Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeths seven-decade marriage(Picture credit: Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96, more than one year after her husband Prince Philip’s death. He died in April 2021 at the age of 99. The Queen and Greek-born Prince Philip were married for more than 73 years. The two got married on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey, years before Elizabeth acceded to the throne. In 1997, the queen paid tribute to her husband on their golden wedding anniversary. “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,” the queen had said.
Here’s a timeline of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s seven-decade marriage
The Queen first met Prince Philip when she was eight and he was 13 in 1934 at a wedding. Four years later, they met each other when the world was under crises. “She fell desperately, desperately head-over-heels in love with him at first sight,” British historian Andrew Roberts told TODAY. The couple kept in touch and exchanged many letters during the Second World War, when Philip fought with the Royal Navy. In 1947, they got married and it was broadcast on the radio across the world.
After one year of their marriage, the couple welcomed their first child, Charles. They spent first few years of their marriage in Malta, where Philip was serving as a naval officer.
In 1950, the couple welcomed their second child, Anne. For several years after marriage, the couple lived a relatively normal life.
Their lives changed in 1952, when Elizabeth’s father, King George VI died. She was touring Kenya. At the age of 25, she became Queen Elizabeth II. Philip quit his career in navy to support his wife. After the queen ascended to the throne in 1953, she made Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, a Prince of United Kingdom.
Mr Roberts told Today, “This was something that was revolutionary, frankly.” He added, “He was a man who was a highly competitive person and for the whole of the rest of (his) life, he’s got to stand two or three paces behind the most famous woman in the world.”
In February 19, 1960, the couple was blessed with their third child – Prince Andrew – who was given the title of Duke of York. According to ABC News, Prince Philip had reportedly been angry to learn, after his wife’s accession, that his children would never bear his last name. According to a 2012 biography of the queen by author Sally Bedell Smith, Philip said, “I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba, I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children.” The kids did not bear his surname, but Philip played a key role in their upbringing.
In 1964, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth welcome their fourth child, Prince Edward, who was given the title Earl of Wessex.
In 1972, the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Philip was on Elizabeth’s side on 251 official overseas visits before Philip passed away.
On Prince Philip’s 90th birthday, the queen made him a lord high admiral.
Queen Elizabeth bade farewell to Prince Philip at a funeral in 2021. Elizabeth, dressed in black and in a white trimmed black face mask, stood alone, head bowed as her husband of 73 years was lowered into the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel in a service attended by senior royals including heir Prince Charles.
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