Things That Hold Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's Marriage Together
When we look at current marriage statistics and divorce rates, the results aren’t too promising. So the eternal question remains - what is it about successful marriages that actually make it work? It seems like the older generations know a thing or two about this. A prime example is our favorite Queen and her beloved husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
With over 70 years of marriage under their belt, it honestly makes us wonder how these two managed to stay together for so long. Especially since they no longer live under the same roof. Let’s take a quick detour through their union, and how they manage to keep their marriage strong despite the distance.
THE PAIR IS ACTUALLY RELATED
It might be a weird fact to start with but its relevant nonetheless. Plus, most people probably had no idea! The queen and prince are actually distant relatives - third cousins, to be exact. The two met when they were super young - Elizabeth was 13 at the time - and reportedly instantly fell for Philip upon meeting him.
The Queen grew up in a family that was well-off, while the prince’s experience was quite different. According to TIME, Philip was
".... reared as a commoner, has washed dishes, fired boilers, even played on a skittles team organized by the owner of a local pub."
HER MAJESTY’S PARENTS DISAPPROVED OF THE MATCH
It comes as no surprise then that Elizabeth’s parents didn’t approve of the match whatsoever. TIME reported that King George VI was worried about the British public opinion of his daughter marrying a Greek prince.
However, it wasn’t just the prince’s background that influenced the king’s opinion of Philip. The article described that he “irritated” the king with his "loud, boisterous laugh and his blunt, seagoing manners.” One word: Ouch. We definitely wouldn’t want to be Philip in this situation. Regardless, it seems like King George’s opinion had little effect on his daughter since she ended up marrying him anyway.
PHILIP HAD TO MAKE SACRIFICES IN ORDER TO MARRY ELIZABETH
As always, when you’re marrying into British royalty, you’re gonna have to sacrifice a couple of things, to say the least. First of all, Philip had to become a naturalized British citizen. According to E! Online, Elizabeth’s parents weren’t big fans of his family at the time. In fact, they didn’t even let his German family members come to the wedding - including the prince’s three sisters, who were married to German men.
Things were so awkward that Elizabeth’s father didn’t even want to officially announce his daughter's engagement until she was 21. So, for a while, the pair had to keep their relationship on the down-low.
HE MIGHT’VE NOT BEEN THE MOST IDEAL HUSBAND AFTER ALL
The marriage was a highly publicized one, of course, so the union was constantly making headlines. And it seems like some unfortunate things started to slip out over the years. It was suggested numerous times that Prince Philip wasn’t always faithful in his marriage to the Queen.
Rumors were circling throughout the media, associating Philip with women that he knew throughout the years. One of the most prominent ones was discovered by author Gyles Brandreth, which started in The Baltimore Sun, stating that Philip was "romantically involved with an unnamed woman whom he met on a regular basis in the West End apartment of a society photographer."
A source close to the family said that Philip was "very, very angry" with the accusations being made. Even though no solid proof was ever given, the rumors didn’t go away for a while. Despite their seemingly rocky beginning, the pair has managed to stay strong and fight through it all together. So, how are the old lovebirds handling it now? Let’s take a look!
THEY LIVED IN SEPARATE ROOMS FROM THE START
For our Western readers, this fact seems totally odd and abnormal, as we’re used to seeing most couples - especially married ones - living together. Although the pair lives in completely separate locations now, they had different locations they went to at night from the very start as well.
But, there’s actually an explanation for doing so, which goes back to British upper-class tradition. According to the Queen’s cousin, Lady Pamela Hicks, the pair slept in separate bedrooms because of this tradition:
“In England, the upper class always have had separate bedrooms. You don’t want to be bothered with snoring or someone flinging a leg around. Then when you are feeling cozy you share your room sometimes. It is lovely to be able to choose.”
WHY THEY DON’T LIVE TOGETHER ANYMORE
This also might come as a surprise to many, but the couple lives more than 100 miles apart from each other. While Queen Elizabeth resides in London at Buckingham Palace, Prince Philip lives on Wood Farm Cottage on the grounds of the family’s Sandringham estate. He retired from his royal duties in 2017 at the age of 96, and made the decision to spend more time out of the spotlight and away from the big city.
Read more: How Charles Fell For Camilla: Explained
However, unlike the Prince, the Queen isn’t retired. She still has to stay at Buckingham Palace, since its the monarch’s official working residence. And it doesn’t look like she’s planning on retiring anytime soon unless her health condition forces her to do so. How are they managing the separation then, you might ask.
HOW THEY MAKE IT WORK DESPITE THE DISTANCE
Basically, they just try to see each other as much as they can. Even though they can’t be around each other on a daily basis, they find the time during the week or on the weekends when Queen Elizabeth isn’t working. The Express stated that the duke and his wife “still see each other depending on Her Majesty’s schedule, but she works around it to see him as much as possible.”
A royal source also added that “[Philip] also spends time at Windsor Castle (the Queen’s weekend home) and goes to Buckingham Palace on the odd occasion, like for Remembrance Day.” And of course, the most time they spend with each other is during the holiday season. Queen Elizabeth heads over to Sandringham in December and doesn’t come back until February.
Every marriage has its challenges, and evidently, the same applies to royal unions. Although things are peaceful now, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had a rocky beginning they had to fight through together. Despite the troubles they faced, and even considering their current distance, the bond and love had lasted for over 70 years. Let us know what shocked you most about this article and who your favorite royal couple is. We’d love to hear your thoughts! And don’t forget to check out our related articles about the royals for the latest updates.