Prince Philip tragically passed away this morning, with the Palace confirming the sad news in a statement which read: ‘It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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.’
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip marked their 73rd wedding anniversary in November, 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.’
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.
Our thoughts are with the Queen and the royal family at this difficult time.