Prince Philip's sentimental wedding gesture that lasted 74 years

The Queen and Prince Philip married in 1947

Rachel Avery

When the Queen and Prince Philip married in 1947, the Duke of Edinburgh had a brand new pair of shiny shoes for their royal wedding, and he continued to wear them for special occasions for 74 years, right up until his death on 9 April 2021.

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This astonishing fact comes from a close friend of the late Prince Philip, Lord Bilimoria, who revealed the remarkable story while speaking to MailOnline.

He said: "We were next to each other and tying up our laces when he told me that those were the same shoes from his wedding day. It was amazing. Who knows how many times they would have been re-soled or repaired?

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WATCH: The Queen and Prince Philip's magnificent wedding day

"But they were the original shoes. They were traditional black leather shoes. He had had those shoes literally for more than 60 years.

"And that is because of his sentimentality. It was that genuineness which was ever present."


The couple got married two years after World War II

It is likely to be both Philip's frugal nature and his nostalgia towards the special pair of shoes that swayed his decision to keep repairing them rather than trading them in for a newer version.

The Queen herself knows the sentimentality that special belongings can bring as she decided to wear Queen Mary's Fringe Tiara on her big day, which was on loan as the 'something borrowed' from her mother.


The Queen's dress was purchased with ration tokens 

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Her Majesty had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her Sir Norman Hartnell wedding dress, due to the rationing measures in place following World War II.

On the day, the Duke paired his beloved shoes with a smart suit featuring a double-breasted jacket, and, of course, his gleaming navy medals.

MORE: The Queen's royal wedding day disaster as told by Her Majesty


The Duke continued to wear his wedding shoes for special events

Prince Charles, the Queen and other members of the royal family have also been known to regulaly recycle items of their wardrobe, rather than buy new.

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