Queen: Experts discuss friendship with Princess Diana’s father
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Princess Diana’s father was once in the running to join the Royal Family as the Queen’s husband, a role later taken by Prince Phillip. The Duke of Edinburgh and her Majesty has been married for almost 75 years. But the did Spencer family came close to marrying into the Royal line sooner than happened with Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles. Now Channel 5 documentary ‘When the Spencers met the Monarchy’ reveals how close the two couple came to tying the knot.
As the programme’s narrator sets out the Queen relationship with Diana’s father Johnny Spencer was “more than professional.”
“There was a strong bond of affection between Johnny Spencer and Queen Elizabeth,” one palace insider told the documentary’s producers.
While royal expert Robert Jobson adds: “When he was serving in World War 2 they corresponded so he’d be a number of eligible young men who they may have even considered to be a future husband to the Queen.”
However in the end Mr Spencer was overlooked in favour of Phillip, the one time Prince of Denmark and Greece.
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The Queen and Prince Phillip celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020.
The couple first met when Elizabeth was just eight years old at the wedding of the Queen’s uncle, Prince George, in 1934.
A 13-year-old Elizabeth would meet Phillip again five years later as the future Duke of Edinburgh began life as a cadet at Royal Naval College.
Shortly after, the two began an endearing exchange of letters which would continue for many years.
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Biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, discovered that King George VI liked Philip.
He even told his mother that Philip was “intelligent, has a good sense of humour and thinks about things in the right way.”
King George agreed to a marriage on the condition that Philip delay the formal announcement of the engagement for a year so that the future Queen would be 21.
The wedding was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury in front of more than 2,000 invited guests and broadcast on radio around the globe.
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In 2017, Philip announced his official retirement from royal life at the age of 96.
The 99-year-old was released from hospital earlier this month after undergoing a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition.
He has since returned to Windsor Castle, where he has spent the majority of the lockdown with the Queen.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said that Philip “wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him”, while the Queen sent flowers and a note of thanks to the medical professionals who performed her husband’s heart surgery.
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