The marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip lasted over 73 years and was the longest relationship in the history of the British royal family. The monarch, after her husband’s death last year, called him her “strength and rock”. Although she was the throne, he was said to dominate private relations. Prince Philip never received the title of king, but it hurt more that his children initially did not bear his last name.
– If the reports from the Islands are to be believed, Queen Elizabeth’s last days passed in a very cheerful mood. Apparently, she talked a lot about Prince Philip, it is a great love of her life. She reigned 70 years, and her relationship with the prince lasted 73 years – Ewa Ewart emphasized on Friday morning in “Get up and you know” on TVN24TVN24 journalist and author of documentaries.
Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died on April 9, 2021 at the age of 99. Last year in the Christmas message, the monarch called him her “strength and rock”. “That mischievous, inquisitive flash was just as bright at the end as when I first saw it,” the queen said of the man she had spent more than seven decades with.
Elżbieta and Filip – the beginning of an acquaintance
Born in 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu, Prince Philip Mountbatten was almost five years older than Elizabeth. He met his future wife in 1934 during the wedding of his cousin Marina, Duchess of Greece and Denmark. However, they did not establish closer contact until a few years later, during his service in the Royal Navy, i.e. in the British Navy. The British royal family made an official visit to the military college in Dartmouth, where Philip was a cadet. The 18-year-old was then asked to look after Princess Elizabeth and her younger sister Małgorzata.
Philip proposed to Elizabeth in 1946, and she reportedly wanted to marry him right away. However, her father, King George VI, objected to it. The monarch was guided by the care of his 20-year-old daughter under British law at that time (until 1970, adulthood was reached there after turning 21 – ed.). The king’s fears also had a political dimension. Philip was a Greek prince, and there was a civil war in that country at the time. In addition, Elizabeth was about to embark on a several-month-long journey to Africa.
So the young people withheld their engagement until the 21st birthday of the future queen. They were married on November 20, 1947. Five years later, after the death of George VI, Elizabeth took the British throne. Prince Philip himself was responsible for overseeing the preparations for the coronation, which lasted over a year. Apparently it was his idea to make the broadcast. The ceremony on the BBC channel was followed by over 20 million people from all over Europe.
She could ask him to “shut up”
During several decades of fulfilling the role of the “prince of the spouse” – Philip never received the title of “king of the spouse”, but more on that later – Elżbieta’s husband supported her in the performance of her official duties. He often accompanied her on trips abroad, oversaw the activities of many charity organizations, and specialized in public appearances. The BBC writes that, for several decades, Filip delivered 60 to 80 speeches a year.
Although from the perspective of the media and the public it seemed that Philip was in the shadow of his wife, he was said to be the dominant party at home. The Guardian recalls a story from the early days of their marriage. The couple was driving with Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, to the polo club, the car was driven by Elizabeth’s husband. The queen was afraid she was going too fast, she was tense and inhaled loudly. Finally, Philip shouted, “If you do this again, you’ll get out of the car.” It worked, and Elizabeth immediately fell silent.
As they arrived, Lord Mountbatten asked, “Why didn’t you protest? You were right, he was going way too fast.” Elizabeth replied, “But you heard what he said.”
The newspaper notes, however, that the queen was not submissive. Philip was just quick-tempered and could scream at everyone, and she was just used to it. According to the royal biographer Sarah Bradford, quoted by the Guardian, she was able to tell him to “shut up” and explain that he “didn’t know what he was talking about.”
Why was Philip not awarded the title of king?
Prince Philip reportedly lamented for many years that “he is the only man in the country who cannot give his name to his children.” Eventually, Elizabeth II decided to give all of her children – Charles, Anna, Andrew, and Edward – the double surname Mountbatten-Windsor.
Elizabeth’s spouse never received the title of king. After his wife took the throne, Philip began to be called the Duke of Edinburgh. In 1957, Elizabeth officially named him Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
As the BBC explains, in line with British tradition, a man who marries a queen cannot be called a king. Only men who inherit power are entitled to this title. However, this rule does not apply to women. Kamila, wife of the new king, Charles III, from then on she will be called “queen consort”. Such a title is in accordance with the will of Elizabeth II.
“The Guardian”, BBC, CBS News, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: Getty Images Europe