Prince Philip faced ‘difficulties’ as he undertook ‘tough old gig’ alongside Queen


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were married for 73 years. The late monarch publicly celebrated the support provided to her by her husband in 1997, as she hailed him her “strength and stay” in a speech.

“I think Philip took a while to adjust to his wife being queen. Without a doubt.

“She got that it was difficult for him. It was a tough old gig. She was empathetic.”

The late Queen and Philip married on November 20 1947, when Elizabeth was still a princess and heir to the throne.

Prince Philip wearing a blue vest and grey jumper during a walk

Prince Philip ‘took a while’ to adjust to his wife’s role as queen, an expert believes (Image: GETTY)

Prince Philip standing next to the Queen

Prince Philip pledged to become the Queen’s ‘liege man of life and limb’ during her Coronation (Image: GETTY)

At the time, the Duke had promising prospects for a career in the Navy after having taken part in World War 2 and been mentioned in dispatches.

In 1950, aged 29, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and, while he took time to support Princess Elizabeth by accompanying her on overseas tours and important engagements, he took command of the HMS Magpie.

However, he relinquished his active duties in the Navy just a few months before the death of King George VI and the accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II in February 1952, to fully dedicate his life to supporting the Crown.

In June 1953, during her Coronation at Westminster Abbey, he pledged to become her “liege man of life and limb” – five years after she, as wife, had vowed to “obey” him during their wedding ceremony.

Prince Philip taking the salute

Prince Philip photographed in 1947 when he was a Lieutenant (Image: GETTY)

Prince Philip looking at the Queen

Prince Philip and the late Queen were married for 73 years (Image: GETTY)

And, even after his death, the late Queen continued to pay tribute to her husband, honouring for example his commitment to conservation and the environment during an address to the attendees at COP26 or remembering his “mischievous, enquiring twinkle” during her last-ever Christmas broadcast last year.

Dr Dunlop believes Elizabeth and Philip’s union was so strong not just because of the love and affection they felt for each other, but also for the purpose they shared.

She said: “They had a practical marriage, and they loved each other and they also had a mission – monarchy. All good marriages need a common purpose.

Prince Philip holding young Charles while playing with Princess Anne, held by the Queen

Prince Philip and the Queen had four children (Image: GETTY)

Prince Philip looking at the Queen on her wedding gown

Prince Philip and the Queen on their wedding day (Image: GETTY)

“He absolutely believed in it to his dying day and so did she.”

Dr Dunlop had previously told Philip, despite joining the Royal Family as an outsider who was born abroad, “understood and believed in monarchy” as he himself was born part of a royal family, the Greek one.

She added: “He therefore bought into and understood the institution he was entering [by marriage].”


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