Queen Elizabeth, At 13, Swooned Over Prince Philip, 18, Which Amused Him

Queen Elizabeth's school girl crush amused Prince Philip at one time, but then she grew up.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during the Royal Progress trip via boat down the River Thames in June 1977.
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth's school girl crush amused Prince Philip at one time, but then she grew up.

Queen Elizabeth was only 13 when she kept a picture of 18-year-old Prince Philip by her bedside. Elizabeth swooned over his portrait and wrote letters to Philip. It seems Philip did his fair share of letter writing to the 13-year-old Elizabeth. With that said, on his part, it was nothing more than an “amusing diversion,” according to reports.

Queen Elizabeth first met Prince Philip when she was only 8-years-old and Prince Philip was 13. They both attended the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Prince George, Duke of Kent.

While Elizabeth lived her sheltered royal life, Prince Philip was shuffled off to boarding school as a lad, who was left without parents to watch over him. When Philip was a child, his father abandoned the family for his mistress, and his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to a mental hospital.

His care was taken over by the elders of his family who shipped him off to boarding school. After their first meeting as kids, Elizabeth and Philip met again three years later. They both attended the coronation of King George VI. Elizabeth’s father unexpectedly took the throne when his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated for the love of a divorced American woman, Wallis Simpson.

Elizabeth continued to live the life of a princess while Philip suffered more loss, reports Reader’s Digest. A plane crash took the life of his pregnant sister, her husband, and their two children, along with his sister’s mother-in-law. This tragedy followed the death of Philip’s guardian, Lord Milford Haven. He died of bone cancer.

Then, at 13-years-old, while visiting the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, with her parents and her sister, Elizabeth saw Philip again. He was assigned to them as their tour guide. It was in 1939 when Elizabeth became a smitten young teen. It was after this encounter that the picture of Philip graced her bedside table and her letter writing began.

Queen Elizabeth, who was a princess back then, was infatuated with Philip at only 13, reports suggest. Philip, who was 18, was amused by Elizabeth’s attention, but she was still a young girl at the time. By Christmas of 1943, Elizabeth, who was then an older teen, invited Philip to the royal family’s Christmas party at Windsor Castle. Philip was Elizabeth’s guest.

While Prince Philip came from a royal bloodline, Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, was a bit concerned. His nickname for his daughter was “Lilibet” and wanted nothing more than to see his daughter happy. But for George, Philip was “a little rough around the edges.”

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
  Bruce Adams / Getty Images

It wasn’t until 1947 when George gave his permission to Philip to propose to Elizabeth. Prince Philip designed the ring himself for this special event. Philip gave up any former royal titles to become Philip Mountbatten, a naturalized British subject.

Philip was given the titles, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich, on the night before he was wed to Elizabeth. These names were bestowed upon him by Elizabeth’s father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth took her place on the throne in 1952 when her father died. She made Prince Philip a British prince in 1957.

Today, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have more than 70 years of marriage under their belts. Their royal brood consists of four children and plenty of grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. They celebrate the longest marriage in history for any British sovereign.