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11 surprising facts about the Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding day

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II married The Duke of Edinburgh in 1947

Rachel Avery

The Queen and Prince Philip got married in 1947 and they have since made history for having the longest marriage of any British sovereign. They said their special vows at Westminster Abbey, which is also where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said "I do". As she walked down the aisle on 20 November, Princess Elizabeth, who was the tenth member of the royal family to marry at the Abbey, was just 21 years old. Her handsome groom was 26. You may have seen the iconic pictures and know the romantic tale, but here are 11 things you may not have known about their magical royal wedding day.

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1. Their royal wedding cake was 3ft taller than Prince Philip himself

As wedding cakes go, theirs was a rather impressive creation and it stood at a whopping height of 9 ft tall!

2. The royal wedding cake was cut with a special sword

The huge cake was cut using the Duke's Mountbatten sword, which was also a wedding present from The King.

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The royal wedding cake was 9ft tall!

3. The Queen's royal wedding dress was made swiftly

Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell. The winning design was approved mid-August, which was less than three months before the wedding. This is quite unusual when it comes to bridalwear, as the bride tends to select their dress at least six months in advance.

4. The Queen didn’t use money to pay for her royal wedding dress

Due to the strict rationing measures in place following World War II, then-Princess Elizabeth had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her beloved dress.

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The Queen used post rationing coupons to buy her wedding dress

5. The public wanted to help the Queen buy her royal wedding dress

Coupons were sent in from people across the country wanting to help the then Princess with getting her dress. However, every single one had to be returned as it would have been illegal to use them.

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6. The Queen's royal wedding dress had an American touch

Her Majesty's gorgeous dress was decorated with crystals and 10,000 seed pearls, all imported from the United States of America.

7. The Queen wore two wedding necklaces

The queen's double-strand pearl necklace was in fact made from two different necklaces. The shorter one is the 'Queen Anne' and the other the 'Queen Caroline', and both were left to the Crown by Queen Victoria and were given to Elizabeth as a wedding present by her father, King George VI.

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The royal couple married in 1947

8. The Queen's tiara broke on her wedding day

The Queen's diamond fringe tiara may look picture-perfect in the wedding photographs but on the morning of the royal wedding, the frame of the gem broke, and it had to be quickly repaired.

9. The Queen's wedding ring has a secret message

In the book Prince Philip Revealed, author Ingrid Seward divulges the little-known fact that Prince Philip had a secret message inscribed inside the Queen's wedding band, a message that only three people have ever seen.

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The royal wedding took place at Westminster Abbey

10. The royal wedding favours were flowers

Wedding favours may have gained in popularity over the years, but even in the 1940s, the Queen was keen to give everyone a small token. The wedding favours were individual posies of myrtle and white Balmoral heather.

11. The royal couple received a bookcase as a wedding gift

As one can imagine, the royal couple received a whole load of wedding presents but one interesting one was a bookcase, gifted by Queen Mary.

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