Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II were married for 73 years before the prince died at age 99 in April 2021. The couple wed in 1947, shortly after the end of World War II and they would remain a unit, representing the royal family while raising four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.
However, the royal couple’s marriage was not without its ups and downs. The early years of their marraige were blissful and carefree with the duke focused on his role in the Royal Navy. However, in 1952, the queen’s father died suddenly and everything changed.
After a bit of friction, the pair found their stride. In the end, Prince Philip described his marraige to the queen with one word.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s marriage has some challenges
Though the prince and the queen married for love, they were not prepared to take on their roles as the head of the monarchy so soon. As a result, they had some major challenges to work through.
Prince Philip was used to being the alpha, so standing by his wife’s side as her helpmate and supporter was something that took him quite some time to get used to.
Moreover, the prince greatly resented giving up his role in Royal Navy for his royal duties. He found them so dull and uninspiring that in the first year of the queen’s reign he became bedridden.
“He came down with a severe case of jaundice—a condition often linked with stress and depression—and spent three agonizing weeks in a dark room trying to recover,” royal author Bryan Kozlowski wrote via Marie Claire.
Prince Philip responded to rumors that he’d cheated on Queen Elizabeth
In the 1950s, rumors swirled that Prince Philip had been unfaithful to Queen Elizabeth. Resenting his new role as the man who walked behind his wife, the British tabloids said he had an affair with stage performer Patricia Kirkwood when the queen was eight months pregnant.
The duke’s cozy relationship with Sacha Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn also raised eyebrows The duchess also did very little to dispel the affair talk. “It’s complicated and at the same time quite simple,” she told reporters according to Icons. “[Philip] needs a playmate and someone to share his intellectual pursuits.”
In the end, Prince Philip clapped back at any cheating rumors. “Privately, he will say, ‘How could I?’” Mike Parker, the duke’s first Private Secretary told The Telegraph in 2004. “‘I’ve had a detective in my company, night and day, since 1947.’”
Prince Philip described his marriage to Queen Elizabeth with 1 word
In the end, the royal couple weathered many scandals and storms. During the couple’s golden wedding anniversary luncheon in 1997, Prince Philip described his relationship with the queen as one of “tolerance.”
“I think the main lesson we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage…you can take it from me that the queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance,” he said.
“Tolerance in good relationships is when both people let go of things that aren’t possible and are learning to be happy and content with what they have,” William Schroeder, co-owner and a counselor at Just Mind, LLC, told Pure Wow. “You have to find a way to accept and admire what you have as opposed to focusing on what you don’t have. This means letting go of emotional accounting of one another’s faults.”
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