How Did Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Meet?

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip | Fiona Hanson/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip‘s love story is like a fairy tale. The two met when they were both very young but after their first official meeting the future queen of England knew he was the one for her. And now, more than 70 years later, they are still married.

Here’s how the matriarch and patriarch of the British royal family met and fell in love.

They actually met when they were children

Those rumblings you’ve heard over the years about Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II being related are true and because of this fact, they met at several royal gatherings growing up.

The distant cousins met for the very first time when they each attended the wedding of Philip’s cousin Princess Marina and Elizabeth’s uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent in 1934. At that time, Prince Philip was just 13 and then-Princess Elizabeth was only 8.

Three years later, Philip was also at the coronation of Elizabeth’s father, George VI.

Elizabeth fell in love after a meeting on a tennis court

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip | AFP/Getty Images

Their first official meeting though was in 1939 when King George VI brought his family to the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon. King George VI’s biographer, Sir John Wheeler-Bennett noted that it was during that weekend that the princess fell for Philip.

Marion Crawford, Elizabeth’s governess agreed that the 13-year-old Elizabeth was absolutely smitten with the 18-year-old prince as he entertained her on a tennis court by jumping over the nets. “I thought he showed off a good deal,” Crawford said, but added that the princess “never took her eyes off him the whole time.”

Philip though wasn’t thinking the same thoughts as Elizabeth at that time. “Well, we’d met at Dartmouth, and as far as I was concerned it was a very amusing experience, going on board the yacht and meeting them, and that sort of thing, and that was that,” he told biographer Basil Boothroyd.

They saw each other again several more times after that and began writing one another letters over the years. “We used to correspond occasionally,” Philip said. “But if you’re related — I mean I knew half the people here, they were all relations — it isn’t so extraordinary to be on kind of family — relationship terms with somebody. You don’t necessarily have to think about marriage. I suppose one thing led to another. I suppose I began to think about it seriously, oh, let me think now … when I got back in ’46 and went to Balmoral.”

In July 1947, when Elizabeth was 21 she and the prince announced that they were engaged. The pair got married five months later at Westminster Abbey in front of 2,000 guests.

They still make time for each other

There have been recent reports that the royal couple doesn’t spend time together anymore now that Philip lives at a cottage on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk called Wood Farm and his wife lives at Buckingham Palace.

However, the reason for that is because the duke retired from his royal duties in 2017 and has wanted to spend some time out of the spotlight and away from the city. Since the queen is not retired yet she still needs to spend the bulk of her time at the monarch’s working residence in London.

A source told the Express that while they don’t sleep under the same roof every night, the two still make time for each other.

“[Philip] very much enjoys Wood Farm, and he and the queen still see each other at some point in the week or weekends,” the source said. “They see each other depending on Her Majesty’s schedule, but she works around it to see him as much as possible.”

Read more: How Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Are Already Preparing to Say Goodbye to Each Other

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!