Why the Queen and Prince Philip were forced to postpone their engagement announcement for a full year

The Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh got secretly engaged in 1946 but were forbidden from making the news public until the following year

Why the Queen was forced to postpone her engagement news
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen and Prince Philip were forced to postpone their engagement announcement for a whole year after the proposal, according to royal insiders.

The Queen and Prince Philip were forced to wait a whole year before they could announce their engagement to the world, royal insiders have claimed. 

The late Duke of Edinburgh, then known as the Prince of Greece, reportedly proposed to Princess Elizabeth in secret in 1946, when she was 20 years old. 

It's understood that she immediately accepted Philip's hand in marriage, having already been corresponding with the Royal Navy cadet (who was five years her senior) since she was just 13. 

Unfortunately for the betrothed lovebirds, they were initially denied permission to share their romantic news with the public. 

It's been said that King George VI, the princess's father, ordered the couple to wait until Elizabeth was 21 to announce the royal engagement. 

Even back then, concerns were raised over the future Queen getting married at such a young age. It likely didn't help the couple's case that Prince Philip had decided not to ask the King for his blessing to wed Lilibet—an act that probably would have been seen as a blatant breach of royal protocol. 


Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip announced their engagement in July, 1947 

(Image credit: Getty )

The princess and the prince dutifully respected the monarch's wishes, waiting until July 1947—three months after Elizabeth's 21st birthday—to publicly confirm the engagement. The couple hosted a photocall for the press at Buckingham Palace, which also served as a prime opportunity for the Queen to show off her sparkling, 3-carat diamond ring—designed by Prince Philip himself. 

After delaying their engagement announcement for so long, the couple wasted no time in getting married. They tied the knot in an Anglican ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London in front of 2,000 invited guests, before heading over to Buckingham Palace for an extravagant breakfast reception. 

Queen and Prince Philip

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day in November, 1947 

(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen's wedding look consisted of a Norman Bishop Hartnell long-sleeved dress in white satin and a tulle veil secured by a diamond, fringe tiara, as well as a pair of Cinderella-style slingback sandals. She completed the outfit with elegant pearls and light makeup—the perfect accents to the showstopping gown. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.