This Is What Attracted Prince Philip To Queen Elizabeth

The relationship between Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth has long been regarded as a strong one. The two were teenagers when they first met and, while Prince Philip was, at 18, too old for the 13-year-old princess at that first introduction, it didn't take long for the young royal to fall for him.

It all started on a tour Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret, took with their parents of Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth when Elizabeth was 13. Prince Philip was an 18-year-old cadet charged with babysitting the two princesses.

"Philip had been delegated to look after them and play games with Elizabeth and Margaret," royal historian Christopher Warwick told Vanity Fair. "And when he got tired of playing train sets with them, it's famously known that he said, 'Let's go and jump the nets on the tennis courts.' And Princess Elizabeth was just overwhelmed... Her governess, Marion Crawford, recorded [in her diary] that Elizabeth said, 'See how he jumps.'"

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth were deeply in love

Prince Philip viewed Elizabeth as a child, but the future queen was smitten. The two corresponded for years before they began courting, but when the relationship began to turn serious it was clear that Elizabeth was impressed with Philip's daring attitude just as she had been at that first meeting.

"Philip enjoys driving and does it fast!" she wrote in a letter early in their relationship (via People). "He has his own tiny M.G. which he is very proud of. He has taken me about in it, once up to London, which was great fun."

Philip sharply contrasted the more reserved Elizabeth, but the differences seem to have suited them well. "Even after seven decades, the Queen's face lights up when Philip enters a room," wrote royal biographer Ingrid Seward in a 2018 book about the royal couple's relationship, My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage (via The Washington Post).