The pair wed in November 1947, when the then-Princess Elizabeth was 21 and her groom aged 26. This year, they marked 71 years of marriage.
It’s almost impossible to imagine a time when Queen Elizabeth wasn’t married to Prince Philip.
The Queen once said of her beloved husband: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years”.
However, if the monarch’s father had given more weight to his early reservations about their engagement, it mightn’t have happened at all.
Speaking to The Royal UK, royal commentator Victoria Arbiter says:-
“He reluctantly agreed, but he said that they wouldn’t reveal the news of the engagement until after Elizabeth’s 21st birthday. It was when the family had returned from their visit to South Africa”.
Also read: The Exact Moment Queen Elizabeth Knew Prince Philip Was The One
Prince Philip’s proposal came after years of exchanging letters with the princess. She was a distant cousin whom he met properly when they were teenagers.
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Elizabeth’s family had early reservations about the prospect of her entering a relationship with the strapping naval officer.
They thought she was too young to be thinking of marriage.
Not only this, but they were also concerned about Philip’s reputation as a ladies man. And also the various controversies surrounding the foreign-born prince’s family.
“There were a number of reasons that the Duke of Edinburgh was deemed not suitable. But Elizabeth was adamant”, Arbiter explains.
According to ‘The Royals in Australia’ author Juliet Rieden:-
The King’s decision to postpone the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s engagement to the Prince of Greece and Denmark was likely intended to test the strength of their relationships.
“I think he wanted to see whether it would last the distance or not. But absence definitely made the heart grow fonder and Her Majesty was assured that she was going to marry this man”.