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Royal News

The love story that changed royal history: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

On 20 November 1947,Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh tied the knot at London’s Westminster Abbey. Their marriage would last more than 70 years until Philip’s passing in 2021. 

Elizabeth and Philip shared a royal history with both being descended from Queen Victoria and Denmark’s King Christian but their lives had been very different. Elizabeth became heir to the throne at the age of ten while Philip went into exile as a baby when the royal family of Greece fell.

The two would first meet in 1934 at the wedding of Philip’s cousin, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Prince George, Duke of Kent (Elizabeth’s uncle.) The two would cross paths again in 1937 and then again in 1939 during an engagement at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939.

While Elizabeth was only 13 at the time, she fell in love and began to exchange letters with Philip. Chips Channon (a former British Conservative Politician) made an entry in his diary referencing the future marriage of the couple as early as 1941. “He is to be our Prince Consort, and that is why he is serving in our Navy.”

In 1946, the couple became secretly engaged when Philip asked King George VI for his daughter’s hand in marriage. However, The King made a request, He wanted to hold off on any formal engagement until Elizabeth’s 21st birthday the following April. The couple would make an official announcement on 9 July 1947. Following their 1947 wedding, the couple would be married for 74 years.

Following the passing of King George VI in February 1952, Elizabeth, who was only 25 years old became Queen while Philip became Consort. Living until the age of 99, he would become the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Meanwhile, Elizabeth became the longest-reigning British monarch with a reign lasting 70 years.

During their marriage, the couple had four children – King Charles III, The Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward (now, the Duke of Edinburgh.)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are buried at the King George VI Memorial Chapel inside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

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About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.