BY MARY MADORMO
Being married for over 70 years is a major accomplishment. Not to mention if that marriage has been in the world spotlight since the day of “I do.” That is just the case for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Having been together for decades, this couple has shown the world just how far love can go. However, no marriage is completely easy, and this royal couple definitely isn’t an exception.
Being royal makes a situation complicated, and over the years, many strange facts have come out about the queen and prince. So let’s take a closer look at some strange facts you may not have known about the pair.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are related
Some may not know that the queen and prince are actually distantly related. Being third cousins, the two met when they were much younger. As TIME reported, Elizabeth was 13 years old at the time and fell for Philip pretty quickly after meeting him.
While Elizabeth grew up within a well-off family, Philip had a different experience growing up. TIME described it, saying 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.”
Elizabeth’s parents did not approve of the match
In the beginning, King George VI didn’t exactly approve of his daughter’s choice of groom. As TIME reported, the king was concerned about British opinion when it came to his daughter marrying a Greek prince.
And it wasn’t just Philip’s family heritage that affected the King’s opinion. The article also described what “irritated” the king. Philip’s “loud, boisterous laugh and his blunt, seagoing manners” had an effect as well.
But, spoiler alert, Elizabeth was able to marry the man she wanted. She and Philip were married with she was 21 years old.
Philip had to make some sacrifices to marry Elizabeth
In order to marry Elizabeth, Philip had to make some changes.
First off, he had to become a naturalized British citizen. As E! Online shared, Elizabeth’s parents were not thrilled at the time with his family. None of his German family members were allowed to come to the wedding. This even included Philip’s three sisters who had married German men.
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.
Elizabeth used ration coupons to buy her wedding dress
When one thinks of a royal wedding, words like glamorous, elegant and extravagant come to mind. However, this wasn’t the case for Elizabeth and Philip’s nuptials.
Great Britain was still recovering from World War II when the couple was married. Because of this, the queen-to-be actually used ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress materials. As E! Online shared, the government allowed Elizabeth extra coupons (200 to be exact) for the dress.
The resulting dress was beautiful. It included a 13-foot-long train and was embroidered with crystals.
The couple has always had connecting bedrooms
Elizabeth and Philip were like any other married couple after their wedding, except for the whole royalty thing. When the couple moved to Clarence House in 1949, they had connected bedrooms. Yes, they had their own bedrooms.
The purpose was practicality. As Vanity Fair reported, the royal couple’s cousin Lady Pamela Mountbatten shared the reasoning for the two bedrooms, saying, “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.”
Philip was not crowned at the coronation ceremony with Queen Elizabeth
When Elizabeth officially became queen, that didn’t mean her husband received a new title as well. In fact, Philip was still the Duke of Edinburgh for some time after Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.
According to BBC, he dedicated himself to her at the ceremony, saying, “I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God.”
It was not until 1957 that Philip became an official prince. While there is only speculation about why this change happened years later, as POPSUGAR reported, there were suggestions that the title change came as a way to ease tension in the royal marriage.
There are suspicions that Philip wasn’t always faithful
With such a highly publicized marriage, there was bound to be news about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The news that came out over the years was that perhaps Philip was not always faithful in his marriage.
There have been rumors over time that associate Philip with women he knew throughout the years. For example, author Gyles Brandreth discovered a rumor that started in The Baltimore Sun (via Vanity Fair) that stated 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.”
As the article reported, a source close to the family said that the report made Philip “very, very angry.” Although nothing was discovered, these rumors lasted for quite some time.
The couple does not hold hands in public
Throughout the years, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have been seen together many, many times in public. However, they are never seen holding hands during those public moments. But it isn’t because they aren’t fond of each other.
As royal biographer Gyles Brandreth said during an interview with Radio Times (via People), the couple believes in “stoic values” that are reflective of their generation. He also said that Prince Philip called himself more of a “pragmatist” than a romantic.
And yet Elizabeth and Philip make a good team. As Brandreth continued on to suggest that while Queen Elizabeth’s reign is a success, Prince Philip ought to be considered a co-author in that success, adding further that while Elizabeth wears the crown, it is Philip who dons the pants. “He is the power behind the throne — shrewd, steadfast, never-failingly supportive.”