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Queen's letter detailing first meetings with Philip sells for £14k

The two page note was sent to author Better Shew who was writing a book on the royal couple.

A rare handwritten letter by the Queen describing her courtship with the Duke of Edinburgh has sold for £14,400 at auction.

The two-page account details the early stages of the relationship to author Betty Shew, who was writing a book on the upcoming Royal Wedding as a souvenir of their marriage.

It was sold to a private collector from the UK at a sale in Chippenham - and far exceeded the £800-£1200 estimate.

In it, the young Elizabeth recounts how the pair met when she was just 13 at the the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth:

"I was 13 years of age and he was 18 and a cadet just due to leave. He joined the Navy at the outbreak of war, and I only saw him very occasionally when he was on leave - I suppose about twice in three years.

"Then when his uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, were away he spent various weekends away with us at Windsor. Then he went to the Pacific and Far East for two years as everyone there will know...

"We both love dancing - we have danced at Ciro's and Quaglino's as well at parties.

"We first started seeing more of each other when Philip went for a two-year job to the R.N Petty Officers School at Corsham - before that we hardly knew each other.

"He'd spend weekends with us, and when the school was closed he spent six weeks at Balmoral - it was great luck his getting a short job first them! Elizabeth"

– Letter from the Queen describing her courtship with the Duke of Edinburgh
It sold for much higher than the predicted £1,200


Beacons 'unite Britain' in appreciation of the Queen

Beacons were lit across the West Country last night to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.

A small group braved Potters Hill at Woolacombe, for the lighting of a brazier celebrating Her Majesty at 90.

Prince Charles said the beacons were uniting Britain in appreciation of the Queen's lifetime of service:

Credit: ITV News
Credit: ITV News
Credit: ITV News

The Queen at 90: Birthday salute from the Royal Navy

The Royal Navy’s HMS Bulwark marked the 90th birthday of The Queen while in the middle of an intensive international exercise.

Sailors and Royal Marines on board the Plymouth-based assault ship spelled a ‘90’ on the flight deck and the ship’s chefs baked a special cake to celebrate the Queen's milestone:

Credit: Royal Navy
Credit: Royal Navy

“On behalf on my ship’s company I would like to offer our loyal greetings and best wishes to Her Majesty on the occasion of her 90th birthday. My sailors and marines were delighted and honoured to be able to mark the occasion in such a special way, and everyone on board wishes her many happy returns for this landmark occasion.”

– Captain James Parkin, the Captain of HMS Bulwark
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