90 years ago today, The Queen’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later known as The Queen Mother), at the time known as Prince Albert, Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married at Westminster Abbey.
Despite the grand and sumptuous day, the occasion required more than just the hard work of the organisers. Prince Albert had to propose to Elizabeth 3 times before he got a yes. Elizabeth refused the first proposal in 1921 because she felt “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to”.
After Prince Albert said he would marry no one else, his mother, Queen Mary, went up to Glamys Castle where Elizabeth lived and spoke to her. Albert was refused again in 1922, when he proposed shortly after a friend’s wedding.
Finally, in 1923, he proposed for one final time. An this time, despite her concerns about a royal life, Elizabeth accepted and months later, the two married in a service at Westminster Abbey.
Elizabeth was the first royal bride to lay her bouquet of flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, which subsequent royal brides have also done. After her marriage, she assumed the title of HRH The Duchess of York.
There is no doubt that Elizabeth was invaluable to Albert in his struggle with his brother Edward VIII that resulted in Albert becoming King unexpectedly. During the war, Queen Elizabeth (as she became upon Albert’s accession), was a symbol of national resistance and the two became one of the most popular Royals in history for leading Britain during the Second World War.
Albert died on 6th February 1952, whereupon his daughter, Princess Elizabeth, acceded at the age of 25 to become our Queen today, Queen Elizabeth II.
Elizabeth became known as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother after her husband’s death and continued to perform public duties for another 50 years before she died on 30 March 2002.