The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for more than 70 long and loving years. With The Queen having recently celebrated 65 years on the throne, many people want to know about the man who has long been by her side and their love story. In the 71 years they have been married they have conquered triumph and tragedy by each other’s sides.
The first time Princess Elizabeth met Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was in passing at a family function, the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark in 1934 when she was just eight-years-old, and he was 13-years-old. The Queen and Prince Philip are third cousins through Queen Victoria and second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark. It wasn’t until years later when The Queen’s father, King George VI brought a then 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth along with him for a tour of the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939 that she fell in love with the 18-year-old Prince Philip and began to exchange letters with him.
In October 1946 they were photographed next to each other at the wedding of their mutual cousin Lady Patricia Mountbatten when Prince Philip took the coats of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. This was one of their first public appearances together, and everyone soon suspected a budding romance between the two. That same year they became secretly engaged, but The Queen’s father insisted they hold off on a formal engagement until the queens 21st birthday. The engagement was officially announced on 9 July 1947.
The announcement didn’t come without controversy; it was considered controversial because Prince Philip was deemed to be unpolished, nearly broke, a foreign royal, and had no fixed address at the time. Before the couple could be married, Prince Philip had to renounce all of his Greek and Danish titles and had to convert from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism as well as change his name to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten – choosing his mother’s British family surname.
The Queen and Prince Philip married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey in London. The Queen wore a Norman Hartnell wedding gown. The morning of the wedding Prince Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich. They honeymooned in the Broadlands in Hampshire, where Princes Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten, lived.
Throughout their marriage, they have had four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, along with countless other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Prince Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. When The Queen succeeded to the throne, she chose not to take Philip’s last name and kept hers as Windsor, but their descendants would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.
Prince Philip has long been considered The Queen’s constant companion. Having fallen in love and married so young, they have been together for more than 70 years. Leaning on each other when Princess Elizabeth suddenly became Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 25, Prince Philip has stood by The Queen’s side for the 65 years she has been Queen. They lived through World War II together, Philip as a naval officer and The Queen in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. They have remained a strong couple even through the divorces of three of their four children.