A COUPLE who first met in the grand surroundings of Whitehall and Buckingham Palace are today celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

Eighty-three year old Clive Grantham was a young Household Cavalry soldier when he first met wife Rose, 78, in September 1952. Rose - a Cockney by birth- then just 16, and her friend Bobbie skipped work to hunt for a job on Fleet Street.

The pair had no luck with the newspapers and decided to go sightseeing instead, and by the end of the day Clive, who they had spotted on duty outside Whitehall, had asked Rose for a date. They were married less than two years later, and then moved back to Clive's home in York.

Sixty years later Clive and Rose have two daughters and two sons, as well as nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren, and Rose said compromise is the secret to their long and happy marriage.

"It's give and take. We've had our ups and downs but we have always got over it and we have been very happy."

They plan to celebrate the landmark anniversary next weekend with a party for friends and family, including Rose's then seven year old bridesmaid, who is travelling to York with her family especially for the occasion.