The Queen and Prince Philip spent many decades together dedicated to serving their country.
The royal couple, who would have celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary today (Monday, November 20) were one of the best-known pairs globally throughout their lives and stuck together through thick and thin. A royal expert has now revealed what life might have been like for the duo.
Commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told the Daily Star: "[The Queen] found personal happiness with the penurious foreign prince whom she had met at Dartmouth on the eve of war in 1939. She had since had eyes for no one else.
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"During the period of post-war austerity, [Winston] Churchill called their wedding at Westminster Abbey, 'A flash of colour on the hard road we have to travel.'"
Despite the generally positive reception, however, it wasn't always smooth sailing for the newly-wed Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and her husband, who was her third cousin through Queen Victoria. "Many courtiers viewed Philip with considerable suspicion. At the time he hoped he would have a naval career and with his dynamism and energy he could have risen to the top, had the king’s health had not worsened.
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"The period Philip and Elizabeth spent in Malta, when he was serving in the navy, was one of the happiest periods of their lives together, but it was sadly brief."
The pair were thrown further challenges as they put their country first and relationship second – which threatened to cause resentment. "The Queen always put duty first and handled her role impeccably," Fitzwilliams added.
"This, however, meant Philip could not give his name to his children which he deeply resented and had to move into Buckingham Palace against his wishes. [He also] had to create his own role as he was not allowed to see state papers."
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Philip was soon put in charge of his children's education. However, this saw King Charles – then a prince – sent to Cheam School in Newbury and Gordonstoun in Elgin, Scotland, neither of which he enjoyed, Fitzwilliams added.
But despite their bumps in the road, the expert dubbed the marriage a "true partnership." "[The Queen] was married to someone of phenomenal dynamism and energy who would have far preferred a different role, but he supported his wife and the institution of monarchy magnificently over the decades.
"It was a marriage of opposites, but also, as Shakespeare might say, 'of true minds.'"
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