Queen Elizabeth’s Beautiful Story Proves Love Can Blossom and Withstand Anything, Including Time
Elizabeth II had an iconic tenure as the Queen of England which spanned seven decades. The world changed drastically over her period on the throne, but her only constant during her queendom was the company of her husband, Prince Philip, to whom she was married for almost 74 years.
From a teenage crush that led to one of the most iconic marriages in history, 5-Minute Crafts has prepared an account of the marriage between Elizabeth II and Philip Mountbatten, the embodiment of a lifetime of commitment.
Elizabeth first met Philip at her uncle’s wedding when she was a child.
The Queen and her consort knew each other for, quite literally, a lifetime. They first met each other almost 90 years ago, at the royal wedding between Prince George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, which took place in 1934. She was 8 years old, and he was 13.
Philip soon became The Queen’s crush during her teenage years.
The Queen and her future consort would cross paths a few more times during Elizabeth’s childhood, but things would take a turn during their teenage years, more specifically, in 1939. Elizabeth, a 13-year-old princess at the time, met Philip during a royal visit to the Dartmouth Royal Naval College, where he was a cadet. Here, they would interact in a more direct manner, as Philip, regarded as a handsome 18-year-old at the time, was tasked with looking after Elizabeth and her younger sister, Margaret.
According to royal experts, Philip taught Elizabeth the basics of croquet during that day, and they were photographed having fun on a tennis court. It is believed that this visit marked the moment where Elizabeth became smitten with Philip, though their relationship remained platonic. When the visit ended, a group of cadets followed the royal family’s yacht, and Philip was the only cadet that followed the yacht far out to sea, following it for 200 yards.
Love blossomed between Elizabeth and Philip during troubled times.
After the visit to the Royal Naval College, Elizabeth and Philip sparked a casual friendship and would begin sending letters to each other. At first, the correspondence between the two was partially motivated due to the fact that both were great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria, which made them third cousins.
Through the exchanging of letters, their friendship slowly evolved into a romantic relationship, all the while England was engaged in international conflict—which proved to be another catalyst that fueled their romance. After hearing that Philip was commended for his efforts at Cape Matapan, Elizabeth kept a picture of her future consort in her room. For Philip, the conflict was also an event that made him consider his feelings towards Elizabeth. As he stated, coming back home in 1946 made them start talking about a romantic relationship, and even consider marriage.
One of Prince Philip’s letters in 1946, after coming back, famously read: “To have been spared in the war and seen victory, to have been given the chance to rest and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly, makes all one’s personal [...] troubles seem small and petty.”
The royal couple got married in 1947 after being engaged in secret.
After his return, Philip worked instructing newer cadets, staying with the royal family on weekends and holidays, which allowed him to spend more time with Elizabeth. Her private tutor noted that there was something different about Elizabeth’s disposition when she was around Philip, a “sparkle about her none of us had ever seen.”
Eventually, in the summer of 1946, Philip proposed to Elizabeth. The king and queen, George VI, and Queen Elizabeth were not too excited about the proposal, as they thought that she was too young and that she was falling for the first man she had met. Eventually, they acquiesced, but the king asked the young couple to keep their engagement a secret until Elizabeth turned 21, eventually giving them their blessing for their marriage in April of 1947.
The wedding took place on November 20, 1947, in Westminster Abbey. After their honeymoon, the couple relocated to Malta, due to Philip’s naval career, where they enjoyed their first years of marriage. Shortly after the wedding, Elizabeth wrote a letter to her parents, which read: “We behave as though we had belonged to each other for years.”
Elizabeth became Queen of England in 1952, which put an end to Philip’s naval career.
After about four years of married life in Malta, Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, unexpectedly passed away, which meant that Elizabeth became the new Queen of England in 1952. This proved a challenge for the young couple, as it effectively meant that Philip had to sacrifice not only his naval career but also his surname.
Zara Tindall, the royal couple’s eldest granddaughter, noted that Philip ended up being a pivotal support for the Queen, while also remaining true to his own self, which ended up being one of the key aspects of their everlasting union. Philip, who had a reputation for blunt, off-the-cuff remarks, reportedly told The Queen, “Where did you get that hat?” during her coronation, showing the special, intimate connection that the two shared.
The feeling of devotion was clearly mutual. When the royal couple celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen famously said: “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”
A royal marriage that stood the test of time.
The marriage between Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II lasted for more than 70 years, a period where the world experienced tumultuous change, yet they remained a constant presence in the world. Their marriage is also the longest-lasting royal marriage in history.
Both Philip and Elizabeth are used to commanding respect as members of the royal family, but what made their marriage so special was the fact that they made each other feel like normal human beings. One of the Queen’s former private secretaries noted that Prince Philip is “the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being. He’s the only man who can.” Similarly, it has been observed in photographs that Elizabeth had a certain girlish twinkle in her eye when she looked at Philip. Their marriage reminds us that no matter how powerful someone may be, they still feel emotions such as love like regular people do.
Also on their Golden Wedding anniversary, Prince Philip shared the secret to their everlasting love. According to the Queen’s consort, tolerance is key: “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 things get difficult. And, you can take it from me, that the queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”
Which of the Queen or Prince’s quotes better represents your own idea of love?