“This was the man with whom Princess Elizabeth had been in love from their first meeting.”

As the world continues to come to terms with the death of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, the Internet is flooded with articles and stories about her life and relationships. One particular bond that has found mention in almost every story on social media platforms, is the tale of love between the Queen and Prince Philip whom she will be laid to rest with.

From the moment she laid eyes on Prince Philip as a 13-year-old girl, Queen Elizabeth II was smitten by the dazzling, athletic young prince that she met for the first time in years. And what began as a teenage crush blossomed into the longest marriage in British royal history after the Queen and her consort spent 73 years married to each other before his death in 2021. Third cousins to each other, the Queen and Prince Philip met once as children at a wedding in 1934. A few years later, in 1939, the pair met once again when she was 13 and he was 18, and the Queen would often turn “pink-faced” when she was around him as they began regularly seeing each other, revealed her governess, Marion Crawford, according to Vogue.

“This was the man with whom Princess Elizabeth had been in love from their first meeting,” wrote Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, the official biographer for the Queen’s father, as quoted by OK! Even after Prince Philip began serving in the Royal Navy, he stayed in touch with the Queen through letters, and in one letter written in 1946, he wrote that he had “fallen in love completely and unreservedly.” “Philip had a capacity for love which was waiting to be unlocked, and Elizabeth unlocked it,” wrote their mutual cousin, Patricia Mountbatten.

In 1947, the two exchanged wedding vows, unaware that the Queen would take the British throne in five years or that Prince Philip would stand by her for over seven long decades to make British history as the longest-serving royal consort before passing away at the age of 99, according to Harper’s Bazaar.

Through the years, one thing that they never lost is their chemistry, “which was always there,” according to the royal author, Robert Johnson. The royal couple kept the “spark alive” during their marriage and would act like “teenagers” even after they became parents.

“There was a story, even after they had three children -maybe even four – they used to regularly go down to Broadlands where they honeymooned, and there was a butler there who used to work for Mountbatten, and he said it was all very frisky when they were down there,” Johnson shared, as quoted by Daily Star. “This butler said that the Queen would be running up the stairs and he’d be chasing her up the stairs like teenagers. I think there was chemistry which was always there.”In 1997, when the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, the Queen shared a heartwarming message about her husband and said: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.” On April 17, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II was seen sitting alone in the pews of the St. George’s Chapel for her husband’s funeral service.

As she sat a few feet away from her husband’s casket, a handwritten note from the Queen remained on top of his coffin, and it was signed off with the name “Lilibet”—a childhood nickname of hers that Prince Philip was the last person to call her by. While talking about the future then, a former senior aide at the palace had told PEOPLE, “She will carry on. She understands that she has a job to do, and [Philip] would have wanted her to crack on.” Now, as the Queen is set to join Philip as she’s set to be laid to rest with him, theirs is a love story that’s truly immortal.

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