Yesterday, the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary, marking 70 years since the then-Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten were married at Westminster Abbey. Their relationship is now the longest union in our royal history: no British monarch has previously reached this milestone with their consort.
So, what does one gift to one’s significant other after 70 years of marriage, when one has all of the Queen’s royal might at one’s disposal? A brand shiny new title is what – and yesterday, it was announced that Prince Philip has received just that, in recognition of standing by the Queen’s side as her ‘strength and stay’ for all these years. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
Prince Philip, of course, already boasts a string of titles. Not only is he the Duke of Edinburgh (an honour which he received on the morning of his wedding day in 1947), he can also go by Earl of Merioneth or Baron Greenwich. Or perhaps, if he’s feeling particularly loquacious,by Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, or even Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Now, though, he can add another honour to his name (and to his extensive Wikipedia page), because Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Her Majesty has appointed His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to be a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (also known by its snappier acronym, GCVO), in recognition of ‘services to the Sovereign.’
Titles in the Royal Victorian Order can only be bestowed by the Queen herself; she has previously awarded the title to her grandson Prince Harry and to her daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
For their anniversary celebrations, the Queen and Prince Philip kept things low-key, inviting close family members (including, yes, William, Kate and Harry, who shared a taxi – though no Meghan Markle) to a private dinner at Windsor Castle.
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The couple officially announce their engagement at Buckingham Palace, July 1947