Royals

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 69th wedding anniversary to her Prince.

Sunday, November 20 is The Queen and Prince Philip’s 69th wedding anniversary, marking only one year until the couple celebrate their platinum anniversary.

We celebrate the momentous occasion by taking a look at their royal romance over the decades.

An impressionable Princess Elizabeth was just 13 when she first fell for dashing 18-year-old naval cadet Prince Philip of Greece.

Philip had been asked to look after the two princesses when they visited the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England, as part of the entourage on the royal yacht with their parents.

“[Philip] played games with them [Elizabeth and Margaret], jumped over tennis nets, wolfed down platefuls of food and generally romped, ending by rowing his boat after the departing royal yacht until the King had to bellow at him to go back,” writes Andrew Marr in his excellent biography, The Diamond Queen.

“Censorious [governess] Crawfie thought Philip had showed rather too much, but Elizabeth was delighted and she never took her eyes off him. Friends say she never has since.”

Philip and Elizabeth had actually met previously at a royal wedding, but she was younger. Now the Princess was smitten and reportedly went so far as to put Philip’s photo up on her bedroom wall.

They continued corresponding, although their liaison remained secret.

Prince Philip was born on the island of Corfu, but following his family’s exile to France when he was 18 months old, he was educated largely in the UK. Like Elizabeth, he was a great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, making them third cousins.

Philip’s courtship of Elizabeth began in earnest following World War II, during which he fought for Britain. His sisters had all married German princes, so it must have been tough for the young naval officer being on the opposing side. Yet Philip had made his choice – he was a Brit.

The Prince proposed in September 1946, when Princess Elizabeth was 20. The King, concerned that his daughter was too young, insisted the pair hold off marrying until Elizabeth fulfilled her official duties with the royal family touring South Africa. Yet, four months later, nothing had changed and on July 10, 1947, Elizabeth and Philip became officially engaged.

They married at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. Elizabeth was 21 and Philip, on whom King George VI bestowed the title of Duke of Edinburgh, was 26. The wedding thrilled post-war Britain and Elizabeth looked radiant in an embroidered Norman Hartnell-designed gown and a tiara of diamonds once owned by Queen Victoria.

In 2007, the couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey at which Dame Judi Dench read a bespoke poem written for the occasion by then poet laureate Andrew Motion.

“Love found a voice and spoke two names aloud.”

After 69 years of marriage, four children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and her dashing Prince are as young at heart and in love as ever.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as they are now. Let’s take a look at their journey…

Princess Elizabeth happy with her new fiance, Philip Mountbatten, at Buckingham Palace, after their engagement was announced in July 1947.

After a string of love letters sent back and forth (which is how Prince Philip is rumoured to have won her heart), Elizabeth and her military sweetheart, Prince Philip of Denmark and Greece, became engaged.

Prince Philip abandoned his Danish and Greek princely titles and fell back on his military rank, Lieutenant, in order to marry the Princess Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and Philip were married on 20 November, 1947 at Westminster Abbey. Their wedding took place at the end of the second world war and Elizabeth required ration coupons to buy the material of her dress.

As a girl, Princess Elizabeth loved dancing, especially Scottish country dancing. Here, as a married woman, she relished the chance to take to the dance floor with her husband, now known as The Duke of Edinburgh, at a square dance in Ottawa, Canada, held in their honour by Governor-General Viscount Alexander, in October, 1951.

Elizabeth and Philip with their first two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

Five years later, Princess Elizabeth’s father, George VI, died, and at the age of 25, became Queen of England.

Elizabeth and Philip had four children together, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Prince Edward in 1971.

Elizabeth and Philip in Balmoral.

The Queen is obviously still enamoured by her Prince.

And she looks to stay that way.

The Prince looking on as his Queen performs royal duties at the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Sharing a joke at the First State Visit of the Irish President.

More smiles for her Prince. Congratulations on 69 wonderful years!

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Prince Philip talks about figuring out his role alongside The Queen

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