WHILE the country was raising a glass to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, one happily-married Sunderland couple were celebrating a diamond event of their own.
For the past week, the world’s eyes were watching the Queen as the bumper celebrations marked the historic event.
But the Queen had a little surprise up her sleeve for Francis, known as Tony, and Linda Lorraine, who were celebrating their Diamond Wedding.
Mrs Lorraine, 83, said: “We got a card through the post and when we opened it, it was such a nice surprise. It was from the Queen.
“It had a picture of her on the front and was signed by her inside. I was shocked because we weren’t expecting it and it was lovely.
“You would think she would have been busy with her own Jubilee.”
Mr Lorraine wed his wife at a ceremony at St Matthew’s Church, in Silksworth, on June 7, 1952.
The 81-year-old, who served with the Durham Light Infantry between 1948 and 1962, with a short stint spent working down the pits in Silksworth, was stationed in Germany.
He and his new wife set up base there and lived in the married quarters in Berlin before Mr Lorraine developed a severe ulcer and received a medical discharge.
“It was very nice over there and we really enjoyed ourselves,” Mrs Lorraine, of East Herrington, said.
“We lived a very happy life in Germany and were sad that we had to come home. We had a good time when he was in the Army and made some very good friends.”
Mr Lorraine went on to work at Coles Cranes, in Sunderland, but developed cancer in his leg and had to have it amputated.
Mrs Lorraine said: “There’s no secret at all to being married this long. We just can’t believe it’s been 60. It’s gone so quickly.
“We’ve always celebrated our anniversary and on a special occasion like this, it’s been nice to share our happiness with the Queen.”
Mr and Mrs Lorraine have one son, Peter George, now 58, and a grandson, 30, and great-granddaughter, five.