‘A riveting take on an extraordinary relationship’ – Richard Eden, Daily Mail
‘A fresh and original approach’ – Hugo Vickers, Royal Biographer
She was ‘sugar pink’ innocence; he was a handsome war hero. Both had royal blood coursing through their veins. The marriage of Britain’s Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in November 1947 is remembered as the beginning of an extraordinary, lifelong union but success was not guaranteed. Elizabeth and Philip: A Story of Young Love, Marriage and Monarchy plunges us back into the 1940s when a teenage princess fell in love with a foreign prince. Cue fears of a flirtatious ‘Greek’ fortune hunter stealing off with Britain’s crown jewel and Philip’s supporters scrambling to reframe him as a good fit for the Royal Family.
Drawing on original newspaper archives and the opinions of Elizabeth and Philip’s contemporaries, historian Dr Tessa Dunlop discovers a post-war world on the cusp of major change. Unprecedented polling on Philip’s suitability was a harbinger of pressures to come for a couple whose marriage was branded the ultimate global fairytale. Theirs was a partnership like no other. Six years after Elizabeth promised to be an obedient wife Philip got down on bended knee at the coronation and committed himself as the Queen’s ‘liege man of life and limb.’
Published 75 years after their marriage, this deeply touching history explores the ups and downs, the public appeal and the private tensions that defined an extraordinary relationship. The high stakes involved might have devoured a less committed pair – but Elizabeth and Philip shared a common purpose, one higher even than marriage, with roots much deeper than young love. Happy and Glorious, for better or for worse, how did their union succeed? Monarchy was the magic word.