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Prince Philip: The full story of how the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen, 13, first met

Queen Elizabeth first met Prince Philip when she was just 13 years old after he has been asked to entertain the young princesses in Devon.

The then Princess Elizabeth arrived in Dartmouth in 1939 and spent the next few days with the then 18-year-old Philip, of Greece and Denmark.

At that time he was a young naval cadet.

Princess Elizabeth and her future husband are pictured at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth over the few days they spent together there, and one snap shows them playing croquet.

While neither would have known what was ahead for them, the photo is now a significant symbol as a beginning to what would one day turn into a romantic relationship.

The Queen and Prince Philip
The couple got married eight years after they met

Dr Jane Harrold, curator at the Britannia Royal Naval College, said: “It can be seen as quite a sweet photograph of the two of them.”

“Meeting and getting to know each other properly really for the first time.”

It was actually a coincidence Philip was at the naval college when the Princess visited as he should have been at sea.

However, with war on the horizon, his class was at Dartmouth.

Prince Philip
The Queen thought Philip was drop-dead gorgeous

Dr Jane said: “Even though we have regular royal visits at the college, it is extremely unusual to have the whole royal family there at once.”

The five-year age gap between the Princess and Philip would have felt like a lot at their young age, so it wasn’t until a few more years had passed that they became closer.

Jennie Bond, a royal commentator, told ITV: “The Queen thought he was drop-dead gorgeous quite frankly.

“It was a relationship based absolutely on love. The Duke himself said that it had been a partnership.”

The couple got married eight years after that first meeting, in 1947.

Their marriage meant Philip had to give up his naval career as he was to become the future Queen’s consort.

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He would have to ready himself for a life of public duty. Despite his position behind the Queen in public, she always made sure that, privately, they were equals.

Ms Bond added that she imagines the Queen is “bereft” after losing Philip, as he was always her “strength and stay”.



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