November 20 marks the wedding anniversary of the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. They would’ve been celebrating 75 years of marriage. To honor the couple, let’s take a look back at key details of their big day, including the pieces of jewelry that marked the occasion and the disastrous blunder that nearly ruined the Queen’s look that day.
- The late Queen and Prince Philip would’ve celebrated 75 years of marriage today, November 20.
- To honor the late monarch and her life-long companion, we revisit some of the awe inspiring details of their big day, from the 9ft tall wedding cake to the enviable gifts given.
- In other royal news, ‘Heroic’ Harry and Meghan to receive prestigious award previously won by Barack Obama.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's relationship lasted for an impressive 73 years, Philip being the Queen’s rock right up until his death in April 2021.
While many could only dream of such an enduring love story, experts recently claimed the Queen’s tolerance was key to their long and happy marriage.
While their wedding was certainly one for the history books, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Here, we recap some key facts and memorable moments from the big day.
Where did the Queen and Prince Philip get married?
The wedding took place at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947.
Together with her father, George VI, the then Princess Elizabeth arrived in the Irish State Coach.
The ceremony started at 10:30am and her wedding meant that the Queen became the tenth member of the Royal Family to get married at the iconic abbey.
In a poignant full circle moment, Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral would include a service at Westminster Abbey earlier this year.
What did the Queen wear on her wedding day?
Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress was designed by the Sir Norman Hartnell, who submitted designs for the dress.
The winning design for the dress was inspired by Botticelli's iconic painting Primavera, which symbolizes the coming of spring.
The dress has a simple cut with fitted bodice, heart-shaped neckline with a low v-pointed waist, and a floor-length paneled skirt. It included a 15-foot silk tulle full court train, attached at the shoulders, and was embroidered in pearl, crystal and transparent applique tulle embroidery.
Since rationing measures were still in effect following the Second World War, Her Majesty had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her dress – proving she was always willing to set an example and not make exceptions for herself.
In a touching gesture, hundreds of Brits sent their own coupons to help with the cost of dress, although they were returned as it would be illegal to use them.
Jewelry for the day included two pearl necklaces; the Queen Anne necklace, said to have belonged to Anne, the last Stuart Queen, and the Queen Caroline which belonged to the wife of King George II.
Jewelry experts from Steven Stone (opens in new tab) estimate the pair to be worth around $30,000.
However, disaster almost struck on the day because the pearls were left at St. James’ Palace where they had been on display. In the very nick of time, the Princess’ private secretary raced back and got them to the bride-to-be just before the ceremony.
If that wasn’t enough, the Diamond Fringe Tiara also BROKE right before the ceremony and had to be quickly repaired.
As for the rings, they were from the rarest gold in the world which connects all royal brides.
Made from Welsh gold coming from Clogau St David's mine, near Dolgellau, every royal bride since the Queen Mother has had their rings made from the rare treasure.
What gifts did the Queen and Prince Philip receive?
The couple received over 2,500 wedding presents from around the world and around 10,000 telegrams.
While some gifts were typical - Queen Mary gave a bookcase and Princess Margaret gave a picnic case, for example – others were much more unique. Mahatma Gandhi sent a piece of cotton lace that he spun himself, and is embroidered with the words "Jai Hind" (Victory for India).
The wedding cake, flowers and other fun facts
- The official wedding cake had the nickname “The 10,000 mile cake” since it used sugar from the Girl Guides in Australia
- The cake was four tiers, over nine feet tall and baked by McVitie and Price
- The bride had eight bridesmaids: Princess Margaret, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Lady Mary Cambridge, Pamela Mountbatten, Margaret Elpinstone and Diana Bowes-Lyon
- The ceremony was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio to 200 million people around the world.
Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.
Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.
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