One of the very last royal anniversary cards from Queen Elizabeth II has been received by a Swanage couple, who marked their platinum wedding with a tea party at Blue Pool near Wareham.
The congratulatory platinum wedding anniversary card arrived for Peter and Margaret Brayshaw from the Queen, the day before her death was announced, and was shown off with pride at their celebration on Tuesday 13th September 2022.
Margaret and Peter Brayshaw (centre) with family, friends and carers at the Blue Pool Tearooms
Arrived the day before news of the Queen’s death
The card was postmarked Monday 5th September 2022, and arrived two days later on the 7th.
As only about 30 platinum weddings are celebrated a year in the UK, it is one of the very last, or possibly the last, sent out before the Queen’s death.
It carried the Queen’s signature below her warm wishes for a ‘particularly happy and memorable’ celebration – and brought bittersweet feelings for Margaret and Peter.
A final photograph of Queen Elizabeth II as the country remembers her
Her warm message of congratulations will be treasured for ever
“It was Elizabeth II who shaped our lives”
Margaret, 93, said:
“The Queen was a constant presence through my adult life. I have lived in the reign of five monarchs now, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Charles III, but it was Elizabeth II who shaped our lives.
“I lived in Coventry through the World War II bombings, and I stood in the crowd to cheer and welcome the Queen twice when she visited after the war while the city was being rebuilt.
“She was such an admirable lady, devoted in her duty to the country and it is sad to know that she is gone, even on a happy occasion like this.”
A collection of amazing memories from the couple’s long and happy life
Mistaken for film stars on 1950s holiday tours of Europe
Peter, originally from Castleford in West Yorkshire, met Margaret at a Boxing Day party while he was a serving police officer and they clicked immediately, spending the evening throwing peanuts into each other’s mouths.
After marrying in September 1952, they spent holidays touring Europe in Peter’s open-top Morgan car and with their glamorous looks and chic clothes were mistaken for film stars on several occasions.
Peter in his open-top Morgan car
Love of rally car driving
Peter’s love of rally car driving gave way to yachting, and he had a boat at Ridge Marina in Wareham for many years, spending happy summer holidays in Swanage with Margaret, their son Russell and twin daughters Melanie and Maxine.
Eventually the couple moved to Swanage where Russell and his wife Nicola already had a home, with Margaret starting a popular book club and joining a poetry club – though during the Covid years, she had to adapt to Zoom to keep up her attendance.
Margaret and Peter Brayshaw say the secret of a long and happy marriage is a sense of humour and to laugh a lot
Appeared in TV soap opera Crossroads
Once the amateur actress of the year – she starred in Driving Miss Daisy, The Crucible, Romeo and Juliet, and appeared in the opening credits of TV soap opera Crossroads – Margaret still enjoys live theatre at The Mowlem in Swanage, and concerts at the Lighthouse in Poole.
Although Peter, 94, now has Alzheimer’s, he remains happy and loves to joke with friends and family. He has already celebrated 65 years as a Mason during which time he held many senior roles, eventually retiring from the Swanage Lodge.
Even at 90 Peter was still enjoying aqua aerobics at Swanage Bay View, frequently the only man there.
Peter and Margaret celebrating the marriage of their grandson Hugh Brayshaw to Mary Rook earlier this year
“We always laugh a lot!”
“We had our grandson Hugh’s wedding and this anniversary celebration to keep us focussed through 2022, but we have symphony orchestra tickets booked for May 2023, which is real optimism, and I would quite like to receive a 100th birthday card from King Charles!
“People ask what the secret of a long marriage like ours is – we have different hobbies and interests, so we have a lot to talk about, but I think the most important thing is a sense of humour, and we always laugh a lot!”