Updated: Sep 19, 2022
The Queen and Prince Philip's union made history by achieving the longest marriage of any British sovereign of 73 years! They were married on November 20, 1947. Back then they were of course, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. Tying the knot in the rather austere years of post-war Britain, gave way to much excitement, pomp and majesty.
In 1939, Princess Elizabeth was just 13 years old when she met her dashing distant cousin, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, who was five years her senior.
He was about to join the Royal Navy, as she toured the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. He was the young officer assigned to escort her around that day.
The Royal Family were adamant that the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip would reflect the country’s post-war situation while also offering a chance for the nation to celebrate.
Like many brides at the time, Princess Elizabeth had to save her rationing coupons to buy the materials for her dress but was given an extra 200 from the government to help. While well-wishers generously sent their own to the royal, they had to be sent back as rules dictated that coupons could not be shared outside of households.
Designed by Norman Hartnell, Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress was made from ivory silk, duchesse satin and silver thread, the dress featured crystals, 10,000 seed pearls, a fitted bodice, heart-shaped neckline, long sleeves and a 15ft train. It was made in just seven weeks by 350 skilled women since the wedding took place only four months after the couple’s engagement announcement. Norman Hartnell also designed Elizabeth’s going away outfit.
Our obsession with Royal Weddings exists because we are curious by nature and would naturally be intrigued by pomp and ceremony where money is no object. It is a Disney fantasy come to real life.
As we bid farewell to Her Majesty who reigned for 70 years and 214 days, I remember her visit to Nassau as a little 12 year old girl. We carried our aqua, black and yellow plaque cards onto the wide open field at Clifford Park to form the Bahamian flag. We wore white shirts, shorts and white sneakers and socks and performed the song, "Beautiful Bahama-land."She loved it so and gave us a day off from school.
Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for being the longest of any British monarch, the longest recorded of any female head of state in history, and the second-longest verified reign of any sovereign in history. May she rest in peace.