Prince Philip: How The Telegraph covered Duke of Edinburgh's key moments with the Queen

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Gareth Davies
·6 min read
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Prince Philip: How The Telegraph covered Duke of Edinburgh's key moments with the Queen
Prince Philip: How The Telegraph covered Duke of Edinburgh's key moments with the Queen

The Telegraph published a story on Jul 22, 1939 - a front page picture of the then Princess Elizabeth.

She and her father King George VI were about to embark on the last voyage of the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert.

A minor detail was a visit to the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, but it would prove to be a major meeting.

It was here that a 13-year-old princess first laid eyes on a dashing 18-year-old cadet, who would give the royal visitors a tour of the facility.

1939
1939

Fifteen years after their first meeting, the Duke proposed to his wife-to-be whilst on holiday at Balmoral.

When Philip approached King George VI to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage, he agreed, but told the young couple they should keep it under wraps until her 21st birthday - in April 1947.

After months of secrecy, the news was made public in July that year.

Under the headline "Princess Elizabeth Betrothed", The Telegraph ran a picture of the couple, including the detail that the King had "gladly" given his consent.

Jul 10, 1947 - The engagement is made public
Jul 10, 1947 - The engagement is made public

Just a few short months later, the couple were married.

On Nov 20, 1947, two thousand guests watched the royal couple tie the knot, and more than 200million watched or listened on the BBC.

The following day, The Telegraph ran the headline "Wedding of Princess Elizabeth", with the subheadline "Vast crowds line triumphal route".

The Duke endeared himself further to the British public as he made repeated returns to the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave at the thousands gathered to wish them well.

Nov 21, 1947 - The big wedding
Nov 21, 1947 - The big wedding

The following year, the couple welcomed their first child.

Prince Charles was born on Nov 14, 1948.

A day later, The Telegraph ran the news on the front page, with colour of mass crowds outside Buckingham Palace.

The Duke visited his wife before and after the birth, and toasted his "splendid baby" with Champagne.

Nov 15, 1948 - Prince Charles is born
Nov 15, 1948 - Prince Charles is born

Less than two years later, three became four.

Princess Anne was born on Aug 15.

As The Telegraph pointed out the following day - the then third-in-line to the throne was delivered weighing 6lbs at Clarence House with help from the Queen Mother.

With no picture of the new arrival available, a proud Duke of Edinburgh was pictured on the front page with a five-month-old Charles.

King George was out shooting on the moors near Balmoral Castle when his daughter was in labour - Prince Philip phoned him to relay the news.

Aug 16, 1950- Princess Anne is born
Aug 16, 1950- Princess Anne is born

It was not long until the couple would experience their first real tragedy.

In the early hours of Feb 6, King George VI died in his sleep.

The Duke of Edinburgh was more than 4,000 miles away with his wife on an official visit to Kenya, taking the place of the King who unbeknown to them was in the final stages of lung cancer.

Prince Philip had the unenviable task of telling the Queen her father had passed away.

Feb 7, 1952 - King George VI dies
Feb 7, 1952 - King George VI dies

Having been her rock after losing her father, the Duke stood alongside the Queen in June the following year as she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

At The Queen’s Coronation in 1953, the Duke of Edinburgh swore to be Her Majesty’s "liege man of life and limb".

Jun 3, 1953 - Queen is crowned
Jun 3, 1953 - Queen is crowned

That same year, the Duke embarked on his first foreign visit as a consort to the Queen.

They visited 13 countries in the West Indies, Australasia, Africa and Asia.

Bermuda was the first stop.

Nov 25, 1953 - First foreign visit as Queen
Nov 25, 1953 - First foreign visit as Queen

The couple had to wait until 1960 for the arrival of their next child - Prince Andrew on Feb 19.

The Duke of Edinburgh rushed in to see the Queen as soon as he was told, and then phoned Cheam School to tell Prince Charles he had a brother.

The young prince was whisked away from school - after being given leave of absence - and was driven to Buckingham Palace to see his younger sibling.

Feb 20, 1960 - Prince Andrew is born
Feb 20, 1960 - Prince Andrew is born

Four years later, the clan was complete as Prince Edward arrived on Mar 10.

In a first for The Telegraph on the Queen's children, there was a direct quote from the Duke.

He said: "I am delighted", and phoned around the family with the news before toasting with Champagne.

Mar 11, 1964 - Prince Edward born
Mar 11, 1964 - Prince Edward born

The nation rejoiced in 1972 on the Silver wedding anniversary of the Queen and Prince Philip.

The Queen made the 600 guests at the Guildhall lunch laugh when she opened her speech saying: "I think everybody really will concede that on this of all days I should begin my speech with the words 'My husband and I'."

Nov 21, 1972 - Silver wedding anniversary
Nov 21, 1972 - Silver wedding anniversary

Between 1972 and 1997, the Duke was a mainstay for the Queen on her official duties.

And on their Golden wedding anniversary, the Queen said of the Duke: "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."

The Telegraph printed the front page story under the headline "I will listen, says the Queen".

Nov 21, 1997 - Golden wedding anniversary
Nov 21, 1997 - Golden wedding anniversary

To mark the Duke's 90th birthday, the Queen made him Lord High Admiral - the titular head of the Royal Navy.

Prince Philip by now was ready to row back on public life.

And The Telegraph headlined the piece on June 10 "To put in bluntly, I'm getting close to my sell-by date, says Duke".

Jun 10, 2011 - Duke's 90th birthday
Jun 10, 2011 - Duke's 90th birthday

The following year was a huge one for Britain.

2012 saw the best of British with the Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee.

The Telegraph produced unrivalled special collector's edition, and while the Queen took front and centre on the front page.

June 3, 2012 - Diamond Jubilee
June 3, 2012 - Diamond Jubilee

The Duke of Edinburgh was, as ever, by her side.

June 3, 2012 - Diamond Jubilee
June 3, 2012 - Diamond Jubilee

A day after the Diamond Jubilee, the Duke was admitted to hospital.

But he made a full recovery, and in 2016, he was on the lawn at Windsor Castle to greet the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle.

Apr 23, 2016 - President Obama visit
Apr 23, 2016 - President Obama visit
Apr 23, 2016 - President Obama visit
Apr 23, 2016 - President Obama visit

And six years after he said he was ready to wind down, the Duke of Edinburgh carried out the last of his extraordinary 22,219 solo engagements as a royal consort.

On Aug 2, the then 96-year-old Prince Philip met the Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace.

The Telegraph bid farewell to the Duke's public life with a fitting tip of the cap.

Aug 3, 2017 - Duke retires
Aug 3, 2017 - Duke retires

After the Queen praised the Duke's "support and unique sense of humour" in her 2017 Christmas message, the Duke faded from public life into a well-earned retirement.

Just weeks shy of his 100th birthday, the Duke of Edinburgh died on Apr 9.

The Telegraph dedicated its front and back pages to Prince Philip.

Apr 10, 2021 - Prince Philip dies aged 99
Apr 10, 2021 - Prince Philip dies aged 99