A WARTIME wed couple, who have been in love for nearly three-quarters of a century, have got the Royal seal of approval.
Ted and Annie Smith celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary today, after spending more than seven decades of their lives together.
And HRH Queen Elizabeth has congratulated the platinum couple by sending them a letter to mark the achievement.
Ted, 90, said: “It’s great to get a letter from the Queen.
“I keep shaking the envelope but no money’s come out yet.”
The Plains Farm pair were married in Holy Trinity Church, in Southwick, where Ted, grew up, on Saturday, January 1, 1944, after courting for three years.
They met at a dance hall in Sunderland City Centre, while Ted was working as a riveter in the shipyards and Annie as a shop assistant.
As the Second World War continued, Annie, 91, was enlisted to work in a munitions factory to help the war effort.
She later got a job as a dinner lady at Thorney Close Infants and Junior School before retirement.
The couple, who have no children, regularly enjoyed foreign holidays, and particularly liked going to Italy where they visited Cattolica and Jesolo, in Venice.
After his retirement from full-time work, Ted was a steward at Roker Park, which proved to be a boon for the football and cricket fan.
He added: “I remember being called in to work a few times when there were fans outside queuing up for tickets at four in the morning during the cup runs.
“And Terry Butcher (former Sunderland manager) I remember well because I was there the day he got sacked.”
The pair celebrated their 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries at special venues in Sunderland, but because of mobility problems they will be spending today together at their home.
When asked what the secret of keeping a relationship happy for such a long time, Ted said: “We have our rows like every couple does, but we always talk them out in the end. There are no two people who will agree on every issue all the time, but that’s life.”