Since the beginning of time, the British royal family has had a preoccupation with marriage and staying together no matter what. In fact, when Prince Margaret divorced her husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, in 1978, it was shocking.
Theirs was the very first royal divorce since King Henry VIII’s in 1540. However, during the ’90s, the royals witnessed a slew of divorces. Three out of four of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II‘s children wanted out of their marriages.
It was a challenging time for the royals, resulting in Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s marriage pact.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip went through ups and downs in their marriage
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s marriage has not been perfect. Though they’ve been together for over 70 years, it’s certainly had peaks and valleys. The pair wed in 1947 when the queen was just 21. They’d been enamored with one another since they were teens.
Though the pair had a very happy marriage initially, things began to shift for them in 1952 when the queen’s father died, and she ascended to the throne. The queen’s new role forced Prince Philip to step away from the Royal Navy, a role he loved, and try and find a place by her side.
Over the years, there were even rumors of the prince’s infidelity and partying ways. None of these rumors have been substantiated, and the pair have remained at each other’s side. At their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, Prince Philip said, “I think the main lesson we have learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient in any happy marriage… You can take it from me; the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II were extremely frustrated with the downfall of their children’s marriages
Having gone through so much together, weathering various storms and the decades, the prince and the queen were none-too-pleased when Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew all pulled the plug on their respective marriages in 1992.
In the Channel 5 documentary, Philip: The King Without A Crown via Express, BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond reflects, “To see your children go their separate ways and to suffer, and to do so so publicly, was very difficult for the Queen and Philip. [The duke] was probably a little frustrated that they just couldn’t get on with it.”
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip made a marriage pact in the ’90s
Despite their frustrations about their children bringing drama and tabloids to the royal family, the prince and queen did feel a great deal of sympathy for their unhappiness. As a result, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip struck up a marriage pact. According to France 2’s documentary, Prince Philip – At Her Majesty’s Service via Express U.K.,
They made a pact that the grandchildren would be able to marry whoever they wanted. William and Harry hold a special place in their grandfather’s heart. Philip, who wishes above all the happiness of the family, understood that its unity depended on the tolerance and the acceptance of the desires of each member
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