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Prince Philip heartbreak: Duke of Edinburgh’s life changed forever on one specific night

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National Geographic’s new documentary, Being the Queen, shows exclusive aspects of the Queen’s life thanks to previously-unearthed footage, including the pressures of her marriage to Prince Philip. The documentary reveals how Philip Mountbatten first met the Queen when she was only a teenager, but it took him 8 years to finally propose to her.

In the programme, royal historian Robert Lacey says: “One of the extraordinary things about the queen is that she fell in love and married just about the first man she met.”

But the important milestone “caused her parents great anxiety.”

Mr Lacey adds: “She wasn’t just taking on the man she loved; she was taking on the man who would shoulder almost half the burden of the monarchy.”

And, similarly, the Duke of Edinburgh felt the pressure of the important role he was about to take on.

Larry Adler, a friend of Prince Philip, said: “I was at his bachelor party the night before the wedding. He was scared. His face was white.

“This man just began to realise what he was getting into. And he finds he doesn’t like it.”

But director Tom Jennings argued that “they have always been solid, despite all of these other pressures.

“I admire them for it, but when you really are part of something bigger than yourself.

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“They embraced it and said, ‘Let’s go.’”

Despite the challenges, the couple went on to form an extensive family with four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

But the Queen’s duty as a monarch meant that her children did not see much of her on a daily basis.

In Being the Queen, royal biographer Tim Heald says: “It wasn’t that anybody was being deliberately unkind or cold…it was just the way you did things.”

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He said: “Keep in mind that running the monarchy is a full-time job times 20, so things like family time fall through the cracks.

“Entrusting their children to boarding schools, private tutors, and such is terrific for one’s education, but it isn’t the same as the nurturing and guidance that you would get from a parent.

“The queen could be so steadfast in her own marriage, and yet her children’s marriages were falling apart left and right.”

Mr Jennings explained how the Queen only prioritised her family over the monarchy when she stayed with Prince William and Prince Harry at Balmoral for a week following Princess Diana’s sudden death.

But the tragic death marked a moment of great significance for the Queen as well as the Royal Family as a whole.

The Queen stepped out of her car at the entrance of Buckingham Palace to greet the crowds mourning the death of Diana – a gesture extremely rare for a reigning monarch.

Of the historic occurrence, Mr Jennings said: “I didn’t know that part of the story.

“That moment, for me, may sum up who she is.

“People realised she’s a grandmother having to deal with all of this and keep the nation and the world together, and she did it.

“It’s probably one of my favourite moments in the whole film.

“While she’s under so much duress and stress, she’s still serving.”

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