Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee without Philip
More than just the consort
A loving husband and father
Born a century ago
He knew Elizabeth almost his entire life
He called her Lilibet
A loving couple
How they started
Elizabeth was 13 years old
He was her chaperone
They met here
A tree to remember their first meeting
Courtship
Love letters
Related but different
Elizabeth: educated at home
The engagement pictures
'Laughing and giggling'
Marriage
Then she became Queen
A long reign together
'My strength and stay all these years'
The best pictures of their lives together
Home
The children
Charles and Anne
Windsor
Baby Andrew at Balmoral
Andrew and Edward
Their eldest son
Their favourite place
'My Kingdom for a horse...'
The Queen's home apparel
The children grow up fast
A cosy living room
Travels
South Pacific
Canada
Tuvalu (South Pacific)
Australia
Nigeria
Blunt comments
A tolerant wife
Inside jokes
A famous image
Philip liked to laugh
'Like Mr and Mrs Beckham'
Marriage jokes
Official events
Trooping the Colour
In full royal gear
Holding hands
They survived many presidents
Times changed
Old age
Breamar Highland Games, 2015
Elizabeth's health
Undiminished public appearances
Philip's health
Now she walks alone
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Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee without Philip

Queen Elizabeth has celebrated her Platinum Jubilee surrounded by family and friends, but one person is missing and surely on her mind: Philip, her husband.

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More than just the consort

He was always by her side. Not only as the longest serving consort in British history, accompanying the Queen in all her public duties...

 

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A loving husband and father

...but also as a husband for 73 years, a father to her four children, and the love of her life.

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Born a century ago

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021.

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He knew Elizabeth almost his entire life

Philip had known his wife Elizabeth for nearly his entire life. Both the public and their intimate family remember the couple as in this image: looking at each other understandingly and laughing a lot.

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He called her Lilibet

'Lilibet' was a name Elizabeth gave herself as a small child when she could not yet pronounce her name. Later, Prince Philip would use that same term of endearment to address his wife. (For this reason, to honour his grandmother, Prince Harry named his daughter Lilibet as well.)

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A loving couple

From their earliest photos as an engaged couple to the last ones made of them in the 21st century, people have seen Elizabeth and Philip as a loving couple. This photo here is part of a series to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

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How they started

The diamond wedding photos were made to resemble the engagement series released in November 1947. Let's see how Elizabeth and Philip arrived at this point in the first place.

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Elizabeth was 13 years old

Princess Elizabeth (l) was a teenager when she had the first meaningful meeting with her cousin Philip in 1939, but in fact the two royals had already crossed paths at a family wedding in 1934.

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He was her chaperone

In 1939, the princess visited the British Royal Naval College with her parents. Cousin Philip was a cadet there. He was asked to show Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret around.

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They met here

This is the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, where Philip and Elizabeth met as teenagers.

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A tree to remember their first meeting

Prince Philip returned several times to the Britannia Naval College and planted trees in its gardens. This one, for example, is from 1958. It's there to remind us of the place where Elizabeth and Philip met.

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Courtship

After their meeting in 1939, the couple began a correspondence that lasted throughout the war years and beyond.

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Love letters

"To have been spared in the war and seen victory," Philip wrote to Elizabeth after returning from the Pacific theater in 1946, "to have been given the chance to rest and to readjust myself, to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly makes all one’s personal and even the world’s troubles seem small and petty."

(Cited by Vogue, April 2021)

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Related but different

NBC News says that the two had "very different upbringings."

"Handsome and athletic, Philip was worldly, having lived in Paris, Germany and the United Kingdom after his own royal family was forced to flee his birthplace, Greece. He spent much of his childhood apart from his parents and went on to serve in the Mediterranean and the Pacific during World War II."

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Elizabeth: educated at home

"Elizabeth, meanwhile, was educated at home and never left the U.K.," NBC claims. "She spoke fluent French and her education included constitutional history and law in preparation for her assumption to the throne."
Because of the differences, there were some doubts in the palace about whether they would be a good match, says Clive Irving, author of 'The Last Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Saved the Monarchy.'

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The engagement pictures

At the time of their engagement, in July 1947, there was no sign of incompatibility though. The couple looked perfectly happy and excited to get married. The online channel True Royalty TV looks back at the video material of their engagement and concludes that Philip "flirted with [Elizabeth] all the time."

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'Laughing and giggling'

Royal biographer Robert Jobson notes that the prince seems to be saying things "all the time... that are clearly inappropriate and naughty" while "she's trying to behave herself and be all formal. Then he says something and her shoulders go up, and she puts her tongue in her cheek. She's just laughing and giggling."

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Marriage

It is assumed that Philip had proposed marriage to Elizabeth on the grounds of Balmoral in the summer of 1946. They did not announce their engagement until after Elizabeth had turned 21 in April of 1947. On November 20, 1947, they got married.

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Then she became Queen

Sooner than they had expected, the couple had to assume the duties of Queen and consort. King George VI died in 1952 when Elizabeth and Philip had been married for less than five years. The 25-year old Princess immediately became the Queen.

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A long reign together

It was then that the duty of Prince Philip as the country's longest-serving consort began. At the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen spoke rare and very frank words about her husband and what he meant to her.

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'My strength and stay all these years'

"He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years," she said in 1997. "I, and his whole family and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know."

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The best pictures of their lives together

Let's have a look at different aspects of their lives through a series of the most beautiful photos of the pair. Whether they were at home, on a trip, in an official ceremony, or having a laugh, the Queen and her husband always seemed well attuned to each other.

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Home

Philip and Elizabeth really felt at home in Balmoral, the Scottish Highlands where they used to take their annual summer break from late July to October. It was a second home to the couple and their family.

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The children

Charles, the Prince of Wales and the heir to the throne, was born into a carefree new family on November 14, 1948.

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Charles and Anne

Anne, the Princess Royal, was born in August 1950. Here we see the children returning from summer holiday with their mum and aunt Margaret in 1954.

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Windsor

Windsor Castle was the family's home base during work weeks. The Queen operated from Buckingham Palace in London but retreated more peacefully here in the town of Windsor. (This photo was dated 1959.)

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Baby Andrew at Balmoral

The couple's third child was born in February 1960: Prince Andrew. He is nearly ten years younger than his sister Anne. On this photo taken on the lawn of Balmoral in late summer 1960, Andrew is six months old.

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Andrew and Edward

The Windsor-Mountbatten family was always outdoorsy and loved animals, such as dogs and horses. In March 1964, Queen Elizabeth had her fourth child, Edward. You see him here with the blue jacket at the Balmoral kennels. The boy in the red sweater is Prince Andrew.

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Their eldest son

Prince Philip was said to have a somewhat strained relationship with his eldest son, Charles. They were quite different in character, with the added pressure of Charles preparing to be king one day, and Philip ended up taking more to his daughter Anne than to Charles.

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Their favourite place

Balmoral was Philip and Elizabeth's favourite place. The Queen once said she was never be happier than when she was at Balmoral. This photo was taken for their Silver Wedding anniversary in 1972.

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'My Kingdom for a horse...'

Prince Philip and the Queen were both very fond of horses. It is said that the famously frugal Elizabeth makes an exception for her thoroughbreds and stables: the Evening Standard estimates that they cost about 600,000 pounds (850,000 dollars) per year.

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The Queen's home apparel

When at home - or at a public event where it rains - the Queen can be seen sporting a not so fancy looking headscarf. But don't be fooled: a nice Hermés - her favourite brand - easily costs around $1,000.

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The children grow up fast

As Balmoral Summers and Windsor winters went by, Elizabeth and Philip's children were growing up fast. You could see the changes in their family portrait at Buckingham Palace, taken in 1972. Charles was almost 24, Anne 22, Andrew still a boy with 12 and Edward was 8.

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A cosy living room

According to Andrew, they had a homely life, spending the evenings together on the sofa. "Like any other family at the time," he told the BBC, "your parents went out to work in the day, but in the evening, just the same as any other family, we would get together, we would sit on the sofa as a group and he would read to us."

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Travels

Homely life was often interrupted, however, by state visits and other travels. Throughout his life, Prince Philip accompanied Queen Elizabeth on dozens of foreign trips.

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South Pacific

Early on in their marriage, Elizabeth acquired a personal film camera that she carried with her on many trips. Here the couple is on its way to Fiji in the South Pacific during their 1953 coronation world tour.

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Canada

The Canada visits of the couple were interesting. When they visited the country in 1951, the couple were treated to a 'stampede' rodeo in Calgary, Alberta. Later, in 2010, they enjoyed a performance of 'Canadian dance,' as you can see in this photo.

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Tuvalu (South Pacific)

Prince Philip never made a secret of his thoughts, nor did he repress any joke emerging from his mind. Sometimes these jokes were politically incorrect or simply racist. Elizabeth, more composed and diplomatic than her husband, would sometimes step in to smoothen the encounter.

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Australia

An example of the Prince's gaffes are his remark to an Aboriginal businessman in Queensland, Australia: "Do you still throw spears at each other?"

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Nigeria

He also said to the Nigerian President, who was dressed in traditional clothing: "You look like you're ready for bed."

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Blunt comments

His bluntness is illustrated by comments like: "I declare this thing open, whatever it is" (during a visit to Canada in 1969).

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A tolerant wife

"You can take it from me the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance," the Prince said when interviewed about their 70-year wedding anniversary in 1997.

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Inside jokes

Elizabeth and Philip also had many laughs together. Supposedly, the Sun reports, Philip asked his wife: "Where did you get that hat?" right after her Coronation.

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A famous image

In this widely circulated image, it seems like Philip is imitating the royal guardsmen and making Elizabeth laugh. But the truth behind this scene is that, outside on the green of Windsor Castle, a swarm of bees was disturbing the British military and the royal couple was having a bit of good old schadenfreude.

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Philip liked to laugh

A friend of the Prince told Bang Showbizz that Philip "was a funny man who liked to laugh and make others laugh." He recalled Philip joking about David and Victoria Beckham.

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'Like Mr and Mrs Beckham'

When David and Victoria Beckham had been photographed sitting on thrones during their wedding in 1999, Prince Philip couldn't help but joking about it. "Asked why he and the Queen hadn't sat in the throne-like chairs provided for them during the 2012 Jubilee River Pageant, his wry comment was: 'We'd have looked like Mr and Mrs Beckham, wouldn't we?'"

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Marriage jokes

And though he loved his wife very much, until both were in their nineties, Philip couldn't help but make jokes about marriage. According to The Sun he joked one day: "When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife."

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Official events

There were also times to be serious though. With an age-old institute like the monarchy come traditional ceremonies, and Philip tried to attend them alongside his Elizabeth as much as he could.

(Pictured: the Knights of the Thistle service, 2012)

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Trooping the Colour

The official birthday of the sovereign is celebrated with the Trooping the Colour procession. Here we see Charles, Elizabeth, and Philip in 1980.

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In full royal gear

The opening of the new session of Parliament, in the palace of Westminster, always required the couple to display all their decorations and royal regalia.

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Holding hands

It was an endearing sight to see the consort hold the Queen's hand as they strode down the palace aisle. In May 2021, after Philip's death, Elizabeth was accompanied by Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall.

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They survived many presidents

Elizabeth and Philip met with 12 out of the 13 most recent Presidents of the United States. Lyndon Johnson did not manage to talk to her as President, but his predecessor (and running mate) John F. Kennedy did pay Buckingham Palace a visit in 1961.

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Times changed

After Barack and Michelle Obama, in this picture, came Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Queen Elizabeth has always proven to be up to date with international politics.

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Old age

Elizabeth and Philip were getting getting closer to their nineties, however, and they started to feel the discomforts of old age.

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Breamar Highland Games, 2015

At the more recent editions of the Braemar Highland Games, each September in Scotland, Elizabeth and Philip would share a blanket against the cold.

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Elizabeth's health

The health of the Queen has been a source of marvel around the world. She's 96 and still not retired. The biggest risk to her health came in 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic. Her son Charles got infected and the entire family had to live isolated from each other for a long time.

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Undiminished public appearances

Elizabeth continued to follow the official agenda of obligations and events to this day. Philip could not always join her, as his old age sometimes got in his way.

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Philip's health

Prince Philip had angioplasty surgery in 2011, at the age of 90. In 2021, a few months before he turned 100, the Prince had to undergo a procedure for his heart condition that took considerable toll on his health. It would turn out to be too much for him to take.

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Now she walks alone

After 73 years, Queen Elizabeth is left with the memory of her husband. His is a difficult loss to deal with, but also a life worth celebrating.

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