The rare match of two young, smitten royals, Elizabeth II and Philip of Greece and Denmark, was a surprise in and of itself. Their courtship and marriage had its pitfalls and promises, and the two have remained together for 70 years now. Queen Elizabeth II even joked that she had no idea how to celebrate a marriage that long, as she hadn’t expected to be alive.
Their marriage was anything but conventional, and while a few parts of their story are unique, albeit touching, there’s one fact about the couple that in modern-day, nonroyal life is downright disturbing (page 12).
They met when they were young
Philip and a young Elizabeth had crossed paths before, notably at the coronation of King George VI in 1937. However, they didn’t spend any time together until July 1939 when the King and Queen took their daughters, Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret, to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth where Philip was a cadet in training.
“There was a whole battalion of lively young men,” said Lady Anne Glenconner, whose family were friends and neighbors of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Sandringham, their estate in Norfolk. Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive to the British throne, “realized her destiny and luckily set her heart on Prince Philip at an early age,” she said.
Next: You’d be surprised how people described the prince.