The look of love: the Royal couple are to wed this year
By Wilson Broadbent for the Daily Mail (Thursday, July 10, 1947)
Princess Elizabeth is to wed Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.
The court circular, issued by Buckingham Palace, last night revealed that the King and Queen had gladly given their consent to the union — which will see the 21-year-old Princess wed Philip, son of the late Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
The marriage date has not yet been fixed. It will likely be during the coming months in Westminster Abbey.
Lieut. Mountbatten drove into Buckingham Palace just after six o’clock last night to dine with the King, while the Princess went out to a dinner party and later went dancing.
He has already given the Princess the ring. It is of platinum with one large diamond and two smaller stones set at either side.
This afternoon Lieut. Mountbatten and the Princess will make their first public appearance together among the 10,000 guests at a garden party at the Palace.
In the evening they are expected to appear on the Palace balcony to receive the congratulations of the people of London.
One of the problems facing Princess Elizabeth and her husband-to-be is finding a home. It might even delay the wedding.
Court officials have searched for a suitable house and failed. It might be necessary in the early days of married life for a flat to be rented, or apartments set aside in the Palace.
No decision has yet been reached about a country home, but there are prospects that a house will be found on the King’s Windsor estate.
Ring of truth: Platinum with diamonds worn by Prince’s mother. This morning the nation and the world give them congratulations and good wishes for a long and happy future together
As for the royal couple’s income, it all depends on the scale of life which the Princess and Lieut. Mountbatten wish to adopt. As Heir-Presumptive, Princess Elizabeth will have to maintain an establishment which in normal circumstances she would not desire.
On becoming 21 on April 21, her allowance was raised from £6,000 a year to £15,000. After the King has given consent to the marriage by Order-in-Council at a meeting of Privy Councillors to be held at Buckingham Palace towards the end of this month, the question of Princess Elizabeth’s allowance will have to be decided.
Financial provision will certainly have to be made for Lieut. Mountbatten.
And it will not be necessary for Lieut. Mountbatten to seek formal entrance of the Church of England, which is required of members of the Royal Family.
As Prince Philip of Greece, he was christened at Corfu a member of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Fell in love
The late Archbishop Lang of Canterbury reached an understanding with the Greek Church by which it is possible for members of either to enjoy full communion.
Princess Elizabeth and Lieut. Mountbatten are known to have met at the Coronation in 1937.
Then they met again when Princess Elizabeth went with the King and Queen in July 1939 to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where Philip was training.
The young cadet had no opportunity of talking to the Princess, but later, with other young men who were friends of the Princess —young men of title and young Guards officers — he began to see more of her on visits to London, then fell in love with her.
Princess Elizabeth fell in love with him, too. His photograph appeared on the dressing-table in her boudoir.
Last autumn they saw a great deal of each other when Lieut. Mountbatten went up to stay as the guest of the King and Queen at Balmoral.
From then on events followed much along the lines that they do in any other family where a daughter falls in love.
The young Lieut. Mountbatten, though everybody in the Royal Family knew that he was in love with the Princess, did not ask for her hand until the early part of this year, just before the start of the South African tour.
The King, like many another father, might have suggested that they wait a little to see if they were still of the same mind when the Princess returned. And so, throughout the tour a silver-framed photograph of Lieut. Mountbatten stood on her dressing table.
When together, they spoke to the King and Queen again on the Royal Family’s return from South Africa, the King gave to them his consent.
This morning the nation and the world give them congratulations and good wishes for a long and happy future together.
Crowds throng London for the wedding of the century
By Daily Mail Reporter
A smile for the nation: Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip after the Westminster Abbey ceremony
A London delirious with enthusiasm, wild with joy, blazing with pageantry, a London alight with colour.
Only the sky was grey when Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, Knight of the Garter, and Princess Elizabeth of England were married in Westminster Abbey.
From Hyde Park to Admirality Arch; from Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament; from Palace Green to Victoria the crowds stood and sat, waved and cheered, rocked and swayed.
It is an occasion like this that must make the weary duty of royalty seem really worth the doing.
The high ceremony did not start until 11am, but the hours from the drizzly dawn were tense with anticipation.
The people thronged to the route by train, by bus, by car, on foot.
They edged and manoeuvred their way to any and every vantage point, sometimes to be summoned away from this tree, that railing, the other corner by the ubiquitous police — there were 6,750 on duty, reinforced by 300 City of London constables, 600 specials, and 450 plain- clothes men.
A cheer for Bevin
The hours of waiting were filled, as ever, by the small excitements that go to make a great day.
The dog that walked the length of Whitehall; the men with the periscopes; the hawkers with their rosettes; the pedlars with their balloons crudely stencilled ‘Elizabeth and Philip’.
Swigs from vacuum flasks, a munch of sandwiches, helped to pass the time. Strangers swapped cigarettes, shared lights.
The classless comradeship, obliterated by austerity since the glad hysteria of VE-Day and the solidarity of the Blitz, was here again.
Laughing policemen: The happy crowd stretch the thin blue line as they await the approach of the royal couple
It’s a fairy tale: Princess Elizabeth with her husband Prince Philip ride back to the Palace in the glass coach
The Horse Guards and Life Guards vanished; the Captains and the Kings departed — into the great Gothic Abbey. Then the bells broke out: Jangle of joy, the brazen tongues crying abroad the news that the Heiress- Presumptive to the Throne was wed
Eight, nine, ten, when — the crowd did not know — the visiting Kings and Queens left for the Palace: Michael of Romania and his mother, Queen Helen of Greece and Denmark; Rene and Margaret of Bourbon-Parma; Don Juan of Spain with his wife Princess Maria and his mother Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg.
Out in the streets the crowd waited, taking what comfort they could from the loud-speakers’ tunes. The sun struggled to break the mass of cloud.
The momentum gathered. A cheer for Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, massive and leonine; another for his predecessor Anthony Eden, sitting solitary in a huge car. Prime Minister Clement Attlee came and went.
The bells rang out
But it was the Duchess of Kent, travelling in neither of the main processions, who gave the first real thrill to the now crazily-excited crowd. With her were her children: as controlled, as carefully trained, as perfect in deportment as she herself.
Great blue Daimlers rolled up with the bridesmaids: figures from a dream, ivory dresses glittering against the grey light, hair gleaming beneath the white ornaments, faces delicately etched against the cushions of the car.
And then came the jingle of cavalry; the exciting clash of sabre on breastplate, the clop of horses’ hooves.
The bridegroom passed almost unnoticed, the elder Mountbatten was cheered wildly.
Winston Churchill, his fingers in the traditional V sign, was still the hero of the people.
Philip knighted in private ceremony
On the eve of his wedding to Princess Elizabeth, Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten became His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
During a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace, King George VI invested his future son-in-law with the insignia of the Order of the Garter. With a naked sword, he touched Lieut. Mountbatten on each shoulder as the young man knelt before him, in the ceremony of the Accolade of Knighthood.
The new Duke is the sixth holder of the title. He also becomes Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich, in the County of London.
The bride’s full title will be Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh — but it is unlikely that she will use the second part.
During a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace, King George VI (pictured) invested his future son-in-law with the insignia of the Order of the Garter
By virtue of the ‘HRH’, her husband becomes Prince Philip again. But, according to Mr D.F.J. Hankinson, editor of Debrett’s guide to the peerage, it is improbable that the Duke will use this title — just as the Duke of Gloucester does not use his title of Prince Henry.
The Earldom of Merioneth originated many centuries ago. It was the title of a Welsh warrior prince in the days of Llewellyn the Great during the 13th century. The third title, Baron Greenwich of Greenwich, was chosen by the King in order to bring London, the heart of the Empire and its first capital city, into the titles of the Consort.
The non-smoking officer
Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten has given up smoking.
Mrs Cobina Wright, a Hollywood author, wrote to Philip and sent him parcels during the war. She revealed she had planned to give him a gold cigarette lighter as a wedding present.
A few days ago, she reveals, she saw him at the Savoy Hotel. ‘He told me that he thought smoking a bad habit and had given it up,’ Mrs Wright said last night. Mrs Wright, who was invited to the wedding, gave Philip a gold pencil instead.
But it was the last coach that held every eye: The Cinderella coach for a girl waiting, not dreading, that the clock would strike twelve.
Timed to the fraction of a second — it was Elizabeth’s great-grandfather who coined the aphorism: ‘Punctuality is the courtesy of Princes’ — the coaches, splendid with scarlet outriders, sleek with Windsor greys, rolled to the door.
The Queen — magnificent with the Garter blue slashing diagonally her dress of apricot. The King in the sober blue and bright gold of the Navy. But all the way from Buckingham Palace it was Elizabeth who held the eye — and her father was content that it should be so.
It is a tradition of royalty that they must never seem bored. Yesterday, there was no pretence. Joy radiated out of the slim figure, white-dressed, white-veiled, in its fairy coach.
Then — the anti-climax. The Horse Guards and Life Guards vanished; the Captains and the Kings departed — into the great Gothic Abbey.
Then the bells broke out: Jangle of joy, the brazen tongues crying abroad the news that the Heiress- Presumptive to the Throne was wed.
The bells clashed together, as the ringers say, in the firing of cannon. The band played the national anthem thrice: Once for the bride and groom — first occasion for the new Duke to receive royal honours; once for King and Queen; once for the Queen Mother. The air was a joyous battleground between the music of the Church and State.
‘We want the bride’
The cavalry re-formed: The bride and groom drove away. The distinguished guests followed them. And for the crowds in Westminster and Whitehall, the day was done.
Back went the royal party to the three-course wedding breakfast, the champagne, the traditional toast proposed, as always, by the bride’s father.
Philip drew the sword he had clasped throughout his drive to the Abbey — grandfather Battenberg’s sword — to cut the 6ft, 500lb cake.
But outside the Palace the crowd was waiting, and not always patiently. The people of Britain began their chant of loyalty.
But it was not this time ‘we want the King!’ but ‘we want the Bride!’ Urgent, imperative, irresistible, the sound beat against the front of the palace like a great wind. The stamping of feet was as relentless as the sea.
The thrusting wall of men and women and children swept aside the police, the soldiers. It swept into the forecourt of the palace itself, cheering, chanting, shouting for the bride.
But even when they broke the bounds and the cordons, this crowd was a British crowd: good-humoured, considerate of humanity and human decency, even in its headlong, indistinctive rush.
Then, the words of the chant changed, though the rhythm remained the same. Not ‘we want the Bride!’ but ‘here comes the Bride!’ Naval officer and Princess, Duke and Duchess, future Queen and Consort stood together on the balcony.
The King, the Queen, Princess Margaret, the bridesmaids, the majestic figure of Queen Mary — all appeared.
But it was only the two that caught the eye and, with it, the heart of that mass of happy humanity.
Honeymoon starts in Hampshire for the happy couple
At 6.29pm, a slim white hand, wearing a brand-new wedding ring, waved from the window to acknowledge a last thunderous cheer from 3,000 people.
The royal honeymoon car then swept through the Palmerstone Gates of Broadlands, the Hampshire seat of the Duke of Edinbugh’s uncle, the Earl Mountbatten.
Inside the car, illuminated by a single light, sat Princess Elizabeth, smiling shyly in her powder-blue going away dress. Beside her was Prince Philip, in naval uniform, who acknowledged the ovation with a salute.
The wrought-iron gates swung together with a clang at 6.30pm, shutting out all pomp and ceremonial. The honeymoon of an ordinary couple had begun.
They are expected to travel to Balmoral in the coming days.
Eyes only for each other: The royal honeymooners at Broadlands
A last night of freedom with his shipmates
Nine old shipmates and his uncle, Earl Mountbatten, gave Philip a traditional bachelor party the night before the wedding.
He hurried away from the palace by a side door to join them in a private suite at the Dorchester.
They had a quiet meal together, with bottled beer. As our exclusive picture reveals, they sang naval songs and swapped naval stories.
Then Philip, with his uncle and Captain McGregor, posed for Daily Mail cameraman George Elam.
At midnight Philip slipped away.
‘I don’t want to go,’ he said. ‘But I’ve got an early-morning date!’
Navy lark: Philip (third from left) at his bachelor party at the Dorchester
At the Dorchester (pictured above) they had a quiet meal together, with bottled beer. As our exclusive picture reveals, they sang naval songs and swapped naval stories
The Philip we know…by his pals
So who IS the handsome man with whom our beloved Princess Elizabeth has joined her hand in marriage?
So who IS the handsome man with whom our beloved Princess Elizabeth has joined her hand in marriage? The Mail spoke to his friends and acquaintances to find out…
I shared a room with Philip at Gordonstoun. He was a year younger than me, but had such a masterful manner that he was always the boss.
Some years later I came across him in the headquarters of the National Playing Fields Association.
‘Good God, Billy,’ he said, ‘what are you doing here?’ I began by calling him Philip, but I detected a new note of authority in his manner, and I ended by calling him ‘Sir’.
William Bolitho, Penzance.
I told Philip: ‘One day you’ll marry Princess Elizabeth.’ He roared with laughter and said: ‘You’re talking nonsense!’
James Black, former barber to the Gordonstoun boys.
Just before his 18th birthday, he came to stay with our family at Cheltenham while my father was coaching him for the entry exam to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth.
He didn’t seem to have much money. He was a jolly boy who loved jazz — he had the radio or gramophone on wherever he could. He didn’t seem to have any great plans for the future.
Sometimes when Mother was ticking me off he would make faces at me from behind her. It was hard to keep a straight face.
Mrs M Etherington, Great Cheverell, Wiltshire.
As a young lieutenant stationed in Australia before his marriage, Philip often escorted me. On a date with Philip you could be sure of a man who noticed that different hairstyle or new dress.
He enjoyed mixing his own cocktails and pretty diabolical they were. Rum, gin, vodka — they all went into the mixture.
In a nightclub he liked to get on the dance floor. I found him a good dancer, but he refused to take it seriously. He ignored waltzes and he wouldn’t jitterbug. He was fun to be with.
Sandra Jacques, Sydney, Australia.
He used to drive up for a drink at our pub, the Hind’s Head, on his way to town. He had a sports car in those days and no more money than the average naval officer.
In 1947 there were some of the worst floods in the Thames Valley for years. In the middle of it all he turned up in his car. ‘I’ve been trying to get through on the phone all morning but the line is out of order,’ he said.
‘I had to see if you were all right.’
I told him I was going up to town. ‘Hop in,’ he said, ‘and I’ll give you a lift.’
I got to London faster than I ever have before or since.
Miss Lois Williams, Bray, Berkshire.
I had gone into the Methuen Arms in Corsham. A young man asked me to have a drink. I asked him who he was and he said: ‘Lieutenant Mountbatten.’
We had a game of skittles. He drank beer in halves. He said: ‘I hear you are called Joe. May I call you Joe?
‘My name is Philip. I like my friends to call me Philip. I hope you and I are friends.’
The Duke never forgets old friends.
Joe Daymond, Corsham, Wiltshire
(This special tribute edition has been prepared using archive material published in the Daily Mail, 1935-1958)