Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip Fairytale Wedding In Details: What Made It So Special
With 70 years of marriage under their belt, the Queen and Prince Philip have become pretty inspirational when it comes to standing by each other's side. So, we’ve compiled a list of 70 facts about the Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding! Here are some fascinating facts you definitely didn’t know.
A Royal Engagement
70. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh met for the first time in 1934, at Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark’s wedding to Prince George, Duke of Kent.
69. They officially announced their engagement on 9 July 1947.
The Wedding Day
68. The Royal Wedding took place shortly after (four months later to be exact) at Westminster Abbey 10:30 am on 20 November 1947.
67. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, known as the Duke and Duchess of York at the time, also married at the Abbey on April 26 1923.
66. Queen Elizabeth, then Princess Elizabeth, happened to be the 10th member within The Royal Family to get married at Westminster Abbey.
Princess Elizabeth and the Queen
65. The very first Royal wedding that took place in the Abbey was on 11 November 1100, when King Henry I married Princess Matilda of Scotland.
64. In the Country of London, Prince Philip was termed The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich before the wedding.
63. Princess Elizabeth arrived at the Abbey together with her father, George IV, in the Irish State Coach.
62. The Queen had eight bridesmaids: HRH The Princess Margaret, HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Lady Mary Cambridge, The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten, The Hon. Margaret Elpinstone and Diana Bowes-Lyon.
61. The page boys were Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent.
60. David Mountbatten, the Marquess of Milford Haven, was The Duke of Edinburgh's best man.
59. There were 2,000 guests at the ceremony.
58. Numerous foreign Royals came to the wedding, including The King of Iraq, Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg.
57. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, and the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett, officiated the ceremony.
56. BBC Radio recorded and broadcasted the ceremony to 200 million people worldwide.
55. The director music for the wedding was Australian William Neil McKie, the organist and Master of the Choristers at the Abbey.
54. A motet was composed by McKie for the ceremony, titled: "We wait for thy loving kindness, O God."
53. Sir Edward Cuthbert Bairstow, an English organist and composer, sung Psalm 67 ("God be merciful unto us and bless us") into a setting.
52. "Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ" by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, was the anthem of the wedding.
51. "Praise, my soul, the king of heaven", and "The Lord's my Shepherd" were the hymns, done to the Scottish tune "Crimond.”
50. Arnold Bax composed a special fanfare, which commenced the service, and Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” finished it off.
49. The Chapel Royal and St George's Chapel in Windsor choir joined the abbey choir, totaling to 91 singers.
The Wedding Outfits
48. The wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold which came from the Clogau St David's mine, near Dolgellau.
47. Jewellers Philip Antrobus custom-made the platinum and diamond engagement ring, using diamonds that belonged to Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg.
46. Sir Norman Hartnell designed Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress. His winning design was finally approved mid-August, which is less than three months before the wedding was supposed to take place!
45. Hartnell’s inspiration for the design came from Botticelli’s famous Primavera painting, symbolizing the coming of spring.
44. The dress has a heart-shaped neckline, with a simple cut and fitted bodice, a low v-pointed waist, as well as a floor-length paneled skirt.
43. Since the wedding took place shortly after WWII, Princess Elizabeth use ration coupons to pay for her dress, because rationing measures was still in place during that time.
42. The Princess received coupons from hundreds of people across the UK but returned them since it was illegal to use them.
41. The dress has a 15-foot silk tulle full court train, that is attached at the shoulders. It’s also embroidered in peral, crystal, as well as transparent applique tulle embroidery.
40. Lullingstone Castle in Kent produced the satin for the applique and was woven by Warner & Sons.
39. The dress was sewn from duchesse sating, which was ordered from the Winterthur firm, located near Dunfermline in Scotland.
38. Crystals and 10,000 seed pearls were imported from the USA, used to decorate the dress.
37. Elizabeth's outfit was finished off with ivory duchesse satin high-heeled sandals, trimmed with silver and seed pearl buckles, created by Edward Rayne.
36. For jewelry, the princess wore two pearl necklaces, the shorter necklace belonging to Anne, the last Stuart Queen, also called the ‘Queen Anne’ necklace.
35. The second necklace belonged to King George II’s wife, and was called the ‘Queen Caroline.’
34. Queen Victoria left both of the necklaces to the Crown, and were later given to Princess Elizabeth as a wedding present from her father, King George VI.
33. The Queen wore a diamond fringe tiara that was lent to her for the wedding.
32. Norman Hartnell designed Princess Elizabeth's going-away outfit as well, which was a mist-blue dress and coat.
31. The dress was displayed at St James’s Palace after the wedding and went on tour across the UK.
The Wedding Flowers
30. Princess Elizabeth’s bouquet was composed of white orchids, plus a sprig of myrtle, a tradition that Queen Victoria started.
29. Prince Albert’s grandmother gave Victoria some myrtle, which is how the tradition began.
28. The bridal bouquet was sent back to Westminster Abbey a day after the wedding and was laid on the Tomb of the Unkown Warrior.
27. The flowers for the bouquet were supplied by The Worshipful Company of Gardener, and were arranged by the florist MH Longman.
The Wedding Reception
26. A wedding breakfast took place at lunchtime after the service finished, at the Ball-Supper Room in Buckingham Palace.
25. The menu included Filet de Sole Mountbatten, Perdreau en Casserole, Bombe Glacee Princess Elizabeth.
24. The wedding favours included individual posies of myrtle, as well as white Balmoral heather.
23. Music was also played during the breakfast, by the string band of the Grenadier Guards.
22. The newlyweds infamously made their way to the Buckingham Palace balcony, waving to huge crowds and wellwishers.
The Wedding Gifts
21. They received over 2,500 wedding presents, and 10,000 telegrams congratulating the couple, coming from all around the world.
20. Even Mahatma Gandhi sent a gift! He spun a piece of cotton lace, embroidered with the words “Jai Hind”, which means “Victoria for India.”
19. The newlyweds got a lot of practical gifts, too. Princess Margaret gave a picnic case, and Queen Mary gave a bookcase. A Singer sewing machine and a fridge are some of the other gifts included.
18. The gifts were also put on display at St James’s Palace, and members of the public could come to take a look at them.
The Wedding Cake
17. McVitie and Price baked the official wedding cake, even though the Royal couple actually received eleven of them.
16. Ingredients for the cake were brought in from all around the world, and even included sugar from the Girl Guides in Australia, giving the cake the name ‘The 10,000 Mile Cake.’
15. The couple’s wedding cake was nine feet high, and four tiers.
14. The decorations included the arms of both of the couple’s families, the bride and groom’s monograms, sugar-iced figured of their favorite activities, plus regimental and naval badges.
13. The wedding cake was cut with the Duke’s Mountbatten sword, a wedding present from The King.
The Royal Honeymoon
12. The newlyweds spent their wedding night in Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten’s, home which is located in Broadlands, Hampshire.
11. Elizabeth and Philip traveled to Hampshire by train, leaving from Waterloo Station. Princess Elizabeth’s Corgi, Susan, joined the couple.
10. They spent the rest of their honeymoon at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate.
9. In the year of the coronation, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary with a dance at Clarence house, that was given by the Queen Mother.
8. The monarch and The Duke celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 1972, with a Service that took place at Westminster Abbey.
7. Afterward, Elizabeth and Philip attended a celebratory lunch at the Guildhall with The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal, which was hosted by the Lord Mayor and the Corporation of London.
6. The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal hosted a celebration party in the evening at Buckingham Palace.
5. In 1997, the Royal Couple celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary by hosting a lunch at banqueting House in London.
4. At the event, the Queen gave a speech:
'What a remarkable fifty years they have been: for the world, for the Commonwealth and for Britain.'
3. Queen Elizabeth was presented with an identical copy of her wedding bouquet.
Read more: Prince Charles Won't Automatically Be The Head of the Commonwealth Once He's King, And This Is The Reason Why.
2. In 2007, Elizabeth became the very first British Monarch that celebrated a Diamon Wedding anniversary.
1. To mark the 2007 diamond wedding anniversary, United Biscuits, (they now own McVities) baked two cakes.
Read more: Prince Charles Was Crying Before His Wedding Day And Prince Harry May Not Be Charles’ Son.
Elizabeth’s long-lasting marriage to Prince Philip should be celebrated just as much as her long-reigning monarchy! With a couple that’s gone through so much together, it is truly incredible that both of the Royals found the strength to stay by each other’s side for this many decades. Who is your favorite royal couple? Let us know in the comments! And stay tuned for some more awesome facts about our beloved, royal Brits.