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The Queen has announced that her 'beloved' husband, Prince Philip, has died at the age of 99.
A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
The pair had been married since 1947 and their relationship timeline is one that begins in the 1930s, spanning over 70 years and what a remarkable love story it’s been.
It was when the Queen was 13 years old that Prince Philip became a glint in her eye during the summer of 1939. At this point, Prince Philip Mountbatten was the Prince of Greece, and five years older than she was. And, according to Elizabeth’s cousin Margaret Rhodes it was, indeed, “love from the very beginning.”
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Before this, they’d had a brief encounter when Elizabeth was just eight years old, at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, Duke of Kent, back in 1934.
At the time of their meeting several years later, during a trip to Dartmouth’s Britannia Royal Naval College, Prince Philip was set to embark on a career with the Royal Navy and would come aboard King George VI’s yacht for meals.
Marion Crawford, who was Elizabeth’s governess, wrote that it was Philip’s “viking” good looks, fair hair and blue eyes that had the young princess turning “pink faced” when he’d join the family for dinner.
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Elizabeth’s affection for her future husband was noted by Lord Louis Mountbatten, an aide to Elizabeth’s father, King George. He penned in his diary that their meeting was “a great success.”
Following on from this, Elizabeth and Philip began to exchange letters and in 1946, Philip asked King George VI for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage.
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Agreeing, the king requested that the formal announcement be delayed until Elizabeth turned 21 the following April, and reports at the time said the king and queen were reluctant to approve the marriage as a result of Elizabeth being “too young.”
Philip dropped his Greek and Danish royal titles to marry Elizabeth and became a British subject, after fears that Philip, who considered himself Danish, had German relations at the time.
The pair then married at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947, and, today, some 73 years later, they’ve stood side by side for a beautiful photo in celebration of Philip’s 99th birthday.
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