Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, married on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London.
The two are second cousins once removed, and became engaged in 1946, when Elizabeth was 20. The couple met when she was only 13 and Philip was 18. According to the Daily Mail, King George VI was visiting Dartmouth College in 1939 when he tasked Philip with looking after his daughters. After their encounter, Elizabeth developed feelings for Philip, and even kept a framed photo of him by her bed, according to Town and Country Magazine.
A letter reportedly written by Elizabeth when she was just 21 reads, “The first time I remember meeting Philip was at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in July 1939, just before the war… He joined the Navy at the outbreak of war, and I only saw him very occasionally when he was on leave – I suppose about twice in three years.”
On her way to the wedding, Princess Elizabeth’s diamond tiara snapped in half. Her mother called the court jeweler to make repairs, and luckily, he was successful. During the ceremony, the princess wore a duchesse satin gown designed by Norman Hartnell. The dress was endowed with 10,000 pearls and was made from fabric that she reportedly bought using ration coupons, according to Vogue.
Elizabeth was accompanied by her eight bridesmaids during the festivities: Princess Margaret (her younger sister), Princess Alexandra of Kent (her first cousin), Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott (daughter of the Duke of Buccleuch), Lady Mary Cambridge (her second cousin), Lady Elizabeth Lambart (daughter of the Earl of Cavan), Pamela Mountbatten (Philip’s first cousin), Margaret Elphinstone (her first cousin) and Diana Bowes-Lyon (her first cousin).
The union was broadcast to 200 million listeners via radio, though thousands of hopefuls also crowded at the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace to sneak a peek of the newlyweds.