Inside The Queen's Relationship With Prince Philip Before His Death

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth were married on Nov. 20, 1947. The pair first met in 1934 at the wedding of Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, and Elizabeth's cousin, Prince George, Duke of Kent. Elizabeth and Philip themselves are distant cousins, both being the great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria (via Brides).

Both were young at the time, and they reconnected a few years later in 1939 when Elizabeth was 13 and Philip was 18. In Margaret Rhodes' memoir, The Final Curtsey, the Queen's cousin described Elizabeth as immediately in love. "She never looked at anyone else" (via Town & Country).

Their marriage has been written about more times than one could count. As the Queen of England, nearly everything about Elizabeth's life has been open to interpretation, lengthy essays and books, films, and even television series. The pair remained close throughout their decades together. In recent years, Prince Philip moved to the couple's Sandringham estate but returned regularly to be with the Queen at Windsor Castle (via The Guardian).

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth seemed closer than ever

In recent years, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth were believed to have been as close as ever. They quietly celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary at home back in November 2020, only publicly sharing a photo of the two of them opening a card from Prince William and Kate Middleton's children (via BBC).

Prince Philip's retirement in 2017 meant that the couple no longer technically lived together, but in recent months they were isolating at home together at Windsor Castle. Woman & Home noted that while at Sandringham, Philip was "thought to pass the time painting, reading and driving a horse and carriage around the estate." A palace courtier also previously noted that while Philip could have stayed on at Windsor Castle with the Queen, ever the dutiful wife, she hoped retirement would allow him to relax. 

"The Queen feels the Duke has earned a proper retirement. She knows him too well — if he was still at the centre of royal life he'd feel he had to be involved. Being at Wood Farm means he's not too far away, but far enough to be able to relax" (via Woman & Home).