• Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

The Great Lovers Series: Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip

They've just celebrated 72 years of marriage, their very British union as iconic as a Sunday roast. But how much do you actually know about one of the greatest love affairs of our time? 


THEY FIRST MET AT A WEDDING...

They aren’t the first or the last couple who first laid eyes on each other at a mutual party’s wedding, but what is rather unusual is that the then Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was just 8 years old and Philip Mountbatten a young teen when they first met at the wedding of his cousin, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Elizabeth’s uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent. With Elizabeth being so young at the time, it’s unlikely she was impressed by her older distant cousin. Though things would soon change...


IT WAS LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT FOR ONE PARTY...

Several years later in 1939, when Elizabeth was 13, the pair met again at the Royal Naval College, where it is reported that Elizabeth became smitten with the Prince, highly impressed by how easily he could jump over tennis nets - yes, really! Philip being that much older, he wasn’t quite as impressed with the young Elizabeth, recalling that his experience on the royal yacht was “very amusing” and “that was that”. But letters were soon exchanged...



THE WERE PEN PALS FIRST, COURTERS LATER

Liz and Phil spent seven years writing letters to one another, before it emerged in the summer of 1946 that they had fallen in love (“unreservedly” as Philip is said to have written in a letter to Elizabeth that year) and wished to marry. Elizabeth’s father approved of the match, thinking Philip “intelligent” with a “good sense of humour”, but nevertheless asked his would-be son-in-law to wait a year until his eldest daughter was 21 to make a formal proposal. Philip agreed, because after all, his girlfriend’s father was King George VI. They announced their engagement in July the following year, marrying in Westminster Cathedral just a few months later before 2,000 guests and listened to by a live radio audience.


THEY ENJOYED A LOW KEY HONEYMOON PERIOD

The first few years of married life were enjoyed in Malta, where Philip was stationed at the time. Prince Charles and Princess Anne soon entered the scene. But very soon, Elizabeth’s father would pass away and Elizabeth, aged just 25, would become Queen sooner than anyone had anticipated. Viewers saw in the Netflix series The Crown, how Philip struggled to settled into life as the Queen’s husband, apparently nicknaming himself “the refugee husband”. Eventually he is said to have grown more comfortable with his role as consort, and became a great support and comfort to the fledging Queen, to whom he was overheard saying on an Australian tour, “Don’t look so sad, sausage!”


THEY’VE REVEALED THE SECRET TO A HAPPY UNION

During celebrations for their 50th anniversary, Philip delivered a toast in which he revealed the secret to his exceptional marriage: "The main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage. It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult. You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance."


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Author: Rebecca

Rebecca lives in London with her husband, daughter and dachshund. She hopes her dating blogs for Flame Introductions will inspire you to seek out the best London and UK locations for brilliant dates, and discover some tips along the way to help you find your perfect partner.

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