Respect and Commitment of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, a decorated royal navy officer at the outbreak of World War II. They just celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.

Their story is one example of what an enduring relationship is all about, not merely true love but a deep commitment and vow to protect and respect each other. Passed through many turbulent years before the eyes of the public, with speculations of infidelity on the side of the Prince, the relationship survived and allowed them to sail into the sunset of their lives--lovingly together.

The love story of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is probably one of the fascinating romantic stories I'd ever read and heard. Their respect, commitment and devotion to the vow they made helped the relationship survived and became stronger as time goes by.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, are third cousins through Queen Victoria of England and second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark. They moved in the same circle of royalty. But the circumstances of their lives were very much different.

While the then Princess Elisabeth, eldest daughter of King George VI and heir-presumptive to the British throne, was raised comfortably in prestigious palaces in Britain with loving parents, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark came to live shuffling with various royal relatives, when the marriage of his parents, Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg, fell apart. All his sisters married German princes and with nothing left to take care of him, Philip was brought to England and raised by his maternal uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was one of the most powerful men in the British royal court at that time. 

He joined the royal navy later and became a Lieutenant. He met the future Queen when they were still young and would often spend plenty of time together at Windsor Castle. Prince Philip, at one point, lived in Kensignton Palace with his maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria of Hesse, one of the granddaughters of Queen Victoria. Philip's first cousin, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, also married Princess Elizabeth's paternal uncle, Prince George, the Duke of Kent. Despite having no inheritance, home and money, Philip was considered as "suitable" for a royal marriage to the future Queen because of his royal roots. In royalty, bloodline is more important than wealth and education.

Prince Philip at that time was reportedly in love with a beautiful French woman named Helene Cordet, but his uncle steered him towards an arranged marriage to the future Queen of England. He relented. But despite Philip's "half-cook" emotion, Princess Elizabeth was reportedly very much in love with the Greek Prince and ready to defy her parents' wishes. Prince Philip was heard saying before that he could not say he was in love with Elizabeth when they got married but he has a huge amount of respect towards her. In 1947 November, they were married at Westminster Abbey. 
HRH Prince Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in July 1947 during the announcement of their official engagement. Philip was advised to abandon his Greek royal status in order to marry the future Queen of England so he took the name Philip Mountbatten, he was created His Royal Highness (HRH), the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl Marrioneth and Baron Renfrew by his father-inlaw, King George VI. Elizabeth eventually became the last British sovereign to marry a fellow royal. Their wedding in 1947 was also the last "real" royal wedding  in Britain attended by European royal relatives.
Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark wearing his royal navy uniform. 
He was considered as one of the most dashing Princes in European royalty during his youth. A grandson of King George I of Greece, great grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark, great-great grandson of Queen Victoria of England and Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, Philip was the last true blooded European royal to marry into the British royal family.

Later, many stories of Prince Philip's romantic escapades surfaced in newspapers and books, speculations that he dated women secretly and had children out of wedlock frequently appeared in the papers but the Queen, who treated marriage as sacred and precious, remained devoted to her marriage vow, so she did not pay attention to the issues of infidelity against her husband, she did not even confront him why he frequently arranged many foreign trips without her. 

The Queen was quoted saying "Philip was born with itchy feet and it's a waste of time trying to change a man's character". The respect and commitment they bestowed to each other helped the union survived. The Queen's devotion to her principle and belief made her to accept the man she married unconditionally. While Prince Philip lived true to his pledge and duty for a Christian marriage to be at his wife side forever. 
Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Unfortunately, their children did not live with the rules they modeled. The marriages of three of the couple's four children (Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew) ended up in divorce.

Now, the royal couple recently celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary and became closer than ever. The public rarely seen them gracing official engagement and shows without each other. They outgrown the concept of being in love eventually and what left is the wonderful idea of companionship. In a recent royal news, BBC's Royal Variety Performance, would not see the presence of the royal couple, the reason: it's because the Duke of Edinburgh would not attend and the Queen refused to attend the performance without her husband at her side.
Prince Philip remained devoted to the vow and commitment he made. He once said he could not say that he was really in love with his wife when they got married but he has a huge amount of respect towards her. Now, after the turbulent period of the British monarchy including issues on Philip's infidelity, the marriage survived and the couple is now enjoying a different closeness and devotion to each other. The Queen is now 85 and the Duke is 90.

Prince Philip was once heard saying "I want to protect the reign of my wife at all cost". Discretion is another factor why their relationship survived and retained its vigor. Though many rumors of the Duke of Edinburgh's infidelity appeared in print for many decades, the Queen maintained her silence and discretion.

Many years later, Prince Philip had learned to avoid controversies with women's issues and ditched Helen Cordet, said to be his "true love", for good. He dedicated his entire life serving the British monarchy as the Queen's formidable consort. The Queen at times very dependent to her husband especially on domestic matters. Her former personal footman, Paul Burrell, wrote in his book "A Royal Duty" revealing that the Queen always sought the expertise of Prince Philip in making decisions, from official to family matters to petty things like "preparing barbeque". 

So, their story is a classic example that love alone is not enough, if it's the only reason then the relationship won't survive. But if there's trust and respect, then everything runs smoothly. So forget about saying True Love alone is a big factor in the survival of the relationship, or nurturing the idea that it is the only thing that could make people genuinely happy, it is not always the case, trust and respect do. So we need to invest more on trust, respect and commitment rather than the idea of being in love. Then and only then, we would see a different and wonderful world free from divorce, separation, regret and resentment.

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