Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96: Look back at her 7-decade marriage to Prince Philip

Over a year has passed since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, who passed away in April 2021 at the age of 99.

A seven-decade love affair that began before the queen assumed the throne came to an end with their deaths.

The queen praised her husband in 1997 on the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary, saying, "He is someone who doesn't take well to flattery, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years." And I, his entire family, our country, as well as many others, owe him a debt that is far bigger than he would ever claim or that we would ever be aware of.

At Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, the Duke of Kent's wedding, 1934, the Greek-born Prince Philip had his first encounter with the then-Princess Elizabeth.

Queen Victoria was the great-great-grandmother of both Philip and Elizabeth.

Prince Philip was a direct descendant of Princess Alice, Queen Victoria's third child. According to the royal family's website, Queen Elizabeth is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria's eldest son, King Edward VII.

Elizabeth and Philip met numerous more times over the course of the following ten years after their initial encounter, and a very young Princess Elizabeth fell in love with the blond, blue-eyed Philip. Philip's "Viking good looks" left a significant effect on the princess, according to her governess.

After exchanging letters, King George VI agreed to allow Philip, who was in his mid-20s at the time, marry his daughter as long as they waited until Elizabeth was 21.

However, her father's courtiers weren't as impressed.

King George VI was apparently disturbed about his daughter's young age, and there were also concerns about Philip's lack of financial means and foreign ancestry.

Despite their reservations, the pair decided to get hitched on November 20, 1947, in a royal ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Philip gave up his Greek and Danish titles and changed his name to Lt. Philip Mountbatten, an anglicized version of his mother's family name. He received the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich from his new father-in-law, the monarch.

After being married, Philip and Elizabeth led fairly typical lives for a while. He continued to serve in the Royal Navy, and the couple soon had their two oldest children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

When Elizabeth's father passed away in 1952 while she was traveling Kenya, Philip and Elizabeth's lives were forever altered.

At the age of 25, she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II, and Philip left his job in the Royal Navy to help his wife.

As was customary in the past, the queen did not refer to her husband as the "prince consort." But in 1957, the queen made Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, a prince of the United Kingdom, five years after she took the throne.

According to a 2012 biography of the queen by author Sally Bedell Smith, Philip, who had four children with the queen, had apparently been upset to find, following his wife's ascension, that his children would never bear his last name.

According to the book, Philip allegedly said, "I'm nothing but a bloody amoeba." I am the only man in the nation who is prohibited from naming his own children.

Philip was particularly involved in the development of his children, Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward, even though they didn't share his last name. He was also fiercely protective of both his family and the family company that he married into.

According to the palace, he accompanied Elizabeth on all 251 of her official abroad trips until Philip passed dead.

The queen appointed Philip a lord high admiral in 2011 to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Elizabeth made Philip a knight grand cross of the Royal Victorian Order for his services to the monarch on their 70th wedding anniversary in November 2017.

On November 20, 2020, the pair will have celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary together.

The children of Prince William and Duchess Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, prepared the card for the queen and Philip as seen in a picture published by Buckingham Palace in celebration of the occasion.

Three sons, Princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward; one daughter, Princess Anne; eight grandkids; and twelve great-grandchildren survive Elizabeth and Philip.
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