There are few people on this planet who can say that they’ve been married to their significant other for over seven decades. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II married in 1947 following the harrowing period of World War II and its aftermath. Through many wars, deaths, prime ministers, births, and everything in between, the couple’s marriage has persevered.
Though the pair married for love, it has been reported by experts and historians that their marriage went through periods of strain, especially in the aftermath of the queen’s ascension to the throne. Still, both the Duke of Edinburgh and the queen have put The Crown above all.
Still, it might not have been this way. In fact, when the prince initially asked Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, for her hand in marriage, the king told him no.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip fell in love as teenagers
Since they are distant cousins, the queen and prince actually first met as children. When Queen Elizabeth was eight and Prince Philip was just 13 they attended the wedding of Prince Philip’s cousin Princess Marina and the queen’s uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent in 1934.
Just three years later, the Duke of Edinburgh who was then just 16 attended King George VI’s coronation in 1937. However, the romance did not spark until the queen herself entered her teen years. In 1939, the king brought his family to the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon. The queen was immediately smitten by the prince and his tennis skills.
Feelings blossomed from there as they began writing letters to one another.
Prince Philip had a very unstable upbringing
Despite the prince’s royal status, he had a very unstable background. As a baby, his family was exiled from his native Greece when his uncle was booted from the throne. Prince Philip’s father abandoned the family for his mistress, his mother experienced some mental health issue,s and his sisters married German Nazis.
By the time the prince decided to ask for the queen’s hand in marriage, he was penniless, without a home, and without a last name. The Duke of Edinburgh’s mother, Princess Alice, gives him the tiara she wore on her wedding day so that he could have it made into an engagement ring for the queen.
The prince had a three-carat ring made which includes a large round diamond in the middle and stones set in platinum on either side.
Queen Elizabeth’s parents said she could not marry Prince Philip right away
Initially, the prince’s effort to get a ring for his beloved was in vain. Queen Elizabeth’s parents, King Gorge and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother were not excited about the match.
“It caused her parents great anxiety,” historian Robert Lacey revealed in the documentary, Being the Queen. “What parent wouldn’t be anxious about a daughter who wants to marry the very first man she’s fallen in love with? It was a matter of her personal happiness, it was a matter of the stability of the Crown.”
Initially, King George told the prince how would have to wait until the queen’s 21st birthday to get engaged. This was a year after he first asked for permission. He wanted to ensure the prince could “shoulder the burden” of being the second to the queen.
In 1947, the pair were finally able to announce their engagement and they were married later that same year.
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