Theirs was a love match. When the then Princess Elizabeth wed Philip Mountbatten 70 years ago today, no degree of formality, royal protocol or decorum could conceal that she did so for the most romantic of reasons.
Their regard for one another is evident in those early photographs, her eyes gazing into his; two people on the threshold of a lifetime of service, during which their marriage would be tested like few others are.
Yet despite the extraordinary nature of their existence, living out their years in the full glare of public scrutiny, their union has endured. And to tease out the secret to its success, we must look first to what brought the pair together: their love, an ever-fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken, as Shakespeare put it in Sonnet 116.
In a letter to the princess before their marriage, Philip declared himself to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly.