Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh first met at The Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1939. Seventy-eight years on and their relationship has become one of the world's most enduring love stories.
In 1947, at Westminster Abbey, the then Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten were married. On Monday 20 November 2017 they will celebrate their Platinum Wedding Anniversary, 70 years of marriage, an anniversary that no previous sovereign has ever reached.
The Royal Yacht Britannia
Berthed at the historic Port of Leith in Edinburgh, Britannia remains a symbol of their relationship and of their legacy.
In the words of HRH Prince Philip "Britannia is special for a number of reasons. Almost every previous sovereign was responsible for building a church, a castle, a palace or just a house. The only comparable structure in the present reign is Britannia."
The Royal couple were closely involved with, and had final say in the design of Britannia, creating a Royal residence that truly reflected their personal tastes, interests and style. The Queen and Prince Philip asked Sir Hugh Casson to design the interiors for the Royal Apartments to give the relaxed feeling of a country house at sea. The majority of the furnishings and decor are original, on loan from The Royal Collection, and visitors often comment that it feels as if The Queen has just stepped off.
During 44 years of Royal service Britannia sailed over one million miles around the world, reaching destinations such as San Francisco, Sydney, New York and Hong Kong. However, some of The Queen's favourite trips were much closer to home with the family's annual 2 week summer holiday spent sailing around the Western Isles of Scotland.
The Queen described Britannia as the one place she could truly relax. As well as many family moments on board, Her Majesty also hosted many kings, queens, world leaders and celebrities.
The Queen entertained President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, on board the Royal Yacht in San Diego to celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary. President Reagan famously told The Queen: “I’ve spent much of my life in Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world, but we couldn’t beat this”.
The Queen and Prince Philip continue to reach historic milestones:
- The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday in 2016.
- The Queen became the first British monarch to reach a Blue Sapphire Jubilee in February 2017.
- The Queen became the longest reigning monarch on 2 June 2017 after 64 years on the throne.
- The Duke of Edinburgh is the longest serving consort and retired from Royal duties on 2 August 2017, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.
- The Queen and Prince Philip will become the first British sovereign couple to celebrate a Platinum anniversary.
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