ON THE COVER The Queen & Prince Philip

As we look back at their en­dur­ing, lov­ing ro­mance, we say happy an­niver­sary to the Queen and Prince Philip

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Novem­ber 20 will be a big day for the Queen and Prince Philip – they’re cel­e­brat­ing an in­cred­i­ble 70 years of mar­riage.

The cou­ple will make his­tory when they be­come the first Bri­tish royal cou­ple to reach their Plat­inum wed­ding an­niver­sary.

It must seem to the Queen as if there has never been a time when Philip hasn’t been in her life. Af­ter all, she was just 13 years of age when she first laid eyes on the man who was to be­come her husband, on a visit to the Royal Naval Academy in Dart­mouth with her fam­ily.

The then Philip Mount­bat­ten, who later grad­u­ated as the best cadet in his class, showed the young princess and her sis­ter Mar­garet around the Naval Academy and it was dur­ing this short visit that the young heir pre­sump­tive and the hand­some cadet formed a friend­ship.

Over the course of the next few years, as Philip trav­elled the world with the Navy, the young cou­ple ex­changed many let­ters, tak­ing the first ten­ta­tive steps to­wards ro­mance.

A turn­ing point came dur­ing the Christ­mas of 1943 when Philip went to stay at Wind­sor Cas­tle with his cousin, David Mil­ford Haven. He was en­chanted by the now 17-year-old Princess El­iz­a­beth, and the princess her­self was de­scribed by her gov­erness, Craw­fie, as be­ing “an­i­mated in a way none of us had ever seen be­fore” when in Philip’s com­pany.

Af­ter the war, the pair em­barked upon a pri­vate courtship. While they were rarely spot­ted to­gether at pub­lic events, Philip was a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor, of­ten to be seen pulling up at the palace in his lit­tle black MG sports car. It’s said that El­iz­a­beth, equally be­sot­ted, was of­ten to be found day­dream­ing as she qui­etly sang Peo­pleWill Say We’re in Love from the mu­si­cal Oklahoma!

Of course, no path to true love ever runs smooth, and the court­ing cou­ple en­coun­tered the odd prob­lem along the way. Some palace of­fi­cials were not pleased about the match, given Philip’s strong Ger­man fam­ily con­nec­tions, and even the King and Queen were not en­tirely keen to be­gin with.

Forthright and with a fierce in­de­pen­dent spirit and un­con­ven­tional hu­mour, Philip was not nec­es­sar­ily the type of man they would have


ini­tially cho­sen for El­iz­a­beth but nev­er­the­less, he won them over and in 1946, the King agreed in prin­ci­ple to their en­gage­ment.

How­ever, the King had one con­di­tion – the pair were asked to wait un­til af­ter the Queen’s 21st birth­day be­fore they for­mally an­nounced their in­ten­tion to marry.

While ex­cited to an­nounce their love to the world, the pair nev­er­the­less re­spected the King’s wishes and con­tin­ued their courtship in pri­vate up un­til July 9, 1947, when they for­mally an­nounced their en­gage­ment.

Ex­cite­ment about the forth­com­ing wed­ding wasn’t con­fined to the palace – af­ter the hor­ri­bly dif­fi­cult war years the coun­try had en­dured, the pub­lic were de­lighted to have some good news at last. On news of the en­gage­ment, crowds gath­ered out­side Buck­ing­ham Palace to show their sup­port for the pair.

Af­ter a whirl­wind en­gage­ment, on Novem­ber 20, 1947, El­iz­a­beth and Philip be­came man and wife and pre­pared to em­bark upon their new life to­gether. The grand royal cer­e­mony took place in West­min­ster Abbey in front of 2,000 guests. Such was the in­ter­est around the world, the cer­e­mony was also broad­cast on ra­dio to 200 mil­lion lis­ten­ers world­wide.

Honey­moon­ing for a brief

En­gaged and happy Crowds gather at Buck­ing­ham Palace

A happy courtship

The happy cou­ple on their big day With old­est chil­dren Charles and Anne A pleas­ant walk in Malta Trav­el­ling the world

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