HRH The Princess Elizabeth and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
November 20, 1947
Let's kick off our flashback series of Westminster Abbey weddings with one of the biggest -- the wedding of Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Elizabeth was born Princess Elizabeth of York, the elder daughter of Prince Albert (later King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Philip was born HRH Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg (a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria). The young royals had their first significant meeting in 1939, when 13-year-old Elizabeth was visiting the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and 18-year-old naval cadet Philip was her guide.
Like many couples of their era, they sustained their young romance through letters during World War II, and in 1946, they became privately engaged. The engagement was announced to the public shortly after Elizabeth turned 21, and in November 1947, they married at Westminster Abbey. Philip renounced his foreign titles and converted to Anglicanism before the big day, and as a wedding gift, his new father-in-law created him Duke of Edinburgh, the title he still uses today.
Phil 'n Lil are still going strong, more than sixty years later -- they've stayed together through Elizabeth's fifty-plus years on the throne, and they've welcomed four children, eight grandchildren, and one brand-new great-grandchild. What's the secret to their lasting marriage? According to their biographer, Gyles Brandreth, it's just this: "Prince Philip is the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being. He's the only man who can."
HM The Queen
HM Queen Mary
HRH The Princess Elizabeth
HRH The Princess Margaret
HRH Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark
The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven
There are also many, many royal hatters from this wedding for whom we don't have good close-up photos, so as an added treat, here's a big group photo of the royals who attended. Lots of foreign monarchs, British royals (including some very young members of the family!), and a load of Battenbergs/Mountbattens. Care to try to name them all? (Click to enlarge!)