February 6th. Need an excuse to party today? Well, Las Olas Boulevard has so many British connections that I make no apology for this post! On February 6th, 1952 the Queen’s reign began.
You’ll remember that she grew up never knowing that she would be a queen. Her uncle was on the throne and it was naturally assumed that her uncle’s line would inherit the throne. It was a big scandal at the time though when her uncle abdicated in order to marry Mrs Wallace Simpson, an American divorcee. (Don’t worry, the problem wasn’t that she was American! As the head of the Church of England the king wasn’t permitted to marry a divorced woman.) He had been on the throne for less than a year.
Elizabeth’s father became king. By the way, have you seen the film about him – the King’s Speech? Highly recommended. When her father died, Elizabeth was in Kenya. She was taking her father’s place on a royal tour because of his illness. She was informed that her father had died and that she was now queen. She was already a mother of two small children – Prince Charles and Princess Anne
The amazing thing to me is that Queen Elizabeth has now been on the throne for sixty years. And during all that time (and for several years beforehand) her husband, Prince Philip has been by her side. They were married in 1947. Imagine.
What prompted this post was the photograph below which I find astonishing. There must be at least sixty years between the time the two photographs were taken. Imagine the changes they have seen during their life together.
Looking at the photographs, it’s hard to believe that the marriage was quite a controversy. He was born as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. The family was exiled, however. They had no lands and no appreciable money. In addition, Price Philip’s sisters had married Germans with links to the Nazi Party and the war was fresh in everyone’s mind. Newspaper reports were quick to point out that he was a foreigner.
Judging by the photographs, I guess they were all wrong.
Prince Philip is well known for being pithy and politically incorrect. His daughter Anne is known for being a horsewoman. Once, when referring to her, he said ” “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t bloody interested.”