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. 


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 Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman&home.com in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.


Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 


A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book. 


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