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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 now, clearly reveals.
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 dying of Princess Diana, and even rumours of infidelity.
Extra lately, Prince Philip’s bouts of sick 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 Fort, 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 now.
“There was love and adoration once they have been driving again from Westminster Abbey,” he instructed Victoria Derbyshire.
“That exists right now. They’ve received humour. They’ve received affection for one another. They’ve received chemistry.”
The Queen wed her Prince on November 20, 1947, at Westminster AbbeyCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
The couple pictured at Buckingham Palace with youngsters Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Prince CharlesCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Teen Princess besotted with good-looking Navy cadet
At that fateful first assembly, on the Britannia Royal Naval Faculty 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 location.
Born into the exiled Greek royal household, Philip was a tall, blond cadet with a profitable smile – and likewise the Queen’s third cousin.
He recommended 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 manner off because the five-year age hole meant Philip would have seen her as little greater than a baby.
Princess Elizabeth was a younger 13 when she first met Philip Mountbatten (second from proper, prime row)Credit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
“Like most romances, it was one which grew very regularly,” historian Christopher Warwick instructed 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 received girlfriends of his personal.”
The First World Battle meant Naval cadet Philip was away for the subsequent 5 years, however the pair saved up a correspondence and, when he was on depart, he stayed at Windsor Fort 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 instructed 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 struggle, 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 Folks Will Say We’re in Love – a couple of secret ardour – as their music.
The couple have been lastly married on November 20 the identical yr, in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey attended by 2,000 visitors.
As a consequence of rationing measures in place following World Battle Two, the Princess had to make use of clothes ration coupons to pay for her costume, designed by Norman Hartnell.
Though a whole bunch 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 all over the world.
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 surrender 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 depart 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 dying 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 navy profession.
“I believed I used to be going to have a profession within the Navy, however it turned apparent there was no hope.… There was no alternative,” 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 through the CoronationCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
An unguarded second at a palace barn danceCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
He handled the brand new scenario together with his customary humour, as Dickie Arbiter remembers.
“The Queen could be doing her stroll and be manner forward and Prince Philip could be about 50 metres behind,” he says.
“In case you heard raucous laughter, it was a complete crowd of girls 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 giggle,” says Dickie. “What you see in public could be very totally different from the person who you see in non-public.
“They’re two individuals which can be just about wrapped up in one another, though they do give one another area.
“She’s received a job to do. He’s received a job and so they permit one another to get on with it.”
They’re two individuals which can be just about wrapped up in one another, though they do give one another area
Whereas the couple maintain 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 instructed her a couple of touching second between the pair throughout a costume becoming.
“When he was doing the hem, Prince Philip walked by the Queen’s dressing room and mentioned ‘hmh, good costume’,” defined Ingrid.
“The Queen flushed scarlet. I all the time bear in mind him telling me that story. She was simply so thrilled to get the praise from her husband.”
“The Queen flushed scarlet. I all the time bear 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 giggleCredit 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 ladies, 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 instructed a journalist: “A woman just isn’t usually anticipated to defend her honour. It’s the gentleman who ought to try this.
“I might have had a happier and simpler life if Prince Philip, as a substitute of coming uninvited to my dressing room, had gone residence to his pregnant spouse on the evening 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 that they had 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 believe she thinks that’s how males are.”
Nevertheless, lots of Prince Philip’s inside circle insist that, whereas he’s an admirer of enticing ladies, he has by no means strayed.
“He has all the time favored window procuring, however he doesn’t purchase,” says Dickie Arbiter.
He has all the time favored window procuring, however he doesn’t purchase
The late Mike Parker, the Prince’s non-public secretary, instructed the Telegraph in 2004: “Philip has been 100 per cent devoted to the Queen. No ifs, no buts.”
And Philip himself has been outraged by questions on infidelity previously, telling one feminine journalist: “Good God, girl, have you ever ever stopped to suppose that for years, I’ve by no means moved anyplace with no policeman accompanying me?
“So how the hell may 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 latest biography of the Queen, Woman Pamela Hicks, a cousin of Prince Philip, defined: “The higher class all the time have had separate bedrooms.
“You don’t need to be bothered with loud night breathing or somebody flinging a leg round.
The Queen and Prince Philip aboard the royal prepare in 1961Credit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
“Then if you find yourself feeling cozy you share your room generally,” 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 usually take her away from residence.
Since his retirement from obligation in 2017, Prince Philip spends nearly all of his time at Wooden Farm on the Sandringham Property, hardly ever 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 dwelling out their ultimate years as a “regular” couple, dwelling within the nation.
Nevertheless, through the two coronavirus lockdowns this yr, the couple have develop into even nearer as they shaped a bubble at Windsor with just a few choose workers members.
A supply mentioned: “Everybody who has seen her lately says the Queen seems to have a brand new lease of life as a result of she cherished the prospect to spend high quality time with Philip once more.
The Prince has battled sick well being and retired from royal duties in 2017Credit score: PA:Press Affiliation/PA Pictures
“Due to self-isolation and with solely a small staff of loyal workers, dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’, that is the primary time the Queen has been capable of spend high quality time together with her husband for years.
“They’ve been capable of loosen up and eventually have the prospect to reside like common individuals aged of their 90s ought to be capable to.
“They haven’t actually had a time frame collectively like this in a few years.
“They’ve remembered what staff they’re and privately determined they shouldn’t be separated ever once more.”
Philip has been by his spouse’s facet for 70 years of royal engagementsCredit score: Getty Pictures – Getty
Battling adversity collectively
In 73 years of marriage, the royal couple have had their fair proportion of adverse instances.
They embody 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 Fort.
The couple have confronted quite a lot of shut household bereavements, together with the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 and the Queen Mom and Princess Margaret in 2002.
Extra 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 resolution to step down as a senior royal and transfer to the US.
The hearth at Windsor Fort was a troublesome second for the couple
As ever, the Queen turns to her husband for recommendation and help in a reversal of their public roles.
“In a personal capability, he has all the time 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 power and keep by all these years”.
The household was rocked by the breakdown of Prince Charles’s marriage and the dying 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.”