As the Queen celebrates her official 90th birthday and the Duke of Edinburgh turns 95, we take a look back at the lasting love story between our monarch and her husband Prince Philip.
1. He makes her laugh
No matter the occasion, the Prince can always inspire a hearty laugh out of Her Majesty. In fact it was the Prince’s jovial nature that is one of the cornerstones of their 68-year marriage, according to former Conservative MP and royal author Gyles Brandreth. Speaking to the Radio Times he revealed that one of the keys to their lasting union is the fact that the Prince makes her laugh.
And it’s a good thing that the Queen enjoyed a chuckle, as the Queen’s biographer A.N. Wilson recently revealed. Speaking at the Cheltenham Literary Festival he argued that courtiers warned the monarch not to marry the Prince because he was too ‘funny’.
Luckily for the world she ignored their advice. And the royal couple will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary next year. Awww!
Snapped in 1952 – five years after they were married – this adorable photograph shows Prince Phillip holding Prince Charles while playing with the young Princess Anne – adorable!
And 20 years later, the Duke of Edinburgh remained the picture of the doting father as the family gathered round to celebrate the royal couple’s silver wedding anniversary.
3. He’s passionate about helping young people
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award marks it’s 60th Anniversary in 2016. The innovative youth awards programme has helped thousands of young people develop confidence and key life skills. In a speech given to parliament to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday Prime Minister David Cameron recognised the Prince’s invaluable contribution. He said:
“The Duke of Edinburgh who has stood by her side throughout her extraordinary reign. They have both served this country with an unshakeable sense of duty. And their work – including the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme and The Prince’s Trust – has inspired millions of people around the world.”
4. He’s her rock
Despite the many articles detailing Prince Phillip’s famed gaffes, there is no doubting that the Prince has serious side and has proved to be a loyal and devoted husband to the Queen. In a rare interview to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Prince Harry had this to say on the subject:
“Regardless of whether my grandfather seems to be doing his own thing, sort of wandering off like a fish down the river, the fact that he’s there – personally, I don’t think that she could do it without him.”
5. He helps keep her grounded
Pictured together at Windsor Castle, the Queen and Prince Philip look like any other couple enjoying a relaxing afternoon at home. And according to Lord Charteris, the monarch’s former private secretary, the fact that “Prince Philip is the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being,” is something that the Queen truly values.
6. He cherished her from the outset
Prior to their wedding in 1947 the late Queen Mother sought assurances that Prince Philip would ‘cherish’ Elizabeth. He gave the following emotive reply:
‘Cherish Lilibet [the Queen’s childhood nickname]? I wonder if that word is enough to express what is in me’. He then went on to say that he had ‘fallen in love completely and unreservedly’, adding:
‘The only thing in this world which is absolutely real to me, and my ambition, is to weld the two of us into a new combined existence that will not only be able to withstand the shocks directed at us but will also have a positive existence for the good.’
7. He helped bring her out of her shell
In an article about his book Young Prince Philip: His Turbulent Early Life author Philip Eade described the transformative effect that the royal couple’s marriage had on the Queen, with one diplomat saying:
“She had a protective shell around her and he brought her out of it. He helped to make her what she’s become.”
8. He’s the yin to her yang
Speaking at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2006 the Prince revealed that couple’s differences strengthened, rather than weakened, their marriage, saying:
“It’s the secret of a happy marriage to have different interests.”
9. He thinks of every last detail
In a two-page letter handwritten note penned by the then 21-year-old Queen in 1947, she reveals that Prince Philip custom designed her engagement ring.
“The wedding ring will be made of Welsh gold, but not from the Craigwen mine. The engagement ring was made by Antrobus. Princess Alice took it in as Philip obviously couldn’t but he designed the ring,” she wrote.
Now that’s true, ever-lasting love! So why not see their full love story, in wonderful rare photographs, here?
Their royal romance - in pictures!
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