Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Got Married Despite Being Relatives Explained

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have been married for an outstanding 71 years and have shared many priceless memories and moments together, but there is a lot more they share that some people may not know. 

A travel website, named Expedia, developed an online tool back in 2017 that shows how the Scandinavian and British royal families have been connected by marriage throughout the ages. So let's dive deeper into this exciting find. 

It's amazing just how closely linked the British royal family is, where Elizabeth is a direct descendant on her father's side. Victoria was crowned queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in February 1837. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha then married Elizabeth in 1840, and together they had nine children, of which four are sons, and five are daughters.

Elizabeth and Philip are the direct descendants of Queen Victoria and her eldest son, Edward VII, was born in 1841. In 1901, following Victoria's death, he ascended the throne. Then in 1910, Edward VII's second-eldest son, George V, who is Elizabeth's grandfather, succeeded him to the throne. Here is a picture of the gorgeous Queen Victoria in all her glory.

He reigned until his untimely death in January 1936, when his son Edward VIII became king. In December 1936, Edward resigned as king, making his younger brother, George VI, the new monarch.  This opened the way for Elizabeth to ascend the throne on February 6, 1952, following the death of her father.

She became Britain's longest-reigning monarch in October 2016. The Royals are third cousins through Victoria. While Victoria is Elizabeth's paternal great-great-grandmother, Philip is related to the monarch on his mother's side. Here is a picture of the handsome King George VI. 

Princess Alice, Victoria's second daughter, was born in 1843. She married Louis IV in 1862, the Grand Duke of Hesse, and in 1863, Alice gave birth to her first child, Victoria, who went on to marry her father's first cousin, Prince Louis of Battenberg, in 1884. Alice and Louis IV had seven children together. 

One year later, Victoria and Louis of Battenberg had their first child, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who was Philip's mother. Alice was still closely connected to the British royal family and was even born at Windsor Castle in Berkshire in the queen's presence. Take a look at their impressive lineage in this family-tree below. 

Philip was the youngest son of Princess Alice of Battenberg. In 1903, she then married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, after meeting him at Edward's coronation in London the previous year. Together they had five children, with Philip being the youngest, born in 1921, and this is what makes Philip and Elizabeth third cousins. Though marrying relatives is far less common today, and rather frowned upon for obvious reasons including health issues. 

Expedia told Business Insider it was a necessity for most royal families over the centuries. "In many countries, you would lose your right to the throne if you married a commoner," Expedia's Sandra Pearson said. "Hence, your choice was very limited, and you most probably would be related." Can you tell which child is Prince Philip in this picture below? Back then, they would dress all little boys up in feminine attire. 

When you look at the full infographic, as shared above, it shows just how close European royal families have been for generations. Some, Pearson added, even "inherited" their brides. An example of this is Mary of Teck, Elizabeth's grandmother, who was initially engaged to Prince Albert, George V's older brother and the next in line to the throne.

Due to Albert's death shortly before their planned wedding in 1892, George became the apparent heir who inherited the engagement and married her instead. Nonetheless, in recent years, the requirements for marriage have slackened thankfully, and many royals all over the world married commoners and broadened the gene pool, as with Prince Charles and Lady Diana's kids. 

Now it is time to reveal the facts 

Marriage is a life-long commitment and these two have certainly made a major accomplishment. This is especially challenging when you're in the spotlight, and this is just the case for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. They've shown the world how far their love and devotion can go, having been together for decades. However, no marriage is without its difficulties, and this royal couple definitely isn't an exception.

Being part of a royal family makes the situation complicated, and over the years, many strange facts have come out about the queen and prince. Even though you think you may know everything there is to know about the royal family, let's take a closer look at some strange facts you may not have known about the pair. 

Elizabeth and Philip were married at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. There were two thousand invited guests, and over 200 million people listened to the ceremony via radio broadcast. Elizabeth was rather young at the time but had known Philip long before their initial engagement. 

1. What we already know about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip 

Being third cousins, and sharing the same great-great-grandparents, the two met when they were much younger. Elizabeth grew up within a well-off family, but Philip had a different experience growing up. Philip was raised as a commoner, he washed dishes, fired boilers, and even played on a skittles team which was organized by the owner of a local pub.

2. Elizabeth's parents did not approve of the match

King George VI was not exactly in approval of his daughter's choice of groom. He was concerned about the British opinion when it came to his daughter marrying a Greek prince. The king also disapproved of Philip's "loud, boisterous laugh and his blunt, seagoing manners". No matter his opinion, Elizabeth was able to marry the man of her choice, and she and Philip were married when she was 21 years old.

3. Philip had to make some sacrifices to marry Elizabeth

Philip had to make a few changes before getting married. Firstly, he had to become a naturalized British citizen. None of the German members of the family were allowed to attend the wedding, which even included Philip's three sisters who had married German men. To make matters worse, the king did not want to officially announce his daughter's engagement until she was 21, so Princess Elizabeth and Philip had to keep their relationship quiet for some time until it could be declared.  

4. She never took her eyes off him, but he barely noticed her

When Philip was 18 years old, Elizabeth couldn’t stop looking at him, despite their age difference. Her governess recalled that the princess barely paid any attention to anyone else, though Philip may not have noticed.  One thing that the public noticed was that the Duke appeared to have a hard emotional exterior, which Elizabeth would eventually see through, as she was falling in love. Both his age, upcoming military service, and rough childhood probably contributed to his lack of attention toward his future wife.

5. They fell in love through letters

While Philip was off at sea, the two used to correspond with each other through letters. His service in the Royal Navy played a major part in their relationship, even after their first child was born, but he started his duties when she was still a teenage princess. This is something the majority of British families sign up for when young and keep in their tradition as well. 

6. The king and queen thought Elizabeth was too young for him

George VI and his wife Elizabeth first noticed the potential romantic connection between Elizabeth and Philip when he visited the family on leave. Back then, she was 17, and both agreed she was still too young for a suitor. Regardless of what her parents thought, the two kept in touch and their relationship blossomed from then onward.

7. She saw a different side of him

To the outside world, Philip seemed closed off and distant. He had a rough childhood and a poor relationship with his father, Prince Andrew. He had many hardships, and this had forced him to grow up young, which often left him seeming closed-off to those around him. Elizabeth still managed to fall in love with him, and unlike the others, she saw a gentler side of him.

8. She agreed to marry him without her parent's approval

Elizabeth and Philip didn't ask for approval to get married. When Philip proposed in the summer of 1946, Elizabeth accepted immediately without a second thought. King George allowed the engagement to continue once he found out, but insisted that the couple held off an official announcement until after Elizabeth turned 21.

9. They kept their engagement secret but almost got caught

Although they had kept their engagement secret, it was inevitable that someone would become suspicious. The couple managed to keep their PDA to a minimum in an effort to avoid revealing their commitment as long as they could. One moments-long gaze between the two almost broke the news early, but they waited to make the official public announcement until July 1947.

10. Philip quit smoking for her

All marriages come with compromises, and Philip made this choice completely on his own. He recognized that the king’s addiction to cigarettes really bothered Elizabeth, so in order to avoid upsetting her or making her feel uncomfortable, he stopped smoking one day without complaint. This may not seem like a huge sacrifice, but for the smokers out there, it is a sign of dedication and a challenging one. 

11. Elizabeth's wedding dress was bought with ration coupons

We all think of royal weddings are glamorous, elegant and extravagant, but this wasn't the case for Elizabeth and Philip's nuptials. Great Britain was still recovering from World War II at the time of the couple's marriage, and because of this, the queen-to-be actually used ration coupons to pay for her wedding dress materials. This beautiful 13-foot-long train, embroidered with crystals, was bought with them.

12. The couple always had connecting bedrooms

Apart from belonging to a royal family, Elizabeth II and Philip were like any other married couple after their wedding. When they moved to Clarence House in 1949, they had connected bedrooms. The reason for this was that they didn't want to be bothered with snoring or flinging legs throughout the night, and wanted a comfortable, soundless sleep. When it comes to snoring, we fully understand. 

13. Philip was not crowned at the coronation ceremony with Queen Elizabeth

When Elizabeth officially became queen, that didn't necessarily mean her husband received a new title as well. In fact, Philip was still the Duke of Edinburgh for some time after Elizabeth's coronation in 1953. According to BBC, he dedicated himself to her at the ceremony, saying,

"I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God."

14. After Charles was born, he brought her roses

Philip became an official prince in 1957 when the couple’s first child was born and was the male heir to the throne. Charles was a precious gift on his own, but Philip also brought Elizabeth roses, carnations, and a kiss as an added gesture of affection, which she probably appreciated.

15. She followed him everywhere

When Philip had to return to the Navy, the two grew more in love. They first began to fall in love while apart, but she chose not to spend months away from him, and on two separate occasions, Elizabeth accompanied her husband out to sea when their children were still young.

16. They had their disagreements, but he supported her

Elizabeth became queen following her father’s death in 1952. She immediately chose to keep her father’s name (Windsor) instead of Philip’s (Mountbatten). This was something that he would be upset about for many years to come, but he still took on his new role as consort, husband, and father, showing the Queen his eternal support.

17. Their second son was named after Philip’s father

In 1960, Elizabeth and Philip had their second daughter, and third child being their second son. She named him Andrew, after Philip’s father, who he had lost over a decade earlier. Even though this was a small gesture, she made the decision out of love for the man she remains beside today.

18. There are rumors that Philip wasn't always faithful

Being in the public eye will no doubt raise suspicions among the paparazzi and crowd. There have been rumors over time that associate Philip with women he knew throughout the years. One of them stated that Philip was "romantically involved with an unnamed woman whom he met on a regular basis in the West End apartment of a society photographer." This made Philip angry, but it was his word against these rumors, which lasted some time.

19. The couple is never seen holding hands in public

We have seen Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip together in public for many years. One thing we have always noticed is that they never hold hands in public. This is not because they are not fond of each other or anything negative, it is just the way they have been since marriage, and probably like to keep their romantic side private. We can respect that.

Prince Philip is known to be a hopeless romantic when it comes to Elizabeth, but never reveals his true nature to the public eye. Philip, however, calls himself a pragmatist, and not a romantic. The two definitely make a good team, and dons the power behind the throne. Philip wears the pants, and when needed, is shrewd, steadfast, and never-failingly supportive.

We hope you enjoyed the inside scoop and royal gossip as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you. Remember to share this with your friends and family, and keep up-to-date for more insiders from the royal family in the future. 

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