In an elegant sitting room, an elderly couple admires a wedding anniversary card made by young relatives. This charming scene could be played out by long-married couples across Britain, but its protagonists are in fact the most regal husband and wife in the country.
The Queen and Prince Philip’s 2020 anniversary photo was taken at Windsor Castle shortly before 20 November, the date they celebrated 73 years of marriage. The eye-catching card in Prince Philip’s hands was created by three of the couple’s great-grandchildren: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The delight on the faces of the monarch and her consort is clear to see.
Prince William and Kate Middleton released a picture of the card on their Twitter account.
A Particularly Special Celebration
Last year, the Queen and Prince Philip couldn’t celebrate their anniversary together (the hard-working monarch had a public engagement to attend). As a result, this year’s anniversary must’ve felt particularly special. Like many couples, the royal husband and wife have been able to spend much more time than usual at home and in each other’s company during the pandemic.
Under normal circumstances, the Queen only stays at Windsor Castle at weekends and for some special occasions, such as Easter. However, since the first lockdown, she and her husband have mainly lived there. As well as their 73rd anniversary, they celebrated Prince Philip’s most recent birthday at Windsor.
The Longest-Married Monarch in British History
The couple’s enduring union has enhanced the monarchy’s association with stability and security. The marriage is historic: it’s lasted longer than any previous British sovereign’s.
The Queen and Prince Philip have four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren (soon to be nine). Sophie, Countess of Wessex, has been married to their youngest child, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, for 21 years, and greatly admires her parents-in-law’s relationship. Speaking in 2016, she praised the Queen’s choice of husband: ‘He has been a fantastic life partner for her […] I don’t think she could have chosen better.’
From Dartmouth Royal Naval College to Westminster Abbey
The Queen was a teenage princess and Prince Philip a naval cadet when their first official meeting took place in 1939. While they had previously both been present at other events, this encounter was their first opportunity to get to know each other.
The location was Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, the stunning harbour town where our aristocratic-style English seated titles and manorial titles are based. The Royal Family had been invited to watch cadets perform impressive athletic displays.
In Dartmouth, the young royals laid the foundations for a firm friendship. By the time they reached their twenties, romance was in the air. They were married in 1947 in London’s breathtaking Westminster Abbey, several years before the Princess became Queen. Britain was still recovering from the Second World War, and the bride required ration coupons to purchase the ivory silk used for the royal wedding dress. The exquisite gown was designed by Norman Hartnell, who was later knighted – earning the elite title Sir – for services to fashion.
Shortly before the wedding, Prince Philip received new titles of his own, enhancing his status. He became the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.
Tens of thousands of well-wishers gathered outside Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, cheering for the newlyweds. As Pathé’s royal wedding newsreel said of Princess Elizabeth, ‘when the time comes for her to assume her responsibilities [as monarch], by her side will be a husband whose counsel will merge with her own for the good of the realm’.
An Inspiration to Couples Everywhere
The Queen and Prince Philip honeymooned at Broadlands (an estate in Hampshire owned by the latter’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten) and Birkhall (part of Scotland’s royal Balmoral estate). For a honeymoon portrait, the Queen wore her chrysanthemum brooch, which features sapphires and diamonds. For the 2020 anniversary photo, she wore the same brooch; it clearly has great sentimental value.
As the Queen’s choice of brooch shows, there will always be opportunities for romantic gestures, no matter how long a couple have been together. The world has changed dramatically in 73 years, but the monarch’s marriage has stood the test of time. The Queen and Prince Philip are an inspiration to couples everywhere.
Celebrate Your Own Anniversary by Upgrading Your Titles
Our decorative titles are wonderful ways for couples to celebrate their anniversaries. For example, you and your partner could become a land-owning Duke and Duchess or a Lord and Lady of the Manor for show purposes – or choose another exciting title option. Naturally, same-sex options are also available.
Order your aristocratic-style titles today – and see where they take you!