Prince Philip won the Queen over with ‘unusual skill’ in the tennis courts

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Married since the age of 21, The Queen has enjoyed over seven decades of marriage to Prince Philip in which the pair have had four children, eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.

Princess Elizabeth declared her engagement to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in the summer of 1947 – but the current Queen was actually aged just 13 when the pair met for the first time.

The royals crossed paths while the Queen joined King George VI, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret for a trip to Dartmouth Britannia Royal Naval College, the same place Philip was training as a cadet.

Their meeting was rather fortunate, Philip's branch of cadets was grappling with a nasty outbreak of mumps and chickenpox. Luckily, Philip was one of the only cadets who wasn't struck down with the illness and as a result was granted permission to meet the Royal Family.

He reportedly pitched the idea of showing them the tennis courts, where he proceeded to show off his ability to jump over the nets.

According to a book written by the Queen's former governess Marion Crawford, called 'The Little Princess', the Queen was particularly taken by him and said "how high he can jump!"

That same evening Philip was formally invited to join the royals for dinner on the King's yacht.

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Marion's book reveals how the Queen was "pink-faced" as she laughed at Philip's jokes, which was immediately noticed by all of those present.

Philip's uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten described the romance as a "great success" while the Queen was described as "truly in love".

The pair would part, before meeting again four years later when the Queen was aged 17, and Philip 22. This was when their romance truly blossomed.

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The pair's wedding occurred at Westminster Abbey in front of 2,000 guests on November 20, 1947.

As well as the thousands in attendance, 200million people listened in as the service was broadcast on BBC Radio.

Following the wedding ceremony, guests were invited back to Buckingham Palace where they enjoyed a wedding breakfast in the Ball-Supper Room.

  • Prince Philip
  • Queen
  • Royal Family

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