Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip became husband and wife at London’s Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947, when the young Queen was just 21-years-old. Elizabeth’s bridesmaid, Lady Pamela Hicks told The Telegraph: “Princess Elizabeth with her marvellous complexion and Prince Philip such a devastatingly handsome naval officer. He looked tender, she was adoring. They really were a dream couple.”
Other bridesmaids included the bride’s sister Princess Margaret, and the best man was David Mountbatten, Marquess of Milford Haven.
The kilt-wearing page boys were Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent.
Queen Elizabeth II first met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, when she was just 13 at the wedding of his cousin, Princess Marina of Greece.
It was love at first sight for the young royal, and she remained besotted with the handsome 18-year-old, writing him letters throughout her teens. In 1946, when the Princess was 20 years old, the couple became secretly engaged.
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In April 1947, her father, King George VI, finally gave them permission to wed, and Philip gave up his Greek citizenship and title and took on a family surname, becoming Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.
On her wedding day, wearing a beautifully embroidered dress by Norman Hartnell, Princess Elizabeth arrived at Westminster Abbey in the Irish State Coach with her father King George VI.
The designer reportedly described it as “the most beautiful dress I had so far made”.
Since her wedding occurred while Britain’s austerity measures were still in place after WWII, Elizabeth famously saved up ration coupons to purchase the material needed to make her gown.
Elizabeth’s embroidered wedding gown was made of ivory Duchesse satin and decorated with 10,000 pearls imported from the US.
The royal’s bridal bouquet was made up of white orchids and a sprig of myrtle which had been snipped from a bush grown from the myrtle in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet.
The bride’s wedding look, which included a double-strand royal heirloom pearl necklace, would not have been complete without a stunning tiara.
Princess Elizabeth wore Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara, consisting of 47 diamond bars using stones taken from a necklace Queen Mary had been given by Queen Victoria.
The Fringe Tiara, passed on to Princess Elizabeth’s mother in 1936, was loaned to the young Princess as the “something borrowed” element of her wedding outfit.
This tiara was later worn by Princess Anne at her wedding in 1973, and Princess Beatrice’s wedding in 2020.
The future Queen also had a 13ft star-patterned full train attached at her shoulders.
Like the gown, the veil and train, with their bursts of stars and flowers, were inspired by Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’.
The bride and groom are seen walking down the aisle followed by their eight bridesmaids and two page boys during the ceremony, which was officiated by both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York.
The groom – who was now styled as the Duke of Edinburgh – presented his Princess with a wedding band of Welsh gold to wear alongside her engagement ring.
The wedding cake was a grand affair, standing nine feet high, weighing 500 pounds, and featuring four tiers.
Made from ingredients received from the Australian Girl Guides, the cake was cut using Philip’s sword. One layer was kept until the christening of Prince Charles and another was sent back to Australia as a thank you.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip honeymooned in Hampshire, England, at the historic Broadlands house owned by Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, and at Birkhill on the Balmoral estate, which now belongs to Prince Charles.
Almost exactly one year after exchanging vows, Elizabeth and Philip welcomed the first of their four children, Prince Charles, on November 14, 1948. Less than five years later, the young Princess was proclaimed Queen in 1953.
The Queen and Philip were married for 73 years after the Duke sadly passed away on April 9, 2021.