It’s been seven decades since Prince Philip wrote to Queen Elizabeth II to say he was “totally and unconditionally in love” with her, and the couple remained together until the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April 2021 – through marriage, childbirth, triumphs and trials . .
Eight-year-old Elizabeth met Philip in 1934 when she attended the wedding of Princess Marina and Prince George. Five years later, the couple reunited at the ages of 13 and 18 while they were attending the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During their second meeting, they fell in love with each other and started exchanging letters.
Betrothed in July 1947, they married in November of that year at Westminster Abbey in London. They went on to welcome four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anna, Prince Andrew as well as Prince Edward.
“He’s someone who doesn’t like compliments, but he’s just been my strength and has been all these years,” the monarch said. during a speech for her golden wedding anniversary in 1997. “And I and all his family and this and many other countries owe him more than he will ever demand or we will ever know.”
Elizabeth and Philip have become the longest married couple in the history of the British royal family. “[Their love] have withstood the test of time, primarily because they love each other very much, ”said the royal expert. Christopher Warwick said Vanity Fair in May 2020. “In his personal capacity, the Queen has always regarded him as the head of the family.”
The British historian continued: “It’s a very symbiotic relationship and a very strong partnership, starting, of course, with these early meetings, these early correspondence, which became a friendship, which became an affection, which became love.”
Philippe, for his part, opened up about what he believes helped create a lasting bond between the couple. “I think the main lesson we’ve learned is that tolerance is one of the main components of any happy marriage,” he said during their 50th wedding anniversary celebrations in 1997. “It may not be as important when things are going well, but it is absolutely essential when the going gets tough. You can trust me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”
In November 2020, the duo celebrated their 73rd marriage anniversary, but their story changed three months later when Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital as a “precautionary measure” after feeling unwell. He was released a month later – his longest hospital stay to date – after “treatment of the infection and a successful procedure for pre-existing disease.”
In April 2021, it became known that the Duke had died at the age of 99. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the family said in a statement. “The royal family joins people around the world in mourning his loss. Further announcements will be made in due course.”
Watch the timeline below to relive their early romance, engagement and wedding, and the ups and downs of their marriage.
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