TBT: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's Wedding Photos

queen elizabeth wedding

Photo: Getty Images

Happy 90th Birthday Queen Elizabeth! England's longest running monarch is celebrating a big birthday this week and the whole family has gotten in on the fun — did you see that adorable pic of the 4 generations of royals? Yeah, we love Prince George too!

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, we're looking back on the original royal wedding of the century, Queen Elizabeth's November 20, 1947 wedding to Prince Phillip!


Photo: Getty Images

How They Met
As is common in European royal families, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip of Greece are distant cousins. Both are great-great-grandchildren of the OG bride, Queen Victoria. They first met when she was 13 and he was 18, when the then Princess visited the Royal Navy College with her family (he was a cadet in training), and evidently it was love at first site.

The Queen's then nanny Marion Crawford noted in her book that Elizabeth "never took her eyes off him." While Elizabeth's cousin Margaret Rhodes told Vanity Fair, "She never looked at anyone else."

Phillip and the Princess continued to correspond while he was at sea during World War II. Phillip regularly visited the royal family while on leave from the navy, spending time with Elizabeth at Windsor Castle and Balmoral, the family's Scottish estate (one of the Queen's favorite places until this day).

The Proposal

After the war, Phillip relocated to London and frequently visited the young Princess at Buckingham Palace.

Phillip proposed to Elizabeth after a month-long vacation at Balmoral with her family. Her father insisted that the engagement be kept under wraps until the Princess turned 21. Phillip then gave up his title as H.R.H. Prince Phillip of Greece.

An engagement ring was crafted by Philip Antrobus, a London jeweler, out of diamonds from Philip's mother's tiara.


Photo: Getty Images

The Dress

Elizabeth chose a duchesse satin long sleeved wedding gown with floral embroidery and crystal and pearl appliques (10,000 pearls to be exact) designed by Norman Hartnell, who cited as his inspiration Botticelli's painting of Primavera. The 13-foot silk train made for quite the entrance, and no doubt set royal wedding trends for the future (hello Fergie and Princess Diana's trains!).


Photo: Getty Images

Her veil was of course topped off with a diamond tiara, made from a necklace given to Queen Victoria as a wedding present.


Photo: Getty Images

The Details

Much like Prince William and Duchess Kate after them, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's nuptials took place at Westminster Abbey. But, the wedding was the first major event to grace London since the end of the war. The King insisted on a quiet wedding as to not offend the British people, and the Princess even saved up ration card to purchase a wedding gown.

Only 150 guests attended the wedding celebration, a luncheon at Buckingham Palace, which featured a towering tiered wedding cake.


Photo: Getty Images

Flowers were present in the form of pink and white carnations on the tables, and small bouquets of myrtle and Balmoral heather at each seat. The only over top portion of the celebration: the bride and groom cut their 4-tier, 500 pound, wedding cake with Phillip's sword.


Photo: Getty Images

The Honeymoon

In typical Queen Elizabeth fashion — she loves the outdoors — the couple honeymooned at Broadlands, his family's estate in Hampshire, and then spent two weeks in a an early-18th-century stone lodge in the middle of the woods of the Balmoral estate. The couple spent much of the honeymoon deerstalking.

Dying to know more about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip? In case you missed it, a Netflix series celebrating Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's love story premieres in November! We're counting the days!

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