Why Was The Queen Warned Not To Marry Prince Philip?

queen elizabeth prince philip

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

The Queen and Prince Philip have been very happily married for nearly 70 years, but if Her Majesty had followed the romantic advice of her courtiers as a young woman, things could have turned out very differently indeed.

Royal biographer A. N. Wilson has revealed that Elizabeth was often warned not to marry the Duke of Edinburgh – who was then Philip Mountbatten, Prince of Greece and Denmark – because his legendary sense of humour made him ‘too funny’ for the young princess.

‘When she made it quite clear from the age of about 14 that she was in love with Prince Philip, who was a beautiful German Prince with blond hair, all the courtiers said he was entirely the wrong person to choose,’ Wilson explained at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, reports The Telegraph.

queen prince philip
The Queen and Prince Philip at the Highland Games earlier this year ©Getty Images

‘They said it for lots of reasons, but the fact is he was wrong. The Queen is a very reserved, diligent person. He isn’t. He was a naval officer and he was also quite funny’

The Queen met her future husband in 1939 on a royal visit to Dartmouth naval college, when the 18-year-old cadet was asked to entertain the two young princesses; the pair bonded over a game of croquet, and afterwards began to exchange letters.

The pair became secretly engaged seven years later in 1946, after Philip asked King George VI for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. He gave his blessing, as long as the news wouldn’t be announced formally for another year.

queen prince philip wedding
The Queen and Prince Philip on their wedding day in 1947 ©Getty Images

‘Many of his jokes are extremely funny,’ Wilson added. ‘He has been what she has described, which is a tower of strength.’

‘The fact that he makes all these so-called gaffes, well, I don’t think they are gaffes. They are the kind of jokes a naval officer of a certain age might make. I think [the jokes are] made rather wonderfully.’

The Queen and Prince Philip will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on November 20 2017, which is perhaps the ultimate proof that one shouldn’t always listen to one’s courtiers, after all.

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