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
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
WHILE THEY WERE RARELY SPOTTED IN PUBLIC, PHILIP WAS A REGULAR VISITOR AT THE PALACE
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