Elizabeth II, who died yesterday, Thursday, September 8, 2022, aged 96, was the UK’s longest-lived Queen: 70 years and 214 days on the throne. But that’s not the only record she holds, she’s also the longest-married British monarch: 73 years and just over 4 months married to Philip of Edinburgh until he died on April 9, 2021.
The then-Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI, was 21 when she married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, 26. It was on November 20, 1947, and days before her husband-to-be had to renounce the Orthodox religion and yes the title of Prince, but in return he was made Duke of Edinburgh and given the title of His Royal Highness.
The couple remained together until Philip of Edinburgh’s death, despite ongoing rumors of the duke’s infidelity.
The affair, held at Westminster Abbey, was attended by around 2,000 guests and was the first royal wedding to be broadcast to the entire planet. Felipe wore his navy uniform and the bride wore a dress made by 25 seamstresses and 10 embroiderers who paid for the portion with ration coupons since it was only two years since the end of World War II. The couple received 10,000 congratulatory telegrams and 2,500 gifts from around the world: a lodge in Kenya, a racing horse, a sewing machine and a gold coffee set.
Although on that day they began their life as a married couple, but the love story between Isabel and Felipe began long before that. It was in 1934 that they first saw each other, at the wedding of Marina of Greece and Prince George of Kent. She was 8 and he was 13. They met again 5 years later at the British Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in July 1939, the then teenage Isabelle fell madly in love with Felipe, 18 and also her uncle in third grade. This blond cadet of the British Royal Army will become the man of his life.
Isabel was 8 and Felipe 13 in 1934 when they met. In 1939 they met again and the princess fell in love with that blond cadet of the British Royal Army
After their wedding in 1947, due to the austerity prevailing at the time, Isabelle and Felipe spent their honeymoon in the United Kingdom. A year later, on November 14, 1948, his first son Carlos was born, as of yesterday the new king of the British with the title Carlos III. The couple went to live in Malta as Philip was posted there. On August 15, 1950, Princess Anne was born.
Although Philip of Edinburgh knew he was married to a princess, he wasn’t entirely comfortable with royal duties or the constant presence of photographers awaiting his acts.
On 6 February 1952, before five years of marriage, King George VI died while Elizabeth and her husband were on an official trip to Kenya, and the Princess became Queen and the Duke Prince Consort.
A period begins, ending with the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, in which Elizabeth assumes the responsibilities as Queen, while her husband has to retire from the navy and his duties begin to fall three steps behind her. Felipe had a hard time accepting him, as his children were named Windsor, not Mountbatten like him.
In 1956 there was a crisis in the marriage. Felipe de Edinburgh begins a series of solo trips and with them the rumors of infidelity that accompany him throughout his life. The queen was aware of them but stoically accepted them. They settled down for a while only in the early 1960s, coinciding with the birth of the couple’s two new children. Andres on February 19, 1960 and Eduardo on March 10, 1964.
As the years went by, Felipe de Edinburgh came to accept his comfortable position and even took it with humor: “I am the most experienced record finder in the world.” And of his job he said “to look after the Queen and make her life easier”. Felipe was once asked about the secret of his long marriage and he replied: “Tolerance is the main ingredient. The Queen possesses the quality of tolerance in abundance.
In recent years, after Felipe de Edinburgh has been removed from public life since 2017, the marriage has been very close again. Also during the pandemic, the two isolated themselves in Windsor Castle. After his disappearance, Elizabeth II had to deal with loneliness, undoubtedly another factor in her deteriorating health, until her death, 1 year and five months after the death of her husband, the only love of his life.