Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her platinum wedding anniversary, but her husband is absent

KATE, B.C. — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II marked her platinum wedding anniversary on Sunday without her husband, Prince Philip, who announced that he will step down from public life at the end of the year.

Elizabeth and Philip married in November 1947 at Westminster Abbey on the eve of World War II. They returned to London this weekend and attended church on Sunday morning before attending the annual Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph.

The official gala dinner for the wedding anniversary is due Monday evening.

The couple’s wedding day is a source of pride for Elizabeth, who has said she “couldn’t be prouder” of the momentous occasion and described it as a “private, happy event” in her 2012 memoir. She saw her husband of more than 60 years on his 90th birthday in July.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, said on Twitter that Elizabeth will be “wonderful grandmother” to his two granddaughters.

Philip, 95, announced Friday that he would retire from public and official duties next year after more than six decades of service.

“After almost 64 years of service to my country, the time has come for me to step down from my public duties. My heart feels full,” he said in a statement.

In an indication of their long-running relationship, the queen has described Philip as “my strength and stay all these years.”

William Booth, a retired Oxford University law professor, noted that Philip’s term as president of the International Maritime Organization will also expire next year.

“The floodgates will open,” Booth said. “That will be the focus of intense public interest and monitoring.”

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