In September 2022, an era ended before our eyes — the era of Queen Elizabeth II. She will be remembered not only for her longest reign, but also for her magical love story with Prince Philip, which still touches hearts. In this article, we offer to once again dive into the fairy tale of the royal couple and learn some interesting facts about the wedding of Elizabeth and Philip.
1. Elizabeth met Philip for the first time at a wedding
Yes, not on their own, but still 🙂 The first meeting of Elizabeth with her future husband took place in 1934, at the wedding of Princess Marina and Prince George, Duke of Kent. Then the future queen was only 8 years old. The next meeting took place in 5 years, after which they secretly began to correspond. Very soon Elizaveta fell in love.
Philip proposed to Lilibeth in 1946, but the engagement was kept secret until she was 21 years old. Probably, the long wait tired the couple, so only 4 months passed from the moment the engagement was officially announced to the wedding itself. We can imagine what was happening in the palace, because it is an extremely short period for a holiday of this scale 🙂
2. Elizabeth’s wedding dress became a symbol of hope
We will remind that the wedding of the future queen fell on extremely difficult times for Britain — the war had just ended, so society needed time to recover from its consequences. Elizabeth’s wedding dress used an image inspired by Botticelli’s painting Primavera, the meaning of which is rebirth and hope. For the British, it became a symbol of new times and post-war rebirth, hope for a peaceful life and prosperity of the country.
3. The British tried to sponsor the wedding
The enormous significance of the royal wedding to the people of Britain is not literary exaggeration or the influence of propaganda. The best proof of this was that ordinary English women from all over the kingdom sent Elizabeth their own vouchers for cloth, since after the war much of the goods were in short supply. Of course, the royal family returned all the donations, because the vouchers were personal. However, such a gesture from citizens was very eloquent 🙂
4. Elizabeth’s wedding rings have a long history, and Philip never wore them
Both of Elizabeth’s wedding rings carry a hidden sentimental meaning. The engagement ring was made from diamonds previously in the tiara of Princess Alice, Philip’s mother. The wedding ring itself was made from a nugget of Welsh gold that was presented to the Queen Mother. The tradition of using this gold continues in the new generation of the royal family: it was followed by Princess Diana, Princess Anne and Kate Middleton.
As for Philip, the lack of a ring is not a protest or a consort’s prank. Although it would be very much in his character 🙂 It is a matter of the tradition of the royal family, which is also followed, for example, by Prince William and Princess Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank. Only the new King of Britain, Charles, wears a wedding ring, but he also hides it under a signet ring.
5. Elizabeth’s tiara broke before the wedding itself
Don’t worry: everything can get out of hand on the wedding day, even for representatives of the cream of society. No titles and crowds of assistants can save you from problems on such an exciting day. For example, during Elizabeth’s meeting, the Queen Mother’s tiara broke on her head just before leaving the church. Fortunately, the royal jeweler was on hand to rectify the situation, although the unpleasant aftermath of the incident can be seen in the photographs.
By the way, if you want to learn more about top-quality wedding facaps, read our article “Not everything is so fabulous: force majeure at royal weddings”
6. The queen forgot an important ornament at home
Fortunately, not a wedding ring 🙂 We are talking about a string of pearls that Elizaveta’s father gave her for her wedding. The bride forgot her necklace at St James’s Palace, so her personal assistant had to quickly bring the pearls before the official photo shoot. The task will not seem so simple if you remember that traffic in London literally stopped due to the excitement caused by the royal wedding.
7. 2 thousand guests were invited to the wedding
Such a wedding definitely cannot be called a chamber wedding! About two thousand guests were invited to Westminster Abbey, but not only them saw the ceremony. The wedding of Elizaveta and Philip was innovative at the time, because it was broadcast live on the BBC channel. This was the first step in the future course of the queen to bring the royal family closer to the people, which later made Elizabeth the undisputed favorite not only of the British, but also of the whole world.
8. The king wrote a private greeting to the bride
Usually, congratulation on the wedding in the royal circle is public in the form of a speech, but Elizaveta’s father decided to write a private letter to his daughter. Unfortunately, the royal status greatly limits personal space, but thanks to this we can read these touching words:
“I was so proud of you and excited to be so close to you on our long walk through Westminster Abbey, but when I held out your hand to the Archbishop, I felt I had lost something very precious. You were so calm and composed during the Service and said your words with such conviction that I knew everything was going to be okay… I have been proud to watch you grow all these years under the skillful guidance of Mom, who, like you, is the best person in the world in my eyes. And I know that I can always count on you, and now on Philip, to help our cause. Your departure from us has left a huge void in our lives, but remember that your old home is still yours and return to it as often as possible. I can see that you are extremely happy with Philip, and that’s right, but don’t forget about us. This is the desire of your ever-loving and devoted, Father.”
The article was prepared based on the materials of The Knot website