Queen Elizabeth II sent her best wishes to Reg and Joan Elliot on their 75th anniversary
Her Majesty, who celebrates her 70th wedding anniversary with Prince Philip in November, sent a best wishes letter to Reg and Joan Elliot, who notched up three quarters of a century together last Friday.
The couple, both 94, married in 1942 just after Reg had completed his training as a skilled mechanic in the Royal Artillery.
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.
Clifford, Reg and Joan's son
“I was soon going to be sent overseas so we made a quick decision,” said Reg, whose parents enrolled him in the Army when he was 14.
“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.
“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.”
Reg and Elliot married in 1942 at a quiet ceremony in London with no guests present
Apart from a month’s leave, they were apart for four years as Reg bravely fought his way through North Africa, Sicily and Italy.
At the end of the war, Joan managed to hitch a lift with a ship taking Italian PoWs home and the couple were finally reunited in Naples.
They then lived in Italy and Austria as Reg carried on in the Army and their only son Clifford went to 10 different schools as they were moved about.
After leaving the Army Reg became a teacher and was affectionately known as “Mackay” after the prison officer in BBC comedy Porridge.
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Reg and Joan spent their honeymoon in Portsmouth which was bombed regularly Queen Elizabeth II in pictures Fri, June 2, 2017
Queen Elizabeth II making her Royal visits in her many colourful and elegant outfits.
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Queen Elizabeth II speaks with a guests at a garden party at Buckingham Palace
When he retired the couple moved to Spain where they had spent many happy holidays.
As they cracked open the champagne at their home in Nerja on the Costa del Sol, Reg revealed the secret of a long and healthy life: “I just do what I’m told!”
Son Clifford, 68, said his parents were thrilled to get the letter from the Palace.
The Queen and Prince Philip will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November
“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 said.
“It would be wonderful if the Queen and Prince Philip can do the same as Mum and Dad and reach 75 years.”