It is a portrait of historic stability and enduring affection.

On the eve of their 70th wedding anniversary, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating the most successful marriage in British Royal history by releasing a series of glorious official images.

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh pose for their 70th anniversary. Photo / Matt Holyoak / Camera Press / Australscope
Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh pose for their 70th anniversary. Photo / Matt Holyoak / Camera Press / Australscope

The portraits - dignified yet clearly affectionate - mark an astonishing milestone in Her Majesty's record-breaking lifetime of service with the unwavering support of Prince Philip by her side.

They were taken in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle earlier this month by British photographer Matt Holyoak, and show the Monarch with a smile playing on her lips.

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The Queen, 91, wears a cream day dress by Angela Kelly which she also wore at the service marking her diamond wedding anniversary at Westminster Abbey a decade ago.

In a touching tribute to Prince Philip, 96, she has pinned to her left shoulder the brooch in yellow gold, carved ruby and diamond, designed by Andrew Grima, which the Duke gave her as a personal gift in 1966.

Behind her, the Duke wears a dashing light tweed jacket and sharply creased grey flannel trousers. He appears relaxed and healthy after his retirement from official duties in the autumn.

The Queen is said to be keen to mark her platinum wedding anniversary privately, welcoming her closest family and friends to a private dinner party in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle tomorrow evening.

It will be in sharp contrast to their wedding at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947 - which was celebrated around the world.

In their record-breaking lifetime of service, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will no doubt have lost count of the toasts raised to their achievements, health and happiness.

Surely none, though, will mean more than seeing their children, grandchildren and closest friends raise a glass to them on Monday evening, in celebration of 70 years of the most successful marriage in British Royal history.

The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke pictured against a platinum-textured backdrop in recognition of their special anniversary. Photo / Matt Holyoak / Camera Press / Australscope
The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke pictured against a platinum-textured backdrop in recognition of their special anniversary. Photo / Matt Holyoak / Camera Press / Australscope

The Queen and Duke will mark their platinum wedding anniversary on November 20, in a milestone no other monarch has achieved and will likely never surpass.

The date will see them join a select group of devoted spouses to reach the landmark anniversary, with the Queen helping just 1,260 other couples celebrate a 70th wedding anniversary with a personal card from Buckingham Palace so far this year.

It is another landmark for Her Majesty, who has already become the longest-reigning monarch in UK history at 65 years, and the longest-lived at 91.

The Duke, who retired from official duties in the Autumn but has since made regular appearances in public, because the longest-serving consort in 2009.

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh in celebration of their platinum wedding anniversary on November 20, 2017 in Windsor, England. Photo / Matt Holyoak / Camera Press / Australscope
Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh in celebration of their platinum wedding anniversary on November 20, 2017 in Windsor, England. Photo / Matt Holyoak / Camera Press / Australscope

They are already comfortably the longest-wed Royal couple, surpassing George III and Queen Charlotte by 13 years. The Queen, who once said "a long life can pass many milestones: my own is no exception", is understood to have been keen to mark the wedding anniversary privately, eschewing lavish public celebrations and speeches.

Instead, she and the Duke will welcome their family and friends to Windsor Castle on Monday evening for a dinner party, with messages of congratulation passed in person rather than in front of the crowds.

The State Apartments, usually open to the public, have been closed for the day, allowing staff to polish the silverware and lay the tables for suitable celebration, with senior members of the Royal Family keeping their diaries free to attend.

The guestlist will include the Prince of Wales, who will make the journey to Windsor soon after landing from a trip to Caribbean islands left devastated by hurricane on Monday morning, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Each of the Queen and Duke's other children and their spouses are expected to attend, along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren old enough to stay up for the evening.

The evening will mark 20 years since the Queen's most famous public tribute to her husband, in a speech for their 50th anniversary in which she called him "quite simply...my strength and stay all these years".

From 1pm on Monday, the bells of Westminster Abbey will ring to mark the anniversary.

Those ardent admirers of the monarchy who wish to raise a glass to the Platinum anniversary at home have been catered for by Buckingham Palace, which has released an official commemorative range of items including crystal goblets, sherry glasses, tankards, plates and a tea towel to wash up afterwards.

- Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph UK