Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne rocked her marriage - but she and Philip were always destined to recover

Like with any marriage, the couple had their ups and downs throughout their lifelong relationship

The Queen and Prince Philip
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Like any married couple, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had their ups and downs. 

Last week the nation mourned the passing of Prince Philip, with headlines and television stations across the country dominated by coverage of his funeral. But while this is an undoubtedly difficult day for the entire family, our thoughts are with his widow, and our Queen, Elizabeth II. 

After 73 years of marriage, the pair share a remarkable bond, but like with any relationship, it’s not always been plain sailing for the couple. In public, the only option is only to ever be united, but as behind closed doors tensions, at times, ran high - particularly when Elizabeth rose to power, meaning sacrifices for Philip that were almost too hard to bear. 

In Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind the Throne, Sally Bedell Smith explains how Philip gave up a career in the navy when Elizabeth became Queen. 

In Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind the Throne from $18.47

In Elizabeth the Queen: The Woman Behind the Throne from $18.47

The tell-all biography offers a fascinating insight into the Queen's life –behind closed doors. It includes extracts from Elizabeth II's personal letters. 

Queen and Philip

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I thought I was going to have a career in the Navy, but it became obvious there was no hope.… There was no choice. It just happened. 

"You have to make compromises. That's life. I accepted it. I tried to make the best of it," Philip reportedly said, according to the biography. 

Elizabeth's father, George VI, was just 52 when he passed away, meaning that Elizabeth became Queen of England at just 27 - a lot earlier than was expected. Elizabeth was in Kenya at the time. 

A frustrated Philip apparently told friends, "I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children. I am nothing but a bloody amoeba." During this time, rumors circulated that Philip was unfaithful. These rumors are explored in Netflix's The Crown, which delves into the personal lives of the royals.

Prince Philip and the Queen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But, despite this rocky period, Philip and Elizabeth emerged stronger than ever, In 1957, Elizabeth made her husband a Prince of the United Kingdom. Then, in 1960, Elizabeth publicly recognized Philip's frustrations regarding his children not taking his name, by declaring that their offspring could now use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.

The Queen's private secretary Lord Charteris once discussed how despite their differences, Philip and the Queen have a unique connection. He said, "Prince Philip is the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being. He's the only man who can. Strange as it may seem, I believe she values that."

Her Majesty has spoken publicly about her own feelings towards Philip. When they celebrated 50 years of marriage, the Queen said of her husband, "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.