Love and Marriage Songs of Praise


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Love and Marriage

Katherine Jenkins marks Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip's 70th wedding anniversary, and is joined by Prince Michael, who was a pageboy at the wedding.


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I'm here in Windsor for a very special programme, in which I'll be

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joined by Prince Michael of Kent to mark a wonderful milestone,

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the 70th wedding anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip.

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Welcome to Songs Of Praise.

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On today's programme, I visit Kensington Palace to meet

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Prince Michael, who 70 years ago was a pageboy at the Royal Wedding.

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There was a tremendous feeling of occasion and of happiness

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and fun and awe.

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The Reverend Kate Bottley finds out from another 70th wedding

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anniversary couple exactly what it takes to stay

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married for seven decades.

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You make him believe that he's the boss,

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but you're the boss all the time.

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And we talk to the sculptor who designed the commemorative coin

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to mark this platinum anniversary.

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This is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world

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and British monarchs have lived here for almost 1,000 years.

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70 years on from their wedding day,

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Windsor is the main home of the Queen and Prince Philip.

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And what better way to start than with one of the Queen's

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favourite hymns, which was actually sung at her wedding.

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Now, for today's show,

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I've received a royal invitation to come here to Kensington Palace

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to meet a member of the royal family who was

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right at the heart of the ceremony, in which Princess Elizabeth,

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as she was then, married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

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Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen's cousin,

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seen here on the right, played an active

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part in the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the 20th of November 1947.

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Your Royal Highness, you were a pageboy

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at Princess Elizabeth's wedding

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and part of your role was carrying her

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train down the aisle as she made her way into the church,

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but you were only five, which is

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quite a big responsibility for such a little boy.

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It was very exciting.

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I was one of two pages.

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The other was Prince William of Gloucester,

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who sadly is not with us any more.

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So I'm the only survivor.

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It was quite daunting because first of all the train was very heavy

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and it was quite a long way to go all the way down the Abbey.

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So, one had to behave properly and so it was quite a drama.

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There were rehearsals, I imagine, but I don't remember any of them.

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And, so, with you and the other pageboy,

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do you think that there was ever any nerves on behalf of the grown-ups

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that you might panic or misbehave even?

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-I'm afraid to tell you, I think that we behaved perfectly well.

-Good.

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-I'm glad to hear it.

-I behaved particularly well.

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Going round corners was complicated.

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And not treading on it was complicated, I seem to remember.

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And then one had shoes with buckles on.

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It was a very exciting moment because it was in November, it was

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just after the War, when everything was very grim,

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and there wasn't very much to light people's lives up.

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So, suddenly, to have this tremendous, exciting service

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and ceremony was something which was radiated in people's lives.

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With this being, obviously looking back at all the photographs

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and some of the footage, a huge national occasion,

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did you really understand that as a five-year-old boy?

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I think not, really. I'm sure people tried to tell me all about it.

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The problem was that the coronation came only a short time later,

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so my memory is a bit muddled as to what happened when.

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But, really, the actual wedding was a very splendid occasion

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and a very dramatic and, as I say, daunting one.

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And all these grown-ups pushing and shoving and making sure one

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did the right thing, but I played a very small part, but it was magic.

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But there was a tremendous feeling of occasion and of happiness

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and fun and awe.

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The singing was terrific. The volume of it was so amazing.

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And The Lord Is My Shepherd I know was one of the hymns.

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One used to sing it in church.

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I've always had a taste for hymns because they are rather fun

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and some of the words are marvellous.

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So, let's hear the beautiful words to The Lord's My Shepherd,

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which are based on Psalm 23.

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70 years of marriage is a real achievement

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and I'm here to talk to a close

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observer of the royal family to find out what has made

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the bond between the Queen and Prince Philip so strong.

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-Hugo, lovely to meet you.

-And you.

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'Biographer Hugo Vickers is the author of many

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'books about the royal family.'

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Could you tell me how you think the Queen

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and Prince Philip have been able to create such an enduring marriage?

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Well, it certainly is an enduring marriage.

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-I mean, 70 years is absolutely remarkable.

-It's amazing.

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And I think that's what's interesting was that perhaps

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the one thing that the Queen did was in a way to sort of act

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out of character by suddenly deciding to marry Prince Philip.

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I mean, her mother wanted her to marry a Grenadier Guard,

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somebody like that,

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and she found this of course incredibly dashing naval man

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who had a wonderful war, a very good career in the Navy,

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who comes from the Greek royal family,

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so he knows what it is to be a prince consort, as he later became.

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But, in a way, she was rather acting out of character.

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Of course, they were the most remarkable couple.

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He was incredibly good looking, so was she.

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He was sort of fashionably good looking,

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in the way that people were at the end of the War.

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And it was terribly exciting when they got married in 1947.

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I mean, I've heard things about them

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being very honest with each other and straight talking to each other.

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Do you think that's important for a monarch and a consort?

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I think probably Prince Philip is well-recognised as the only

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person who can actually just say to the Queen exactly what

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he thinks, in the way that he wishes to say it.

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I mean, he is a very robust person.

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He likes to wrestle with problems, he likes to argue points

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and he's not a quiet person to have around the house

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and I think that's very refreshing.

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She really took on somebody her own size, if that makes sense, you know.

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They're a very good, strong partnership,

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which is fantastic.

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And, of course, the Queen is the head of the Church of England.

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How much time sort of practically does that take up for her?

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Well, it's one of her many duties is to be head of the Church of England,

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so, senior to the Archbishop of Canterbury and, of course,

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obviously, she goes to church every Sunday.

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She, I think, very much likes matins.

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She, I think, doesn't like sermons to go on too long,

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but she does of course have time to listen to the sermon.

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The Queen really concentrates when she does that

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and she does take a great interest in the Church

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and Prince Philip takes a slightly different interest, I think.

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He likes to wrestle with all the issues of religion

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and, you know, likes to sort of, you know, argue them through

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and see all the different points.

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And it's an interesting thing that in his library,

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he has more books on ornithology and religion than on any other subject.

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And do you think that faith has been important in their marriage?

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Extremely important, yes.

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I think their faith is very, very important indeed.

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A very, very big part.

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The Queen is unique among British monarchs in having reached

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her platinum anniversary.

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But, in recent times,

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over 1,000 couples reach that milestone most years.

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One husband and wife celebrating seven decades together live

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in Desborough, where the Reverend Kate Bottley has been to meet them.

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-KNOCKS ON DOOR

-Hello!

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-Hello.

-I'm Kate. You must be Josie.

-I'm Josie, yes.

-And you must be Ted.

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-I'm Ted.

-'Josie and Ted Greener are both 93.

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'They first met when they were 18, during the War.'

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-Was it love at first sight?

-Yes.

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Tell me about when you met her.

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The first time was during the war.

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I was in the Navy, she was in the Land Army.

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It was at a friend's birthday party

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and we just started playing games, as you do at a birthday party,

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and she was the number that I kept picking.

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THEY LAUGH

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And then we didn't see each other from then until the end of the war.

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And we met again at my cousin's wedding.

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From there, it was the natural course of events, you know.

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We fell in love and that was it.

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So, what made him special, then?

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I don't know. It was just... I think it must have been love, really.

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And we went out together for six months.

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We got engaged at the Christmas.

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The following year, we got married, in the August.

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The wedding was...

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The church was absolutely packed.

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And tell me about your wedding dress.

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It was white satin, covered buttons all the way down the back

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and up the sleeve, to the elbow.

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It's not the only picture you've got, is it?

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Because up on your wall is a picture of the church where you got married.

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That's St Mary's and Joseph's, Brooms.

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Commonly just called Brooms

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because there was all this broom growing all around it.

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I noticed that on your table, you've got your rosary.

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Yes, on his table. We say the rosary every day.

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We pray together twice a day.

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That is the one thing that is left for us that we're able to do,

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is pray for others. It's the economy of grace.

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Tell me about that, Ted. Tell me about the economy of grace.

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You're doing things not for yourself,

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but so that other people can get help.

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I would love to see your church. Would you show it to me?

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-Yes, we would.

-I would really like that.

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-Is it important that you were married in church?

-BOTH: Yes.

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-Why's that?

-It is important.

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When you look at marriage, marriage is a sacrament.

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And I think I wouldn't feel as if I was married

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if I'd been at a registry office or somewhere else.

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And, you see, women get their own way.

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THEY LAUGH

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-I told you that before.

-Is that the secret to 70 years?

-That's it.

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That's the secret to 70 years.

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Just do as you're told.

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The secret is, make believe, make him believe that he's the boss,

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but you're the boss all the time.

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THEY LAUGH

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So, tell me, if we could play a hymn for you, what would you like?

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BOTH: Love Divine.

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Is that because you're still in love with each other after all these years?

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-Yes.

-Of course. Always will be.

-Yes.

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Each year, we hold a Young Choir of the Year competition.

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Previously, it's been just for schools,

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but now it's open to all choirs

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whose members are aged 18 and younger.

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We've extended the closing date to December 14th,

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so, to find out more, go to the website:

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There you'll find all the details and terms and conditions.

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Our next hymn is from last year's winners, Lindley Junior School.

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# Dear Lord and Father of mankind

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# Forgive our foolish ways

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# Reclothe us in our rightful mind

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# In purer lives Thy service find

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# In deeper reverence praise

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# In deeper reverence praise

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# In simple trust like theirs who heard

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# Beside the Syrian sea

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# The gracious calling of the Lord

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# Let us, like them, without a word

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# Rise up and follow Thee

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# Rise up and follow Thee

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# Breathe through the heats of our desire

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# Thy coolness and thy balm

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# Let sense be dumb Let flesh retire

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# Speak through the earthquake wind and fire

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# O still, small voice of calm

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# O still, small voice of calm. #

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The royal couple's platinum wedding anniversary is, of course,

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the perfect opportunity for a celebratory commemorative coin.

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We've been to the Royal Mint, where the coins are struck,

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and to meet the sculptor who has designed a rare double portrait

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of the Queen and Prince Philip.

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Here in south Wales, silver and, of course,

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platinum £5 pieces are being minted for the 70th anniversary.

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With, for the very first time in this country, two double portraits.

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The Queen and Prince Philip on horseback

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and with their two heads together.

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For that image, the Mint came to this sculptor's studio in London.

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Etienne Millner had already created statues of the Queen.

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Last year, he had a private sitting with her to sculpt a bust.

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The brief for this commission was to show the Queen in the centre of

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the composition with Prince Philip beside her and slightly behind.

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Therefore representing the Queen as monarch.

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One of the main challenges in this portrait was to give

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great strength to Prince Philip's head, which is behind,

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but it was greatly helped by his clear features.

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Very distinctive nose and firm mouth and eyes and eyebrows.

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I'm a portrait sculptor

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and one of the things I had to come to grips with was that

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I was only allowed two millimetres to model in.

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And so the depths and the high points are very close

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when you look across the coin.

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Etienne also designed the lettering around the edge, with the Latin

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abbreviation showing the Queen is head of the Church of England.

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The DG stands for Dei Gratia Regina - By the Grace of God, Queen.

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And the FD, Fidei Defensor - Defender of the Faith.

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The sculpture had to work as a coin.

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At the Mint, Gordon Summers is senior designer.

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So this is the plaster model from Etienne, as it came in

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and after we've scanned it.

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So our purpose now is to take this original plaster model

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in all its detail and reproduce that on the final coins.

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We'll use a combination of state-of-the-art technology

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and traditional hand skills that go back thousands of years.

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So here's a couple of the sample coins.

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This is a proof coin, this is our very highest-quality standard coin.

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This is originally produced by a laser,

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working very accurately to less than a 240th of the thickness

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of a human hair to create all this very fine detail.

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But we also work on this by hand.

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All the dies are individually polished.

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We only make a few coins off each individual die.

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And each coin that's struck will be inspected.

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And if it's not up to our very high standard, it would be rejected.

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And on the floor of the Mint,

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the royal couple's image is stamped into the most precious of metals.

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It's been wonderful for me

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to have been part of such a special occasion.

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To mark such an important occasion in their lives

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and the lives of the nation.

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Well, that's nearly it for our celebration of the Queen

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and Prince Philip's 70th wedding anniversary.

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Next week, David Grant hosts a highlight

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in the Songs Of Praise calendar -

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the Gospel Choir Of The Year competition.

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Prepare to be inspired

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as five of the best amateur choirs in the country take to the stage

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here at the Central Hall, Westminster,

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to compete for the title, Gospel Choir Of The Year 2017.

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Don't miss it!

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Our final hymn comes from Windsor Castle's very own

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St George's Chapel.

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Until next time, thanks for watching.

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Katherine Jenkins is in Windsor to mark Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip's seventieth wedding anniversary. She is joined by Prince Michael who, as a five-year-old pageboy, was at the heart of the ceremony. Kate Bottley talks to another couple celebrating their seventieth anniversary this year. And we meet the sculptor who designed the commemorative £5 coin and travel to the Royal Mint to see it being struck. Plus glorious hymns from around the UK, including the Queen's favourites sung at her wedding. Music: Praise My Soul the King of Heaven - St John the Baptist, Tideswell The Lord's My Shepherd - St John the Baptist, Tideswell Great is Thy Faithfulness - St Macartin's Cathedral, Enniskillen Love Divine - St Asaph Cathedral Dear Lord and Father of Mankind - Sheffield City Hall How Great Thou Art - Hereford Cathedral.