Being married for seven decades is a major accomplishment for any couple, let alone one
that's spent in the world spotlight since the day of "I do."
"He has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years."
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have shown the world just how far love can go by
withstanding wars, tons of palace intrigue, and, of course, the pressures of public life.
"I think the lesson that we've learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient
of any happy marriage."
No marriage is completely easy, however, and even the royal couple has shown some strains
along the way.
So let's take a closer look at some of the odder facts you may not know about the regal
It may be surprising to some, but the Queen is actually distantly related to her husband.
The two are third cousins through their shared great-great grandparents, Queen Victoria and
Prince Albert, who themselves were first cousins.
Elizabeth was just 13 years old when she first met Philip, but despite her young age and
the fact that they share some of the same blood lineage, she fell for him pretty quickly.
But even though they share some family members, Elizabeth grew up on the posher side of the
spectrum, while Philip had a different experience.
He had a more normal childhood, washing dishes and playing sports through local organizations.
And when she fell in love with him, he was a naval cadet, while she was destined to take
In the beginning, King George VI didn't exactly approve of his daughter's choice of groom.
The king was concerned about British opinion when it came to the idea of his daughter marrying
a Greek prince.
And it wasn't just Philip's family heritage that affected the King's opinion.
Philip's voluminous laugh and wild manners also reportedly got under the King's skin,
but, in the end, Elizabeth was allowed to marry the man she loved at the age of 21.
Making a sacrifice
In order to marry Elizabeth, Philip had to make some changes to his own life.
He had to become a naturalized British citizen, and none of his German family members were
allowed to come to the wedding, which included Philip's three sisters who had married German
On top of that, the king did not want to officially announce his daughter's engagement until she
was 21, so Princess Elizabeth and Philip had to keep their relationship quiet for some
time until it could be announced.
Rationing a wedding
When one thinks of a royal wedding, words like glamorous, elegant and extravagant come
That's certainly been the case in recent generations, as with the nuptials of Prince William and
the Duchess of Cambridge.
However, there were certain budgetary constraints on Elizabeth and Philip's wedding due to the
tough times of their union.
Great Britain was still recovering from World War II when the couple were wed, so the queen-to-be
actually had to use ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress materials.
Of course, the government allowed their princess 200 extra coupons for the dress, but still.
She shared in the nation's struggles in her own little way.
Naturally, the resulting dress was still very beautiful and luxurious.
It included a 13-foot-long train and was embroidered with crystals, so she wasn't exactly roughing
it with those ration coupons.
Keeping a distance
Even though they've managed to make love last all this time, Elizabeth and Philip are still
known to keep one another at bay in certain ways.
For example, the two have never shared a bedroom with one another and have always instead had
Given the size of their various castles and royal manors, it's probably not surprising
that the two choose to keep their own spaces, but it's been that way since 1949, when they
first moved into the Clarence House.
What's even more unusual is that when Elizabeth officially became queen in 1953, Philip did
not get an automatic upgrade from his status as the Duke of Edinburgh.
In fact, it took another four years for Philip to become an official prince, which means
that the power imbalance between them became even more pronounced than it already was.
"Of course after 50 years I find it is a great temptation to give advice."
And, finally, the two have the very strange habit of very rarely holding hands while in
Whereas her grandsons have delighted in giving their loved ones public displays of affection,
the Queen keeps her perfectly gloved hands all to herself.
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