Cringleford couple receive commemorative medal to mark platinum wedding anniversary
PUBLISHED: 14:10 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 17 November 2017
A Norwich couple who tied the knot in the same year as the Queen and Prince Philip have been given a one-of-a-kind medal as part of the royal wedding anniversary celebrations.
When Edward and Lilias Stanbrook-Evans first met at a dance in 1945, Mr Stanbrook-Evans was on leave from the Indian army.
The couple, who now live in Tungate Crescent, Cringleford, fell in love and wed in April 1947, the same year as the Queen and Prince Philip, who will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on November 20.
The pair were presented with a unique medal, featuring a picture of them on their wedding day, by former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond during the making of a short film commemorating 70 years of the Queen’s marriage.
Mr Stanbrook-Evans, 93, said of his first meeting with his future wife: “I went to the dance on my first day at home. When I saw Lilias, that was it - I didn’t want to see anybody else.”
Mrs Stanbrook-Evans also has vivid recollections of the life-changing night she met her husband-to-be at the Luton Town Hall dance.
The 95-year-old said: “I can remember the moment he walked in. We danced together all night and we spent every day together over the next two months.”
The pair were separated when Mr Stanbrook-Evans had to leave for India once more, but continued to write to each other, with the young suitor ultimately proposing via post - although his wife says she does not remember receiving the letter.
She said: “It was such an awfully long time ago. I guess perhaps I knew it was coming by then.”
Mr Stanbrook-Evans did not wait for a reply, acquiring an engagement ring and a wedding ring in Bombay.
Once he had returned, and his fiancée had accrued enough clothes coupons from friends and family to buy a wedding dress, the couple married in April 1947.
They moved to Norwich in 1962, with Mrs Stanbrook-Evans working in public health and Mr Stanbrook-Evans becoming headmaster at Bowthorpe Comprehensive School.
Today, Mr and Mrs Stanbrook-Evans have two children, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and seven decades of marriage under their belts - but what is the key to a long and happy marriage?
Mr Stanbrook-Evans said: “A long and enduring love and affection for one another is essential. Respect, give and take and so on is all well and good, but you have to have that love first and foremost.”