Jul 27, 2007
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British queen's wedding dress displayed at 60th anniversary show

Jul 27, 2007

LONDON, July 27, 2007 (AFP) - Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress and gifts from dignitaries including Mahatma Gandhi are going on display as part of an exhibition about her wedding day 60 years ago which opens in London Saturday, July 28th.

Elizabeth II - Photo : Wong Maye/AFP

The show at Buckingham Palace, which marks the diamond wedding anniversary of the British monarch and Prince Philip on November 20, has the royal seal of approval -- Queen Elizabeth is said to be "very excited" about it.

For many, the highlight is likely to be a rare sighting of her wedding dress, made of ivory-coloured silk, stitched with 10,000 pearls as well as crystals and complete with a four metre (13 foot) train.

The young couple -- princess Elizabeth was 21 and Philip was 26 -- received 2,500 wedding presents of everything from exquisite jewellery to 500 tins of pineapple and a refrigerator on their big day in 1947.

Gandhi, the father of Indian independence, gave them a piece of lace which he had spun featuring the words "Jal Hind" which translates as "Long Live India."

Philip, then a Royal Navy lieutenant, gave his wife a platinum and diamond bracelet crafted from a tiara which belonged to his mother, Alice, princess Andrew of Greece.

"A Royal Wedding: 20 November 1947", which runs to September 28, is being staged in the room where the couple had their wedding breakfast after they tied the knot at Westminster Abbey.

Curator Katherine Jones said the queen was "very excited" by the exhibition, while the director of the Royal Collection Sir Hugh Roberts said it was "very personal" to her.

The queen is the first reigning British monarch to reach her 60th wedding anniversary. She and Philip are distant cousins.

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