Love At Second Sight. The Beautiful Love Story Of Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
The death of Queen Elizabeth II of England brings back to public memory the impressive love story between Her Majesty and Prince Philip, which lasted 73 years.
The Sovereign has always said that Prince Philip was her greatest supporter, both in public and in her personal life.
Elizabeth and Philip first met at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Prince George, Duke of Kent, and were cousins by marriage. At the time, Elizabeth was 8 and Philip was 13.
They would meet again three years later, in May 1937, when Elizabeth and Philip attended the coronation of the princess's father, King George VI.
Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip - Love At Second Sight
But as fate would have it, Elizabeth and Philip met again in July 1939. At the time Princess Elizabeth was 13 and visiting the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, with her parents and sister. Philip was 18 and had enrolled two years earlier, reports life.co.uk.
During the royal visit, Philip was the one who provided the tour of the college, but that was because the other two proposed cadets had made mumps.
It was love at... second sight. Young Elizabeth began writing letters to Philip and keeping a photograph of the handsome cadet by his bed.
Philip corresponded with Elizabeth, but at the time saw the story as "just a bit of fun".
Elizabeth and Philip were both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria, except there was one major difference between the two: Elizabeth came from a close-knit, loving family, while Philip was completely broke and hadn't seen his parents in years. His family, of Danish descent, ruled Greece until the abdication of his uncle, King Constantine I, after the First World War. The whole family left Greece forever. Philip's mother became ill with a mental illness and his father left her to live in France with his mistress. So Philip grew up alone in boarding schools.
A naval officer, Philip fought in the Second World War in the Mediterranean and the Far East. Through letters and occasional moments spent together, the young officer courted the princess. In 1946, in Scotland, he asked her to marry him and she immediately accepted. But at this point, their love story becomes complicated, writes Eva.
The King Asked Elizabeth & Philip To Hold Off On The Engagement
King George insisted that the couple should wait before announcing their engagement, partly because the Princess was not yet 20, but also because of the many suspicions hanging over young Philip. Evil people were whispering around, seeing that the young heiress to the throne had fallen in love with him.
Philip was called "a blond Greek Apollo", "a Viking" or "as handsome as a movie star", except that he was broke, "rude", arrogant, defiant, and "too German", which was hard to accept for a country that had just emerged from World War II.
Philip was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Although he was taken in by his relatives in England as a teenager, his four sisters all married German princes. Three of his four brothers-in-law joined the Nazi Party. Elizabeth's mother, the Queen, wasn't too sure Philip was right for her daughter, and privately called him "the Hun".
It was just that the princess was determined to marry him, and her parents relented. In 1947, Philip asked her to marry him again, giving her a round diamond engagement ring consisting of a centerpiece surrounded by ten other smaller diamonds.
The diamonds had been part of a tiara that belonged to Philip's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg. His mother received the tiara as a wedding present from Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra, the last monarch of the Russian Empire. Princess Alice gave the tiara to her son in preparation for his proposal. Prince Philip designed the ring himself, working with London jeweler Philip Antrobus.
Austerity Royal Wedding Of Queen Elisabeth & Prince Philip
The King and Queen announced their daughter's engagement. Philip became a British citizen and took his mother's family name - Mountbatten. Just before the wedding, he was made Duke of Edinburgh.
Many of Philip's new countrymen viewed the couple with suspicion. One British newspaper conducted a poll about Elizabeth and Philip's engagement, and 40% of those who took part said they were against it.
But the love between the two young people eventually won the hearts of those who mattered, so the wedding date was set. And the only obstacle standing in their way was money. The country was facing food rationing and imports of oil, tobacco, and paper were being carefully controlled due to the war-hit economy. Citizens were given a fixed number of coupons to buy food or clothes.
Their wedding was called an "austerity wedding" and the government gave Princess Elizabeth 200 clothing coupons, which could be used to pay for her wedding dress. Nevertheless, she managed to wear a beautiful outfit: her dress was made of ivory silk, stitched with thousands of tiny pearls.
Because of rationing, the future Queen had to collect clothing coupons to pay for her wedding dress. Admirers of the royal couple mailed in their clothing coupons, but they were returned because their transfer was illegal. When Elizabeth finally received her dress, it had a six-meter train and was covered with 10,000 tiny pearls. In total, 350 women worked for seven weeks to make the dress.