Following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99 in April, the Queen issued a statement expressing “deep sorrow” at the loss of her husband of over 70 – and today marks their first wedding anniversary since his death.
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The Queen will celebrate her first wedding anniversary today without her husband Prince Phillip, 74 years after their wedding.
Queen Elizabeth II was just 21 when she married Phillip Mountbatten, then 26, at Westminster Abbey.
The then Princess Elizabeth first laid eyes on Philip when she was 13 and the prince was 18 – about to embark on a career in the Royal Navy.
On a trip to Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth with his parents and sister, Princess Margaret, the future monarch was struck by Philip’s ‘Viking’ beauty.
The future Queen’s teenage crush has turned into a friendship between the two, and over the years they have exchanged letters.
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While serving in the Navy, it was reported that the young princess kept a picture of Philip in her bedroom.
In 1947, when Princess Elizabeth was 21, her engagement to Philip Mountbatten was officially announced.
The Duke of Edinburgh is said to have helped design the platinum and diamond engagement ring using stones from a tiara belonging to his mother, Princess Alice of Greece.
Shortly before marrying Princess Elizabeth, Philip wrote to the Queen Mother to tell her that he was “completely and wholeheartedly” in love.
A year after their wedding in front of 2,000 guests, the couple welcomed their eldest, Prince Charles, to the world. They then had Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
During their early years as a young family, they lived in Malta where Prince Philip focused on his career in the navy.
But after the sudden death of King George VI in February 1952, their quiet life was turned upside down when Princess Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, became queen.
After her accession, the Queen suddenly had to redefine her life and marriage – but she and the Duke of Edinburgh have adapted well to the change.
Over the next seven decades, the duo settled into their roles well and became a perfect “double act”.
It is reported that while the Queen was head of state, at home, Prince Philip took charge. A 1960 documentary revealed Prince Philip barbecued while the Queen did the dishes.
While the couple were known to be incredibly close, their relationship is believed to have worked as they also spent time apart.
The BBC reports that the Duke of Edinburgh once said: “It is the secret of a happy marriage to have different interests.”
Over the years, the couple have remained a fantastic couple, attending public functions together while also undertaking their own efforts.
Prince William once said of his grandparents: “He makes her laugh because some of the things he says and does and the way he sees life is obviously slightly different from her, so together, they make a wonderful couple. “
The couple knew each other inside and out, and Prince Philip was said to be the only person in the world to treat his wife just like another human being, rather than the monarch.
The Duke of Edinburgh retired from public life in 2017, after believing he had done “his part” in royal service.
During the last years of his life he spent most of his time on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
Prince Philip died at the age of 99 last April. After his death, the Queen expressed “deep sorrow” at the loss of her 73-year-old husband.