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A Valentine’s Day Special: Royal Central’s five favourite royal couples

To mark Valentine’s Day, Royal Central has counted down our five favourite royal couples.

Here we celebrate some of the greatest royal romances within the royal family today.

5. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall


In February 2005, Clarence House announced that the Prince of Wales was engaged to Camilla Parker Bowles. The five years prior the the confirmation, both Charles and his future wife had worked hard to slowly introduce her to the public. After divorcing the late Diana, Princess of Wales, many believed it would be impossible for Charles to marry again, and certainly not a divorcee. However, with consent of The Queen, Parliament and the Church of England, the couple were allowed to marry. Polls had revealed the public were warming to Camilla, who had been joining Charles on his engagements, and it was seen as the right time for the couple to marry.

Their wedding took place at Windsor Guildhall on April 9, 2005, and crowds gathered down the streets to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh did not attend the ceremony possibly due to her position as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, however all other senior royals including Charles’ sons Prince William and Prince Harry attended. After the wedding, a televised blessing took place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which was led by The Archbishop of Canterbury. The Queen did attend the blessing, and was joined by royalty from around the world including King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway.

4. Zara and Mike Tindall


In December 2010, it was announced Zara Phillips, daughter of the Princess Royal, was to marry rugby player Mike Tindall. The couple had been dating since first meeting in Australia 2003, and the couple had been spotted together early in their romance enjoying dates. Their wedding took place on July 30, 2011, just weeks after the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, and was attended by all senior royals. As each of the royals arrived at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, they received large cheers.

Stepping out from the car, Zara looked stunning in a Stewart Parvin wedding dress, and the Meander tiara. The wedding was a private occasion, and the crowd waited patiently for the royal party to exit the Kirk. The excited well-wishers were not left disappointed when the royals left, waving to the crowd. Two years later, in July 2013, it was announced the couple were expecting their first child, and on January 17, 2014,  Zara gave birth to a healthy baby girl, named Mia Grace Tindall, who takes her place at 16th in the line of succession.

3. The Earl and Countess of Wessex


Prince Edward and the then Sophie Rhys-Jones met in 1994, and the couple soon started dating. During this time, the Royal Family were experiencing changing times of public opinion with the recent divorces of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew to their popular wives. Edward and Sophie, who had previously worked at Capital Radio, dated for six years before announcing their engagement in January 1999. The Prince had proposed to the future royal bride with an Asprey and Garrad engagement ring worth an estimated £105,000. The couple decided to marry at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, wanting a low-key affair, and on June 19, 1999, the royals arrived in Windsor to mark the occasion. With a television audience of 200 million people around the world watching, Sophie arrived on the steps of the chapel looking elegant and regal in a wedding dress by Samantha Shaw.

Upon marriage, Edward was created the Earl of Wessex and Sophie became the Countess of Wessex. It was also announced Edward will one day become the Duke of Edinburgh, with Sophie taking the title of Duchess of Edinburgh. In November, 2003, the couple welcomed their first child, The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, and four years later, in December 2007, Sophie gave birth to their second child, James, Viscount Severn. The Queen has become very fond of the Countess and is often spotted riding in the grounds of Windsor Great Park with her daughter-in-law.

2. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton

It was described as a modern love story as the then Kate Middleton met her Prince at university, with the couple soon falling in love. In 2001, the pair met as they studied at St. Andrews in Scotland. It is rumoured they started dating as early as 2002, however their relationship was never confirmed while the Prince continued with his studies. However, nearly ten years after the first meeting, in November 2010, Clarence House confirmed the second-in-line was engaged to Miss Middleton and the couple would wed in the Spring of 2011. William had proposed the Kate one month before the announcement, as the couple holidayed in Kenya.

Then in April, 2011, a million people lined the streets of London with over a billion watching on their screens around the world, the couple married at Westminster Abbey in London. Huge cheers filled the streets as the new royal couple left the Abbey and the Royal Procession made its way back to the Palace. Kate, who will one day become Queen consort, looked stunning in an Alexander McQueen gown, while Prince William looked dapper in his Irish Guards full dress uniform. Upon marriage, The Queen made William the Duke of Cambridge, with Kate becoming Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. In July 2013, the couple welcomed their first child, Prince George, who took his place as third-in-line for the throne, one day to be King.

And finally our favourite…

1. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh


The then Princess Elizabeth met her future husband Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934, 1937 and in July 1939 and it is believed soon after this third meeting the couple soon began exchanging letters. In July 1947, it was announced they were engaged and Philip planned to renounce his Greek and Danish titles.

On November 20, 1947, Elizabeth and Philip married at Westminster Abbey receiving 2,500 wedding gifts from around the world. On his wedding day, Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh and the day before was granted the style His Royal Highness. The following year, on 14th November 1948, Prince Charles was born, with Princess Anne being born in 1950. While the couple were on a tour of the Commonwealth in 1952, Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, died meaning she was now Queen. The couple quickly returned to London, and plans for her Coronation and move into Buckingham Palace begun being made. On June 2, 1953, The Queen’s Coronation was televised for the first time with millions watching from around the world.

In 1960, the couple welcomed their third child, Prince Andrew, and four years later, in 1964, Prince Edward arrived as their fourth and final child. The Queen and Prince Philip have remained a strong union, and many applaud the couple for the strength of their marriage. Many note Prince Philip’s continued loyal support to his wife over the 60 years of her reign. The Queen and Prince have seen troubling times within the family, which has seen divorces of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York, become headlines across the world. However, it would be in August 1997, the couple would face their biggest challenge as the Princess of Wales was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris. Public support for the Monarchy fell as many felt the Royal Family, who were at Balmoral at the time, had not acted fast enough in returning to London or showing themselves in public. With Philip by her side,  The Queen returned to London and viewed the thousands of flowers. The following years after the death of Diana, The Queen and Philip carried on with their royal duties and in 1999, the couple had reason to celebrate as their youngest son, Prince Edward, married his long-term girlfriend, Sophie Rhys-Jones.

Fast-forward to 2014, and The Queen and Prince Philip’s union is as strong as ever. In 2013, they saw the monarchy secured for many years to come with the arrival of the third-in-line, Prince George, the first son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. With few signs of quitting, with The Queen, 87, and Philip, 92, the couple will visit France and Italy later this year.

photo credits: chego-chegomyalexisjimbo0307Lancashire Evening PostDefence Images via photopin cc 

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