Prince Philip and the Queen’s marriage has been praised as the embodiment of unity and duty throughout the pair’s 72 years of marriage. However, Prince Philip was dealt a heartbreaking blow after his royal navy career was cut significantly short. After the death of the Queen’s father, George VI, the Queen was ushered further into the limelight as the new monarch.
This essentially meant Prince Philip’s Navy career was over and he was to leave the military to take on his duty as the Queen’s husband and the responsibilities that came with it.
National Geographic’s ‘Being the Queen’ spoke to royal commentators who reflected on this difficult time for both the Queen and Prince Philip.
Historian Sarah Gristwood said: “Although when he married Princess Elizabeth, he must’ve known that this moment would come, he can’t have expected it to come so soon.”
Royal biographer Philip Eade added: “He would have calculated when they got married, almost certainly, that they would have had 20 years at least, given George VI’s relatively young age.”
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“It was, what, barely four years since the marriage?
“Now his naval career was over and he was going to spend the rest of his life walking four paces behind his wife.”
This drastic change to both the Queen and Prince Philip’s life also reportedly caused strain on their marriage.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s cousin Lady Pamela Hicks told National Geographic’s ‘Being the Queen’ Philip struggled with getting used to his new secondary role following the death of George VI.
The documentary’s executive producer also reflected on the Duke of Edinburgh’s sacrifice.
He said: Mr Jenning said: “I’m sure it was very strained at first and for someone like Philip to acquiesce to the nation.
He basically had to give up his bride to the world and take a backseat to everything that’s going on.
“I think he managed to get through it, but I’m sure it was a very strained time for them.”