Queen Elizabeth has replied to an invitation to a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary party.
Jean and Philip Harris – who have no affiliation with the royal family – sent a request for the monarch’s attendance as a joke but received a letter back from her lady in waiting.
The note said: “The queen thought it most kind of you to enclose an invitation to your party and although she is unable to accept, Her Majesty greatly appreciated your thoughtfulness.”
Whenever college tutor Jean returns home after a day out and asks Philip if anyone has called, he always replies “only the queen”.
He made the same comment when asked who he wanted to invite to their golden wedding anniversary celebrations, prompting Jean to write to Buckingham Palace in response to her husband’s long-running joke.
Jean wrote an explanation of her husband’s wish for the queen’s company at the bash and how he joked about her telephoning the house.
Philip and Jean met at an Exmouth dance. Explaining the secret to their long and happy marriage, Philip said: “At that first dance the draw was coming up and I gallantly put my tickets with Jean’s. We won a bottle of whisky. I always claim we stayed together because we don’t know who owns the whisky!”