A retired black cab driver and his wife, a former hairdresser in Kingston, were both surprised to receive a letter signed by the Queen on their diamond anniversary.

Peter Boltwood, 83, and his wife Iris, 83, known to friends as Terri, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with friends and family at the Wych Elm pub on October 20.

Their son Neil, 56, also a black cab driver, said he applied for his parents to receive a letter from the Queen on their wedding anniversary to celebrate the unique achievement.

Mr Boltwood said: “It was a way for me and my father to celebrate something that’s quite unique. It does not tend to happen to stay together for so long.

“On the whole, the party was really for my mum because she is looking after my dad. It was partly to cheer her up and make it a good day for her.

“She did not know anything about it. Both of them were surprised.”

The letter was hand-delivered to the Boltwoods by a local postal worker called Naham, while they were gathered at the Wych Elm.

Mr Boltwood said: “The postman is a good friend of ours. He’s been in Kingston for over 20 years.

“I asked him to intercept the letter and rather than hand deliver it on the day to hold it for a few days and deliver to the pub on Saturday.”

The letter, signed Elizabeth, reads: “I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your Diamond Wedding anniversary on 18th October 2018.

“I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion”.

Peter Boltwood and his wife Iris, née Savory, met at a new year’s eve dance in 1955 at the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington and married at Christchurch in New Malden.

The pair started life as a married couple in Morden, then moved to New Malden in 1966 where they lived on Cromwell Avenue for 49 years.

They recently relocated to a two-bedroom apartment on Birkenhead Avenue in Kingston.

Mr and Mrs Boltwood have two sons, Richard, 52, and his brother Neil, 56, who are both black cab drivers.