It’s that time of year again, and love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches. So we thought we’d take the opportunity to swoon over some of the British monarchy’s dreamiest love stories throughout history. Which one’s your favorite?
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Now married for an awe-inspiring 67 years (outliving the reigns of ten US presidents, and counting), the young Queen was encouraged by her father to keep her options open when Philip proposed to her – but she was undeterred. The Queen has referred to her husband as her ‘strength and stay’, whilst Prince Philip once mused in a letter that:
“To have been spared in the war and seen victory… to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly, makes all one’s personal and even the world’s troubles seem small and petty.”
At home, the 94-year-old is still said to call his wife by her childhood nickname, Lillibet.
#RelationshipGoals right there.
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
When Prince Edward became King in January 1936, he was in a relationship with an American divorcee and socialite named Wallis Simpson. The British public took issue with this for several reasons: monarchs were supposed to marry aristocrats and fellow monarchs from other empires, not ordinary women. The double life Edward was forced to lead made him and his beloved Wallis increasingly unhappy. Rules dictated that they would never be able to marry for as long as he was King, so he abdicated: he gave up the throne. On December 11, 1936, Edward addressed the nation and announced that he couldn’t rule the country without the support of the woman he loved. Soon after, Wallis’s divorce was made final, and she married Edward, becoming the Duchess of Windsor.
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall
We’ve written about William and Harry’s cousin Zara before. She’s an equestrian Olympic medallist and all-round sports fanatic, and was brought up without rank or title due to an old-fashioned rule that prevents children of female descendants to the monarch being referred as His or Her Royal Highness. When Prince Harry introduced Zara to England rugby player Mike Tindall at the Rugby World Cup in Sydney 2003, Mike was encouraged by his team mates to text Zara a few days later – though Zara hadn’t shown a lot of interest in him at the time. His boldness paid off, though: soon the sporty pair were inseparable, and they were married in 2011. Much had been made in the media of the pair’s different backgrounds, with some claiming that Mike and Zara’s class divide was ‘unbridgeable’. But they were wrong. Poor Mike is said to have had to postpone his proposal to Zara twice: once because his brother got engaged just before he intended to pop the question, and again when William and Kate became engaged. Families, eh?
Awwww, don’t you just love a royal love story? Happy Valentine’s Day, Sloanies!