The sweet letter King George VI gave Elizabeth after her wedding

Like any father, King George VI felt the bittersweet pangs of joy and letting go when he gave his daughter's hand away in marriage. After her 1947 wedding, the King sent his eldest child, the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth), a tender letter in which he shared his feelings.

The touching message, in which King George says he feels he has "lost something very precious," was released on Friday to mark the Queen and Prince Philip's 68th wedding anniversary.

It was unveiled on Buckingham Palace's official Twitter account alongside a video of black-and-white images from the royal wedding.

"I was so proud and thrilled at having you so close to me on our long walk in Westminster Abbey," wrote the King, "but when I handed your hand to the Archbishop, I felt I had lost something very precious.

"You were so calm and composed during the service and said your words with such conviction that I knew everything was alright.

"Your leaving us has left a great blank in our lives," wrote George.

"I have watched you grow up all these years with pride under the skilful direction of Mummy, who, as you know, is the most marvellous person in the world in my eyes, and I can, I know, always count on you and now Philip to help us in our work.

"Your leaving us has left a great blank in our lives. But do remember that your old home is still yours and do come back to it as much and as often as possible.

"I can, I know, always count on you and now Philip to help us in our work," added the King.

"I can see that you are sublimely happy with Philip which is right but don't forget us, is the wish of your ever loving and devoted... Papa."

Elizabeth was 21 when she married Prince Philip. The pair had met when the princess was just 13 and shortly after they started to exchange letters. Their engagement was announced on July 9, 1947, and the wedding took place that November.

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