Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (1921 - 2021) sort through their mail on...
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Prince Philip Was A True Romantic When It Came To Queen Elizabeth

She was his one true Lilibet.

They were an unlikely couple from the start. She was the oldest daughter of the King of England, heiress to the throne, sheltered and shy. He was a displaced prince of Greece who had lived all over the world, confident and brash. And yet. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip weathered storm after storm together in their 73 years of marriage. Four children, eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren. A lifetime together. The Duke of Edinburgh might have been a man of few words, but when it came to his wife, he was a true romantic.

Then-Princess Elizabeth was just 13 years old when she first met her 18-year-old distant cousin Prince Philip (Queen Victoria was their shared great-grandmother) in 1934, but she knew he was the one for her right away. “She was truly in love from the beginning,” wrote Queen Elizabeth’s close friend Margaret Rhodes in her book The Final Curtsey: A Royal Memoir by the Queen’s Cousin, per The Independent. The pair got to know each other through letters over the years and married in 1947, just five short years before King George VI would die and their lives changed forever.

She became Queen Elizabeth, he ended his naval career to become Queen Consort. A role he took very seriously, as Queen Elizabeth so beautifully put it in a speech on their golden wedding anniversary, “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”

Here is what her “strength and stay” had to say about his life with his Queen.

First Impressions

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Prince Philip once shared his first impressions of Queen Elizabeth during a meeting with Queen Alexandria of Yugoslavia, teasing his wife by saying, “You were so shy. I could not get a word out of you."

His Gratitude Left Him Speechless

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When Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were courting during World War II, he sent her a letter trying to express how he felt about her, per The Express: “I am afraid I am not capable of putting all this into the right words and I am certainly incapable of showing you the gratitude that I feel.

He Ventured, & He Gained

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In a 1946 letter shared by Phillip Eade in his book Young Prince Philip: His Turbulent Early Years, the besotted prince wrote to his fiancée, “There is always a small voice that keeps saying 'nothing ventured, nothing gained’ — well did I venture and I gained a wonderful time,” per The Telegraph.

“Completely & Unreservedly” In Love

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In another letter from Eade’s book, Prince Philip was clearly getting philosophical about having been “spared” during his time fighting in World War II so he could get back to his future wife. “To have been spared in the war and seen victory, to have been given the chance to rest and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly, makes all one's personal and even the world's troubles seem small and petty,” per Harper’s Bazaar.

His Lilibet

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Prince Philip wanted to let Queen Elizabeth’s mother know how serious he was about her, and told her in a letter after their 1947 wedding, “Lilibet is the only thing in this world which is absolutely real to me and my ambition is to wield the two of us into a new combined existence,” per The IB Times.

Blissful Early Years

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In the years before the coronation, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth lived a relatively private life of bliss together. Within the house, and whatever we did, it was together,” Prince Philip explained to biographer Basil Boothroyd about those early years, per USA Today. “People used to come to me and ask me what to do. In 1952, the whole thing changed, very, very considerably.”

Pledging Life & Limb

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Perhaps the most romantic thing Prince Philip ever said to his wife publicly; when he knelt before her during her 1953 coronation and recited, “I Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship….”

Flirting With The Queen

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After Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, Prince Philip reportedly said, per the BBC, “Where did you get that hat?” Because a little light teasing always eases the tension, right?

A “Tolerant” Wife

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On their golden wedding anniversary, Prince Philip delivered a rare formal speech praising Queen Elizabeth, per Grazia Daily, “I think the main lesson that we have learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage ... It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult. You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”

Sharing Secrets For A Happy Marriage

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Not long before they celebrated a rare feat, their 70th wedding anniversary, Prince Philip shared a bit of advice on how to maintain a healthy relationship. “It’s the secret of a happy marriage to have different interests,” he said in a 2007 speech, per Metro.

After that many years of marriage, he should know.