Elizabeth and Philip initially met as children in 1934 while attending the wedding of Prince Philip's cousin, Princess Marina, to Prince George, Duke of Kent. Elizabeth was 8 years old and Philip was 13 at the time. Five years later in 1939, they met again at Dartmouth Royal Naval College.
The pair corresponded for several years via letter while Philip served in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets during the Second World War, and when he returned home, he asked Elizabeth's father, King George VI, for his permission to propose to her. The couple announced their engagement on July 9, 1947.
prevnextDown the aisle
Philip and Elizabeth, who was still a princess at the time, married four months later on Nov. 20 at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony attended by 2,000 guests and was broadcast to 200 million radio listeners around the world. Prior to the wedding, Philip was appointed the Duke of Edinburgh and was conferred with two other titles, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.
prevnextExpanding the family
In November 1948, the couple welcomed their first child, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne was born two years later in August 1950. The family lived a low-key life at Clarence House near Buckingham Palace and often spent time in Malta.
prevnextElizabeth becomes queen
In February 1952, Elizabeth's father died at age 56 and she was crowned queen at 27 years old in June 1953. Her move to the throne was a major event in her marriage, which was put under a brighter spotlight and more public scrutiny.
prevnextFamily of six
Seven years into her reign, Elizabeth gave birth to her and Philip's third child, Prince Andrew, in February 1960. Their fourth child, Prince Edward, arrived in March 1964, and the family was featured in a 1969 documentary, Royal Family, that was intended to give the public a more relatable look at the royals.
In 2017, Prince Philip announced that he would be retiring from his official royal duties. "His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh [Prince Philip] has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year," a statement from the royal family read. "In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of [Queen Elizabeth II]."
The royal couple celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2017, marking their platinum anniversary. They celebrated with a private dinner with family and friends at Windsor Castle, and the bells of Westminster Abbey were rung on the day to mark the occasion. In November 2020, they marked 73 years of marriage.