Guardsman Ben and his wife Sheila celebrate 65 years of marriage

FORMER Grenadier Guard Ben Haylett and his wife Sheila married in the same year that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh tied the knot. Today the March couple celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

Ben served as a guardsman for eight years - often on guard at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London - and has fond memories of seeing the Queen.

“She inspected me in 1945 when she was Princess Elizabeth, and I saw her several times while I was on duty,” said Ben, 85, who is wheelchair bound, and treasurer of the March branch of the Grenadier Guards Association.

Sheila, 82, added: “With Ben’s association with the royal family, and our getting married in the same year as the Queen, we have always been keen followers of the royal family. We were also very lucky to be invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party.”

Ben and Sheila were married at March register office on June 14, 1947. Ben left the guards in 1952, and joined the Isle of Ely Police Force. He was stationed at Wisbech, March and Ely during his career, and was a detective sergeant at the time of his retirement.

The couple have a daughter, Sally Doughty, and two grandsons. Their son Stephen died when just 19 years old.

Sheila said: “Looking back over our years of marriage, it does not seem like 65 years have passed; so many things have happened.”

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The couple plan to celebrate their big day with a family meal, but a hospital appointment for Sheila meant they had to postpone the event for a few days.