8 Key Events That Defined Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip’s 73 Years Of Marriage

Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Reading back into their decades long marriage, it would seem that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth were destined to be together.

Like one those marriages that God Himself planned when he created the two of them.

However, has events have proven it was more of sheer will than anything else.

The “First” Meeting

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip met when she was seven years old and a bridesmaid to her aunt, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, as she married the Duke of Kent at Westminster Abbey, while 12-year-old Philip was attending as the bride’s first cousin. Yes, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are both descendants of Queen Victoria. When they first met, she wasn’t destined to be queen, however, on their second meeting, five years later, in 1939, everything had changed. Elizabeth’s uncle, Edward VIII, had abdicated three years earlier. Her father was now King and she was the heir to the throne. Philip was an 18-year-old naval cadet.

LETTERS – DM’s

In 1943 when Britain was engaged in World War II, Philip and Elizabeth were exchanging letters. Philip joined the family for Christmas and she was 17 years old. After the war, Philip initiated a formal courtship of Elizabeth. They went to concerts and restaurants or dined in the nursery with Princess Margaret.

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Prince Philip is pictured in December 1946, when he was serving as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Credit: Press Association/AP

ISSUES WITH THE PALACE

The Palace was not in favour of the match. The King and Queen reportedly wished her to “see more of the world” before marrying, and courtiers discussed how Philip was “no gentleman,” “ill tempered” and possibly fickle — he signed visitors’ books as of “no fixed abode.”

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Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images

ELIZABETH GOES AGAINST FAMILY ADVICE

Elizabeth refused to be swayed. She had been determined on Philip since the age of 13 and war had only intensified the romance. The King gave in and the engagement was announced on July 8, 1947, with the wedding date fixed for November 20. Philip became a naturalized British subject, adopted the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents and was created Duke of Edinburgh.

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A smiling Elizabeth and fiancé Philip are pictured together at Buckingham Palace in July 1947 after their engagement is announced. Credit: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

THE WEDDING

There was concern that a country deep in post-war recession might take a dim view of a lavish wedding. But Winston Churchill chose grandeur, calling it “a flash of colour on the hard road we have to travel.” Royal guests came from all over the world to see the princess marry in a silk dress embroidered with 10,000 pearls. Among those firmly not invited were Philip’s three sisters with their German husbands, and the Duke of Windsor, the former Edward VIII, and his wife, Wallis Simpson.

On the day at Westminster Abbey, Princess Elizabeth made her vows and promised to obey her husband, something that would be technically impossible when she was Queen.

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Elizabeth and Philip make their way down the aisle of Westminster Abbey on their wedding day, November 20, 1947. Credit: Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

CHILDREN

The couple’s first two children, Charles and Anne, were born in 1948 and 1950 and the family settled at Clarence House, where Philip took charge of the renovations. Andrew and Edward joined the family after she had ascended to the throne.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

In early 1952, Elizabeth and Philip embarked upon a tour of Kenya. They began with a retreat at “Treetops,” a lodge over a watering hole in the Aberdare National Park. On the night of February 9, 1952, George VI died in his sleep. After the news reached the royal staff, Philip told his wife that her beloved father had died and they returned to London.

THE REIGN

The Queen has been on the throne for 69 years, and he has been through it all. Often walking behind her and providing what the Queen has described as her “strength and stay.”

RIP, Duke of Edinburgh.

CREDIT: This article is synthesized from a CNN article

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