9 Amazing Facts About Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Wedding
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It’s the second Monday of June, and we’re celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 93rd birthday. Whether you choose to spend this public holiday sitting on the couch binge watching The Crown, or throwing your own little celebrations, this day is all about good ol’ Lilibet.
Because we are, of course, crazy about weddings, it seems fitting for us to celebrate the Queen by looking back at her wedding to Prince Phillip. Here’s everything you need to know about the couple and their big day.
1. They Met At Another Wedding
We love to use a good wedding as an opportunity to meet a hunk or two, and those fancy royals, well, they’re just like us. The Queen first met Phillip at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Prince George, the Duke of Kent in 1934. Granted, they were only 8 and 13 respectively, so maybe there wasn’t much of ‘hunk’ involved, but hey, it was only up from there.
2. All Talk
The pair met again in 1939 during a Windsor family trip, making it their first publicised meeting. Elizabeth, who was 13, apparently fell very quickly for Phillip. Now he didn’t quite slide into her DMs, but they did start talking through written correspondence. She even kept a photo of him in her room.
3. Royal Engagement
Prince Phillip finally popped the question to Elizabeth in 1946, to which she immediately accepted. However, things work a little differently when it comes to the Royals. Someone in the line of succession can’t marry without the permission of the sovereign, so the young couple had to wait for the approval of King George. Obviously, he accepted, but only on the condition that the engagement be held off until Elizabeth turned 21. The official announcement was made in July 1947.
4. Engagement Ring
Queen Elizabeth’s engagement ring is a lovely 3-carat diamond, with another ten smaller diamonds surrounding it. Phillip had a hand in the design, with the diamonds sourced from his mother, Princess Alice’s tiara, which she wore on her wedding day.
5. Wedding Bells
Only four months after the engagement was announced, the royal couple wed on November 20, 1947. Since they had only just finished from a massive World War, it was necessary that the ceremony was as low-key as was possible for the future Queen. With all the financial shortcomings, it would have been ridiculous for the public to watch the extravagance that only the royalty could easily enjoy. It was also the first royal wedding to be televised, so all eyes were on them.
6. Ration Coupon Dress
During the time of the wedding, some seriously strict rationing measures were in place, and it extended to the royal family as well. Elizabeth had to save up her rations to be able to pay for the fabric used for her dress. When the public found out, they sent her their coupons, but unfortunately, using them would have been illegal, and they had to all be returned.
The ivory silk dress was inspired by a Botticelli painting, Primavera, and was decorated with crystals and 10,000 American imported seed pearls.
7. Guest List
Some 2,000 guests were invited to the wedding, a number just slightly higher than your average Middle Eastern/Mediterranean wedding, right? Some foreign royals were present too, including the King of Iraq and the Shah of Iran.
There were also quite a few people who weren’t invited to the wedding. Just like when you can’t invite your mother’s uncle because they have issues with your father’s brother, Phillip wasn’t able to have his three sisters at his wedding. Their marriage to Germans made them a massive no-no post-WWII. Similarly, Elizabeth’s abdicating uncle, Edward VIII, wasn’t allowed to the ceremony. Ah, family drama.
8. 10,000 Mile Cake
The young couple’s wedding cake was 9 feet high and was nicknamed the 10,000-mile cake because it had ingredients sourced from just about every country you could think of. There was a bit of Australia in there as well, with our Girl Guide’s sugar being used in it. We’re starting to think this wedding wasn’t as low-key as intended.
While these days wedding gifts aren’t the norm, the royal couple, on the other hand, received 2,500 gifts from all over the world. The gift list included a piece of cotton lace that Gandhi spun himself, a bookcase sent from Queen Mary, and a picnic case sent by Princess Margaret. Strangely enough, the newlyweds also had a fridge gifted to them. Who would’ve thought that was something the future Queen of England needed?