The love story of the Queen and Prince Philip traces all the way back to the 1930s. Now, after nearly 70 years of marriage, we look back at the royal romance in pictures…

Princess-Elizabeth-and-Prince-Philip-on-their-wedding-day,-London,-England,-November-20,-1947.

 He was the dashing Prince of Greece and she was a Princess of England. They fell in love when the future Queen was just 21 years old, and from the photos of the couple in their early years you can tell they were besotted with each other.

Queen Elizabeth Ii And Duke Of Edinburgh Visit To France May 1948 Princess Elizabeth And The Prince Philip The Duke Of Edinburgh On The Launch Which Took Them Along The River Seine.They first met properly in July 1939, when the King and Queen took their family to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Elizabeth was 13 at the time and Philip was an 18-year-old cadet in training at the school.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip - 1947They were separated during the war with Philip at sea, and reunited again in 1946 in London when the Prince became a frequent visitor to Buckingham Palace. Later that year Philip proposed to Elizabeth after a month-long stay at Balmoral, and the young princess eagerly and quickly accepted.

Elizabeth-and-PhilipAlthough Elizabeth’s father agreed to the match, he asked the pair to keep their engagement a secret until after the princess’s 21st birthday the following year. Despite the secrecy, Philip confessed he had fallen, “completely and unreservedly” in love with Elizabeth.

At-a-dance-in-Edinburgh-in-1947Prince Philip called his love ‘darling’ or more affectionately ‘Lilibet’, but the smitten couple had to keep their love a secret before the engagement was announced, so Elizabeth was seen out with friends and chaperones at dances and other social occasions during this time – although Philip was never far away!

official-engagement-photo-1947The engagement of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten – as he was then known – and Princess Elizabeth was announced in July 1947 and the marriage took place in Westminster Abbey on 20th November of the same year.

honeymoonThe young couple honeymooned at Broadlands, the Mountbatten estate in Hampshire for a week, and then at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate.

The-Queen-and-Prince-Philip-with-eldest-childrenThe Queen and Prince Philip had two children before Elizabeth succeeded the throne aged just 25, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and two after, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

travellingThe couple have travelled all over the world together – from Canada and America, to Australia and New Zealand and back again. Often leaving their children home with The Queen’s parents, they experienced their adventures alone, just the two of them and this no doubt helped to seal their eternal bond.

The-Queen-and-Prince-PhilipSomething that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth have always had in common is a shared commitment to duty and service, and this has been evident throughout their long marriage. Despite giving their lives to their duties, the Prince and Queen Elizabeth have also had a happy union, supporting one another and helping to lighten the burdens of public life with laughter.

The-Queen-and-Prince-Philip-2

After 68 years married, four children, and 60 years of public service as the heads of the monarchy, there are few storms that Philip and Elizabeth have not weathered together.

In May 2017, Buckingham Palace announced that at the grand age of 96, Prince Philip will be retiring. The Duke turns 96 in June, and from August 2017 will no longer carry out public engagements. The decision was said to have been made by the Duke himself, with the full support of the Queen. As always! It won’t be the last we’ll see of the Duke though. He will still attend events with the rest of the royal family from “time to time”.

The Queen and Prince Philip through the years

Same brooch, same pearls, same look of love, same man <3

In public, the man the Queen has described as her “strength and stay” during her long reign will be taking a step back. However, behind closed doors, we are such he will continue to be as supportive and caring as ever. From infatuated young lovers to a marriage of longevity, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip really are the epitome of royal romance!