Queen Elizabeth fought for the right to marry Prince Philip

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  • And 70 years later they're sill going strong

    Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

    This year Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip mark their 70th wedding anniversary, but it may never have been if Elizabeth hadn’t fought for the right to marry the man she loved.

    Those familiar with Netflix series The Crown (which the queen has even watched it herself) will know that Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, and courtiers at the palace were not particularly keen for her to marry Philip Mountbatten. He was a charming young naval officer, and people were concerned that they wouldn’t make a good match.

    Sir Edward Ford, the assistant private secretary between 1952 and 1967, told PEOPLE: ‘Some were very concerned. The line was slightly tenuous at that point.

    ‘So, it was only natural that the older generation — friends of the King like Lord Salisbury — were concerned that who the Queen was with was totally and utterly suitable. So they were sniffing around to see what he was like.’

    queen elizabeth

    Credit: REX

    However, Elizabeth fought to marry Philip, with The Crown‘s executive producer Suzanne Mackie saying: ‘One of Elizabeth’s greatest achievements is being allowed to marry the love of her life. Like any marriage, it would undertake endless recalibration and navigation and re-negotiation.’

    Biographer Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen, told PEOPLE: ‘She fell in love at age 18 and never looked at anyone else.’

    Elizabeth’s persistence paid off and eventually she was allowed to marry the man she loved.

    Ford continued: ‘He was a perfectly natural young sailor and very much in love with the girl of the house. But he would not in any way fawn on the elders and say, ‘What a suitable husband I am going to be.’ He was very much his own man.’

    What a real life fairy tale…

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