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The Long Lasting Marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

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Photo: Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, York, England, June 16, 2005.

Photo: Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Diamond Wedding Anniversary Makes History:

11/20/2007: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip made history with the celebration of their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Queen Elizabeth is the first British monarch to celebrate sixty years of marriage. Guests at their anniversary celebration at Westminster Abbey included 20 ordinary Britons who are celebrating their Diamond Anniversaries on the same day.

Here is information on how Elizabeth and Philip met, their wedding, and more.

Fast Marriage Facts - Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Met: 1934.
Secretly Engaged: 1946.
Married: November 20, 1947.
First Marriage: Yes.

Did You Know?
Prince Philip is compelled "to walk 'two steps behind' his wife."

Born:

Queen Elizabeth II aka Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor: April 21, 1926 in London, England.

Prince Philip (Philippos) Mountbatten: June 10, 1921 at Villa Mon Repos on the island of Corfu, Greece.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are very distant cousins since both can claim Queen Victoria as great-great-grandmother.

How Elizabeth and Philip Met:

Philip and Elizabeth met in 1934 when Elizabeth was 13 years old at the wedding of Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece. It was love at first sight for Elizabeth and she started writing letters to Philip. The first photograph of the couple together was taken in 1939.

They became secretly engaged in 1946. Because of her age, her family at first opposed her marriage to Philip, but relented. Their engagement was officially announced on July 9, 1947. Her platinum engagement ring had a large square diamond with smaller diamonds on either side. The diamonds came from Philip's mother's tiara.

Wedding Date and Information:

Elizabeth and Philip were married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

They had eight bridesmaids and two kilted page boys. The wedding ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher and the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett.

The 2000 guests at the wedding included many royals, Noel Coward, Beatrice Lillie.

Wedding Reception:

After the wedding, a lunch was held in the Ball supper-room at Buckingham Palace. Favours for the guests were individual posies of myrtle and white Balmoral heather.

The nine-foot high, four-tier wedding cake, was made with ingredients given by Australian Girl Guides. The wedding cake was cut using The Duke's Mountbatten sword. After the wedding, pieces of cake were given to schoolchildren and institutions.

The couple received over 2,500 wedding presents from around the world and around 10,000 telegrams of congratulations.

Wedding Attire:

Elizabeth wore her grandmother's tiara and a beautifully designed wedding dress. In order to be able to purchase the material for her wedding dress, Elizabeth saved up ration cards.
"Made of ivory duchesse satin woven from silk from Chinese silkworms at Lullingstone Castle, the dress was decorated with 10,000 white seed pearls, imported from America, silver thread, sparkling crystal and transparent appliqué tulle embroidery. Attached at the shoulders was a 15-foot star-patterned full court train, embroidered in pearl, crystal and appliqué duchesse satin. The ensemble was completed by a silk tulle veil held in place by a diamond fringe tiara, lent to the bride by her mother as 'something borrowed', and ivory duchesse satin high-heeled sandals, trimmed with silver and seed pearl buckles."
"The Worshipful Company of Gardeners provided the Princess's bouquet, made of white orchids with a sprig of myrtle from the bush grown from the original myrtle in Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet."
Source: Royal.gov.uk

"The richly embroidered white satin wedding dress shimmered with her every movement. Softly spaced throughout the dress were garlands of pearl orange blossom, syringa, jasmine and White Rose of York. These were skilfully combined with flowing lines of wheat ears, the symbol of fertility, and worked in pearl and diamante."
Source: Wedding Dress Info

"The dress was made of ivory silk, decorated with pearls arranged as white roses of York, entwined with ears of corn embroidered in crystal."
Source: Gyles Brandreth, Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage, page 164.

Elizabeth's "wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold which came from the Clogau St David's mine near Dolgellau."
Source: 60 Facts -- Diamond Wedding Anniversary, Fact 27.

Elizabeth wore a "ensemble of a dress and matching coat in mist-blue with mushroom-coloured assesories."
Source: 60 Facts -- Diamond Wedding Anniversary, Fact 47.

Honeymoon:

The day after their wedding, Elizabeth's bouquet was laid on the grave of the Unknown Warrior at the Abbey.

Philip and Elizabeth honeymooned at Broadlands in Hampshire and at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate.

Note to Elizabeth from her father, King George VI: "You were so calm and composed during the Service and said your words with such conviction that I knew it was all right. I can see that you are sublimely happy with Philip which is right, but don't forget us is the wish of Your ever loving and devoted papa."
Source: William Shawcross, Queen and Country: The Fifty-Year Regin of Elizabeth II, page 33.

Children:

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have four children and numerous grandchildren.
  • Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor aka Prince of Wales: Born November 14, 1948 at Buckingham Palace. Charles has two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry from his marriage to Lady Diana Spencer. Prince Charles is currently married to Camilla Parker-Bowles.
  • More on Prince Charles' Marriages

  • Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Mountbatten-Windsor: Born August 15, 1950 at Clarence House in London, England. She was married to Mark Phillips from November 14, 1973 to April 21, 1992. Mark and Anne have two children, Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips. On December 12, 1992, Anne married Timothy Laurence, a Royal Navy commander. Anne was elected Chancellor of the University of London in 1981.
  • Andrew Albert Christian Edward Mountbatten-Windsor: Born February 19, 1960 in Buckingham Palace, London, England. Andrew served in the RAF as a helicopter pilot. Andrew married Sarah Ferguson on July 23, 1986. They had two daughters together, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Andrew and Sarah divorced on May 30, 1996.
  • Edward Mountbatten-Windsor: Born March 10, 1964 in Buckingham Palace, London, England. Edward served in the Royal Marines and has been involved in theatre and television production. On June 19, 1999, Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones. They have a daughter, Lady Louise Windsor and a son, James, Viscount Severn.

Residences:

The Queen considers Windsor Castle to be her home, though Buckingham Palace is another official residence. Visitors can tour Kensington Palace for a better understanding of royal life.

Quotes:

Queen Elizabeth about Prince Philip: "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I and his whole family, in this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know."
Source: William Shawcross, Queen and Country: The Fifty-Year Regin of Elizabeth II, page 216.

William Shawcross: "In fact the marriage prospered. A friend recalls that one evening the Queen was looking ravishing after a formal dinner. Prince Philip smiled at her and said, 'You look good enough to eat.' She blushed with pleasure."
Source: William Shawcross, Queen and Country: The Fifty-Year Regin of Elizabeth II, page 148.

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