Table of Contents
WHEN the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth met the dashing younger Philip Mountbatten, in 1939, she fell head over heels in love.
Whereas it might be eight years earlier than they married, the longer term Queen’s old flame proved to be an everlasting one – because the touching portrait celebrating their 73rd wedding anniversary, launched right this moment, clearly exhibits.
⚠️ Learn our Meghan and Harry blog for the most recent information on the Royal couple
The Queen and Prince Philip open an anniversary card from great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince LouisCredit score: Handout – Getty
The love between the couple, now 94 and 99, has by no means wavered regardless of trials and tribulations together with their youngsters’s bitter divorces, the tragic loss of life of Princess Diana, and even rumours of infidelity.
Extra just lately, Prince Philip’s bouts of ailing well being have been a fear for his devoted spouse however lockdown has introduced them nearer than ever.
As they celebrated 73 years of marriage the couple have been pictured opening playing cards from well-wishers, together with their great-grandchildren, George, seven, Charlotte, 5, and two-year-old Louis at Windsor Fortress, the place they’ve shaped a ‘bubble’.
Former press secretary Dickie Arbiter says the right pairing was as evident on their marriage ceremony day, on November 20, 1947, as it’s right this moment.
The Queen wed her Prince on November 20, 1947, at Westminster AbbeyCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
“There was love and adoration once they have been driving again from Westminster Abbey,” he informed Victoria Derbyshire.
“That exists right this moment. They’ve obtained humour. They’ve obtained affection for one another. They’ve obtained chemistry.”
Teen Princess besotted with good-looking Navy cadet
At that fateful first assembly, on the Britannia Royal Naval School in Dartmouth, Philip was tasked with entertaining Elizabeth and her youthful sister Margaret as their mother and father, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, toured the positioning.
Born into the exiled Greek royal household, Philip was a tall, blond cadet with a profitable smile – and likewise the Queen’s third cousin.
The couple pictured at Buckingham Palace with youngsters Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Prince CharlesCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
He urged that the younger princesses joined him in leaping the nets on the school tennis courts and Elizabeth was smitten.
Governess Marion Crawford recorded in her diary that Elizabeth mentioned, “See how he jumps,” in breathless awe.
Regardless of her teen crush, romance was nonetheless a means off because the five-year age hole meant Philip would have seen her as little greater than a baby.
“Like most romances, it was one which grew very steadily,” historian Christopher Warwick informed Vanity Fair.
“Princess Elizabeth at 13 was nonetheless in low white socks and an identical coat, the identical as her sister, Margaret. Philip was 18. He’d obtained girlfriends of his personal.”
Princess Elizabeth was a younger 13 when she first met Philip Mountbatten (second from proper, high row)Credit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
The First World Battle meant Naval cadet Philip was away for the subsequent 5 years, however the pair stored up a correspondence and, when he was on go away, he stayed at Windsor Fortress together with his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, so would see Elizabeth there.
Regardless of her younger age, Mountbatten was eager for his nephew to wed the inheritor to the throne however her father informed him: “She’s a lot too younger. If it’s going to occur, let it occur naturally.”
The King’s phrases proved smart, and the pair did fall in love, with Prince Philip proposing on the finish of the battle, throughout a stroll within the grounds of Balmoral, when Elizabeth was simply 19.
The younger princesses accompanied the King and Queen to the bottomCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Romantic engraving stays a secret
The couple have been compelled to maintain their engagement secret for nearly two years, till Elizabeth turned 21, and it was formally introduced on July 9, 1947.
Throughout that point the romantic couple adopted the hit Individuals Will Say We’re in Love – a few secret ardour – as their track.
The couple have been lastly married on November 20 the identical 12 months, in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey attended by 2,000 visitors.
As a result of rationing measures in place following World Battle Two, the Princess had to make use of clothes ration coupons to pay for her gown, designed by Norman Hartnell.
Though tons of of UK residents despatched their very own coupons to Buckingham Palace, in an try to assist, they needed to be returned as it might have been unlawful to make use of them.
The couple introduced their engagement in 1947, when Elizabeth turned 21Credit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
The ceremony, televised by the BBC, was watched by 200million viewers around the globe.
Regardless of the general public nature of the marriage, nonetheless, Prince Philip added some non-public touches, together with a secret engraving on the within of the gold marriage ceremony ring, which has by no means been revealed to anybody.
In her ebook, Prince Philip, Ingrid Seward revealed: “She by no means takes it off and contained in the ring is an inscription.
“Nobody is aware of what it says, aside from the engraver, the Queen and her husband.”
Nobody is aware of what it says, aside from the engraver, the Queen and her husband
Philip’s pledge to the longer term Queen was not with out its sacrifices. With a view to be granted the title of the Duke of Edinburgh, he was required to resign his Greek and Danish titles and convert from Greek Orthodox to Anglican.
He additionally gave up smoking on the morning of the marriage, in deference to Elizabeth’s fears over her father’s well being, which was starting to fail resulting from his heavy smoking. He died from lung most cancers in 1952.
The Queen’s marriage ceremony ring has a secret message from her husbandCredit score: Getty
The newlyweds go away the Abbey after tying the knot in November 1947Credit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
The couple research their marriage ceremony photos whereas on honeymoon in RomseyCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Struggles as Queen’s consort
With the loss of life of her father, Elizabeth needed to step as much as take over the throne, lower than 5 years into the wedding.
Philip initially struggled together with his new position because the Queen’s consort in addition to having to sacrifice his army profession.
“I believed I used to be going to have a profession within the Navy, but it surely grew to become apparent there was no hope.… There was no selection,” he mentioned, in keeping with one biography.
He additionally struggled with the protocol his new position demanded, taking second place to his spouse and having to stroll a number of metres behind his spouse on walkabouts.
The Duke of Edinburgh needed to kneel at his spouse’s toes throughout the CoronationCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
An unguarded second at a palace barn danceCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
He handled the brand new state of affairs together with his customary humour, as Dickie Arbiter remembers.
“The Queen can be doing her stroll and be means forward and Prince Philip can be about 50 metres behind,” he says.
“For those who heard raucous laughter, it was a complete crowd of ladies round him, behind a barrier, and he’d be speaking to them and joking with them.”
The royal couple share a household second with Prince Charles, three, and Princess Anne, oneCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Humour is a powerful mainstay of the couple’s marriage.
“She does make him snigger,” says Dickie. “What you see in public could be very completely different from the individual that you see in non-public.
“They’re two folks which are just about wrapped up in one another, though they do give one another house.
“She’s obtained a job to do. He’s obtained a job they usually permit one another to get on with it.”
They’re two folks which are just about wrapped up in one another, though they do give one another house
Whereas the couple preserve their relationship non-public, the Queen has remained besotted by her husband, as dresser Ian Thomas as soon as found.
Talking on Channel 5’s Secrets and techniques of Royal Dressmakers, Majesty journal editor Ingrid Seward recalled a story the dresser informed her a few touching second between the pair throughout a gown becoming.
“When he was doing the hem, Prince Philip walked by the Queen’s dressing room and mentioned ‘hmh, good gown’,” defined Ingrid.
“The Queen flushed scarlet. I at all times keep in mind him telling me that story. She was simply so thrilled to get the praise from her husband.”
“The Queen flushed scarlet. I at all times keep in mind him telling me that story. She was simply so thrilled to get the praise from her husband.”
The couple share a way of humour and make one another sniggerCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Dogged by rumours of affairs
Whereas there has by no means been any proof of infidelity, rumours of Prince Philip’s affairs have been rife all through the wedding,
He has been linked to quite a few girls, most notably stage actress Pat Kirkwood, who he met on a number of events in 1948, whereas his spouse was pregnant with Prince Charles. They exchanged letters, however Kirkwood denied there had ever been an intimate relationship.
She reportedly informed a journalist: “A woman will not be usually anticipated to defend her honour. It’s the gentleman who ought to try this.
“I’d have had a happier and simpler life if Prince Philip, as an alternative of coming uninvited to my dressing room, had gone residence to his pregnant spouse on the night time in query.”
Stage star Pat Kirkwood denied having an affair with the PrinceCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation
The Prince was additionally linked to TV persona Katie Boyle, singer Hélène Cordet, actress Merle Oberon and the Duchess of Abercorn, who claimed they’d a “passionate friendship” however added: “I didn’t go to mattress with him.”
In her 2011 biography, Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Instances, Sarah Bradford claimed: “The Duke of Edinburgh has had affairs… and the Queen accepts it. I feel she thinks that’s how males are.”
Nonetheless, a lot of Prince Philip’s inside circle insist that, whereas he’s an admirer of engaging girls, he has by no means strayed.
“He has at all times preferred window purchasing, however he doesn’t purchase,” says Dickie Arbiter.
He has at all times preferred window purchasing, however he doesn’t purchase
The late Mike Parker, the Prince’s non-public secretary, informed the Telegraph in 2004: “Philip has been 100 per cent trustworthy to the Queen. No ifs, no buts.”
And Philip himself has been outraged by questions on infidelity previously, telling one feminine journalist: “Good God, lady, have you ever ever stopped to assume that for years, I’ve by no means moved anyplace with no policeman accompanying me?
“So how the hell might I get away with something like that?”
Actress Merle Oberon was one other unsubstantiated hearsayCredit score: Corbis – Getty
Philip, pictured together with his spouse in Malta shortly after the marriage, gave up his Naval professionCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Separate bedrooms and lengthy absences
As is conventional in lots of aristocratic homes, the Queen and Prince Philip have separate bedrooms however with interconnecting doorways.
In a current biography of the Queen, Girl Pamela Hicks, a cousin of Prince Philip, defined: “The higher class at all times have had separate bedrooms.
“You don’t wish to be bothered with loud night breathing or somebody flinging a leg round.
The Queen and Prince Philip aboard the royal practice in 1961Credit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
“Then when you find yourself feeling cozy you share your room typically,” Hicks famous. “It’s beautiful to have the ability to select.”
However the marriage has additionally been characterised by lengthy absences, from Prince Philip’s early days within the Navy and his 1956 World Tour, to the Queen’s packed diary of royal engagements that always take her away from residence.
Since his retirement from responsibility in 2017, Prince Philip spends the vast majority of his time at Wooden Farm on the Sandringham Property, not often returning to Buckingham Palace.
Wooden Farm is the couple’s chosen ‘retirement’ residenceCredit score: Rex Options
The Queen, who has been taking a step again from royal duties in recent times, was spending an rising period of time there too and insiders say they selected the cosy home as a step towards a long-held fantasy of residing out their last years as a “regular” couple, residing within the nation.
Nonetheless, throughout the two coronavirus lockdowns this 12 months, the couple have turn out to be even nearer as they shaped a bubble at Windsor with a number of choose employees members.
A supply mentioned: “Everybody who has seen her just lately says the Queen seems to have a brand new lease of life as a result of she liked the prospect to spend high quality time with Philip once more.
The Prince has battled ailing well being and retired from royal duties in 2017Credit score: PA:Press Affiliation/PA Pictures
“Due to self-isolation and with solely a small group of loyal employees, dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’, that is the primary time the Queen has been capable of spend high quality time along with her husband for years.
“They’ve been capable of chill out and at last have the prospect to reside like common folks aged of their 90s ought to be capable of.
“They haven’t actually had a time period collectively like this in a few years.
“They’ve remembered what an excellent group they’re and privately determined they shouldn’t be separated ever once more.”
Philip has been by his spouse’s aspect for 70 years of royal engagementsCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Battling adversity collectively
In 73 years of marriage, the royal couple have had their justifiable share of adverse instances.
They embrace the “annus horribilis” of 1992, which noticed the marriages of Princess Anne and Prince Andrew break down, the publication of a inform all ebook about Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles and a devastating fireplace at Windsor Fortress.
The couple have confronted quite a few shut household bereavements, together with the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 and the Queen Mom and Princess Margaret in 2002.
Extra just lately, the pair have been rocked by the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and allegations he slept with a 17-year-old grooming sufferer, and Prince Harry’s determination to step down as a senior royal and transfer to the US.
The hearth at Windsor Fortress was a troublesome second for the couple
As ever, the Queen turns to her husband for recommendation and assist in a reversal of their public roles.
“In a personal capability, he has at all times been deferred to by the Queen as head of the household,” says Christopher Warwick
“It’s a really symbiotic relationship and a really agency partnership.”
The Queen has additionally paid tribute to her husband, saying he has supported her all through her reign and has been “my energy and keep by all these years”.
The household was rocked by the breakdown of Prince Charles’s marriage and the loss of life of Princess DianaCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Prince Andrew’s break up from Fergie was a part of the ‘annus horribilis’Credit score: Getty – Contributor
As they rejoice their anniversary, the longest-married couple in British royal historical past are stronger than ever.
“The actual fact that they’ve been married now for 73 years speaks volumes,” says Warwick.
“The connection has withstood the check of time primarily as a result of they love each other very a lot.”