A Look Back On The Queen & Prince Philip’s Love Story In Honor Of The Duke’s 100th Birthday

Jun 10, 2021 by apost team

The passing of the Duke of Edinburgh on April 9, 2021, has left members of the royal family as well as ardent supporters of the British monarchy in grief. The accomplished and celebrated consort to Queen Elizabeth II will always remain one of the most endearing members of the royal family. 

Prince Philip lived an incredibly full life until he died at the age of 99 earlier this year. Not only was his life an extraordinary one, but his marriage was too — Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated 73 years of marriage together, officially making theirs the longest royal marriage on record. Always by each other's side, the couple endured a lot in their over seven-decade-long relationship.

On top of serving as the queen's consort for over 70 years, Prince Philip was known to be Her Majesty's rock, as well as a guiding light for the entire royal family. She spoke of this on more than one occasion, while Prince William and Prince Harry have also spoken of their fondness for their grandfather. In fact, it was Prince Philip who persuaded William and Harry to walk behind their mother's coffin at her funeral.

Today marks what would have been Prince Philip's 100th birthday. In honor of his life, the Royal Collection Trust announced an exhibition celebrating the Duke of Edinburgh titled "Prince Philip: A Celebration." The exhibition will open across two locations this summer — Windsor Castle from June–September, and Palace Holyroodhouse from July–October.

In honor of the late royal's centenary, let's celebrate him by taking a look at some of the major moments in his long life.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1948), (Central Press/Getty Images)

Although he is a fundamental part of the British royal family, Prince Philip was born overseas in Corfu, Greece, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. When he was a young child Prince Philip was forced into exile with his family. In order to marry Queen Elizabeth, he renounced his Greek and Danish titles and took on his mother's maiden name of Mountbatten, according to Biography.

Despite being born overseas, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are actually distant cousins. In fact, most royal couples are related somewhere in their family history in order to maintain the bloodline. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are third cousins, as they are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, reports Reader's Digest.

How the royal couple met is also a testament to their enduring love. Unlike many royal marriages that are arranged matches, their marriage was based entirely on love. According to Reader's Digest, Elizabeth and Philip first met at the wedding of Philip’s cousin in 1934, when she was 8 and Philip was 13. They met again when she was 13 and Philip was 18, and the young Elizabeth found him to be very attractive indeed.

It was around this time that Philip was active in the Royal Navy. During World War II, he was deployed overseas, but he and Elizabeth regularly exchanged letters during this time. He returned to England in 1946 and proposed, and she said yes. However, due to royal family rules, they had to hide their engagement for several months until Elizabeth turned 21.

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Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip (1953), (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

They announced their engagement on July 8, 1947, and married a few months later in November. As a wedding gift, Philip stopped smoking cold turkey because he knew how much Elizabeth despised the habit; her father was a notorious chain-smoker and eventually died of lung cancer.

The couple fully committed to the marriage and have always provided unwavering support to each other. Gyles Brandreth wrote in his book "Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage:"

“The Queen wears the crown, but her husband wears the trousers. He is the power behind the throne: steadfast, never-failingly supportive.”

Queen Elizabeth admitted as much in a speech in 1977, saying that Philip has been her strength over the years. She reiterated this during her 2012 Diamond Jubilee speech when she called him her "constant strength and guide."

In fact, Prince Philip's role in the queen's 1953 coronation is being highlighted during the upcoming exhibition honoring his life. The Duke of Edinburgh chaired the Coronation Committee and is said to have played a major part in the decision to broadcast some of the service on live television. Alongside displaying the robe and coronet he wore to the service, the exhibition will also feature items that tell the story of Prince Philip's life, including his Midshipman's logbook from his naval career, the invitation and other items from his wedding to Queen Elizabeth, and a stunning portrait of him by George A Weymouth.

Prince Philip's influence on the queen and the entire royal family is evident. What he managed to achieve in his nearly 100 years was incredible, so it's wonderful to see him still being honored even after his passing.

Prince Philip (2020), (Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Did you know about all of the things Prince Philip achieved in his 99 years? If you learned something from this, be sure to pass it on to those you know.

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