Members of the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have quite the role models to look to when it comes to marriage longevity – the Queen and her husband Prince Philip have been married for 71 years. The couple tied the knot back in 1947 in a beautiful royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. The affair was attended by royals from all over Europe including Spain, Norway, Greece, Denmark and the Netherlands.
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. Before the wedding, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles and was created The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich, in the County of London.
Like Kate and Meghan, the Queen's elegant white satin dress inspired a new generation of royal wedding dresses, including that of Princess Grace of Monaco. The bride had chosen a gown by Sir Norman Hartnell, who submitted various designs; the winning creation was approved in mid-August, less than three months before the wedding.
Elizabeth had to use clothing ration coupons to pay for her dress, due to the rationing measures in place following World War Two. Hundreds of people from across the UK sent the Princess their coupons to help with the dress, although they had to be returned as it would have been illegal to use them. The dress, which was inspired by Botticelli's famous painting Primavera, featured a fitted bodice, heart-shaped neckline, a low v-pointed waist and a floor-length panelled skirt.
Elizabeth was assisted by eight bridesmaids, including her sister Princess Margaret and her cousins Princess Alexandra of Kent and Lady Mary Cambridge. Her other bridesmaids were: Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott, The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten, The Hon. Margaret Elpinstone and Diana Bowes-Lyon.
Some 2,000 guests were invited to the ceremony, which was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio to 200 million people around the world. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, and the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett, officiated the service.
The wedding breakfast was held at lunchtime in the Ball-Supper Room at Buckingham Palace. The menu paid tribute to the bride and groom, consisting of Filet de Sole Mountbatten, Perdreau en Casserole and Bombe Glacee Princess Elizabeth. As for the wedding cake, which stood nine feet high and had four tasty tiers, it was cut using the Duke of Edinburgh's sword, which was a gift from Elizabeth's father, King George VI.
In keeping with tradition, Elizabeth and Philip made an appearance on the palace balcony to wave to huge crowds on the Mall. The couple also received an outpouring of love and support from royal family fans around the world: over 2,500 presents and 10,000 telegrams.
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