7 Lessons We've Learnt From The Queen's Incredible 70-Year Marriage

Prince Philip reckons he's cracked the secret to a long, happy marriage - here's what can we learn from the royal couple's lengthy union.

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Happy Platinum Anniversary, Your Majesty! The Queen and Prince Philip are celebrating 70 years since they tied the knot in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947, broadcast on the radio to 200 million listeners worldwide.

Marrying just two years after WWII ended, the wedding was exactly what ration-hit Britain needed, although it couldn’t have been more different from Kate and Will’s marriage in 2011.

Like other post-war brides, the 21-year-old princess had to collect ration coupons for the material for her silk Norman Hartnell dress and the couple had a staycation honeymoon at Balmoral. But it was the start of a marriage which has survived and thrived through an incredible 70 years, and their unshakeable relationship is inspiration to married couples everywhere.

Queen Prince Philip honeymoon Balmoral

Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images 

It’s no mean feat for anybody to reach such an incredible milestone, let alone to do it in the public eye. Most of us can only aspire to have that kind of comfy companionship earned from 70 years shared by someone’s side, but there’s plenty of lessons we can learn from the Queen and Prince Philip for our own marriages.

1. When You Know You Know

Queen Philip day before wedding

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Queen met Prince Philip, who is actually her distant third cousin, when she was the tender age of 13 and he was a dashing naval officer of 18. Handsome Phil caught her eye jumping over tennis nets to entertain the princess and it was love at first sight. He was seen as a bit of the poor choice for the princess, but she wasn’t about to let anything get in the way of true love. Romance blossomed when they began to exchange letters and seven years later, he popped the question.

Sometimes you just know that someone is “The One”. If it feels right, go with your gut. Take it from the Queen herself.

SEE MORE: Beautiful New Portraits of The Queen and Prince Philip Mark Their 70th Anniversary

2. The Couple Who Laugh Together, Stay Together

Queen giggles Prince Philip

Image: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Those rare times you see the Queen cracking up with laughter in public, it’s always Prince Philip responsible. At the core of their marriage are a firm friendship and a shared sense of humour (although Philip isn’t known for being totally PC) that keeps spirits high through personal ups and downs. Rumour has it that the Queen’s a great mimic in private, while Philip used to love making his wife and young children laugh with a pair of false teeth.  

Find someone who shares your sense of humour - however wacky, weird or downright silly - and don’t let them go. Laughter can get you through the toughest times.

3. Arguments Happen – Work Through Them

Queen Philip holding hands

Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

On a state visit to Australia in 1954, camera crews caught the pair having a blazing row. The Queen was filmed screaming at Philip and “hurling shoes, threats and sporting equipment” (although the crews were asked to hand in the footage so we’ll sadly never get to see the Queen get mad). She later said, “I’m sorry for that little interlude, but, as you know, it happens in every marriage.”

Preach, your maj! Don’t let those couples who boast that they never argue make you feel bad: they’re probably telling porkies anyway. The important thing to remember is that with communication, honesty and forgiveness, there’s usually a way to work through most things.

4. Less is More

Queen Philip kiss

Image: Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Unlike Kate and Will's big balcony smooch, the Queen and Prince Philip rarely ever engage in any PDA. There’s only a handful of times he’s ever been pictured giving her a peck on the cheek; the sweetest was at her coronation in 1953 when, in an unscripted moment, a young Prince Philip gave the Queen a tender kiss – a move said to have infuriated the Queen Mother.

For the Queen, it’s a case of acting professional but if you and your partner aren’t into PDAs then don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you aren’t completely besotted with one another. One tender kiss on the cheek can mean more than snogging each others’ face off at the Christmas party.

5. Marriage Means Mutual Support

Queen Philip wedding day

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

When they got engaged, Philip was required to sacrifice his Greek royal title, promising naval career, and his Orthodox religion for Anglicanism. From breaking the news that her father had died and she was now queen (probably not a challenge you’ll face in your marriage) to standing by her side at the Sapphire Jubilee, Philip has been a constant support to his wife through her record-breaking reign.

His sacrifice took a lot of strength and a life in his wife’s shadow could have led to resentment, but their mutual respect and genuine joy for each other’s achievements has kept them strong through 70 years.

The Queen sets an example for many married couples in her gratitude for Philip. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,” Elizabeth said at their 50th anniversary.

READ MORE: Family Heirloom Inspiration For Your "Something Borrowed"

6. You Marry Their Family Too (Like It or Not)

Royal Family

Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Compromise, with each other and your families, is something the royal couple know all too well. Philip and Elizabeth were secretly engaged in 1946, but her father King George VI said he would only give his blessing on the condition that the pair waited until she turned 21 the following year to marry – so they waited.

Your wedding will unite two families, and they’re always going to think they know best. Finding solutions that make as many people happy as possible is a talent you’ll have to develop quickly.

7. And in Their Own Words

Queen Prince Philip day out

Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images 

Prince Philip thinks he’s knows the exact secret to their lengthy marriage: tolerance and different interests.

“I think the main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage. It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult. You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance,” he said on their golden wedding anniversary.

Years later, he added, “It’s the secret of a happy marriage to have different interests.”

Having different hobbies and interests that give you some independence and grow your friendship groups are incredibly useful for maintaining your identity and avoiding complete co-dependency in a relationship. And, of course, patience is one of the greatest virtues.

If you've been inspired by their marriage, find venues fit for a princess here. You can even get married at Prince Harry's current home of Kensington Palace! 



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