruby Wedding Anniversary last year.
Luxembourg - 36 years
Henri of Luxembourg married Maria Teresa Mestre on February 14th 1981
Poor old Henri and Maria Teresa. In any other year, they would have taken top billing in the royal wedding stakes but just days after the then Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg wed his university love at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Prince Charles announced his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer and the rest, as they say, is history. Not that it bothered the newlyweds. The couple are notoriously happy and still look loved up all these years on. Henri became Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 2000 on the abdication of his father, Jean. In 2016, Henri and Maria Teresa released special portraits marking their 35th wedding anniversary.
Belgium - (almost) 18
Philippe of Belgium married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz on December 4th 1999
OK, we're building Philippe and Mathilde up here but it seems mean not to clock this up to eighteen when they are just days off their wedding anniversary. Philippe, heir to the Belgian throne, surprised qutie a lot of people by announcing his engagement to Mathilde in late summer 1999 but it meant that Europe's royals got to see out a tumultuous century with a glittering and very happy wedding as the year came to an end. The couple wed in a civil ceremony in Brussels followed by a church service at the Cathedral of St Michel and St Gudula. Mathilde turned out to be a very pleasant surprise indeed. Hugely popular, she has seen her star rise and rise. Philippe became King of the Belgians in July 2013 on the abdication of his father, Albert II.
Netherlands - 15 years
Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands married Maxima Zorreguieta on February 2nd 2002
The bride sparkled, the groom couldn't stop smiling and everyone lived happily ever after. That's how to do a royal wedding. Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange wed Maxima in a civil ceremony in Amsterdam followed by a religious service at the city's Nieuwe Kirke starting a royal marriage that has proved one of the most successful of recent times. Willem-Alexander became the first King of the Netherlands in over a century on the abdication of his mother, Beatrix, in April 2013 making that sparkling bride of 2002 into the country's first queen consort in a long, long time. Maxima was anything but daunted by the role. These two look like they might end up rivalling the Queen and Prince Philip in the most famous monarchical marriage stakes.
Spain - 13 years
Felipe of Spain married Letizia Ortiz Rocosolano on May 22nd 2004
Was there ever an heir more eligibile than Felipe, Prince of Asturias. Partly thanks to his good looks and partly thanks to the fact he kept everyone waiting for years for a wedding, anticipation of his nuptials was at fever pitch before they even became a reality. Like several of his other monarchical counterparts, Felipe surprised plenty with his choice of spouse. Letizia Ortiz was a TV star, divorced and just as good looking as her groom. Their wedding, at the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, was a huge celebration. Felipe became King of Spain on June 19th 2014 on the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos. The celebrations are a distant memory - right now, the couple are facing one of the toughest times Spain's monarchy has endured in decades and that's saying something. Let's hope fourteen is a luckier number for them.
Monaco - 6 years
Albert of Monaco married Charlene Wittstock on July 1st and 2nd 2011
The most recent royal wedding of Europe's reigning royals is that of Albert II of Monaco who, like Carl XVI Gustaf, had already taken his country's throne when he said 'I do'. Albert married Charlene Wittstock in a civil ceremony on July 1st 2011 and a religious service the following day - both were held at the Prince's Palace in Monaco. If the wedding itself was spectacular, then the build up was even more talked about as rumours spread the bride had tried to run away. Charlene has always denied she tried to flee. The new consort settled into her role and in December 2014 the couple welcomed twins, Jacques and Gabriella.