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This Is What Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's Wedding Day Was Really Like

According to a surviving bridesmaid, it was a "supremely romantic occasion."

Associate Digital Editor
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Photography by: PhotoQuest

It's been 70 years since Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's Westminster Abbey wedding, but the world is as intrigued by their nuptials as ever. Luckily, Lady Pamela Hicks, one of the Queen's two surviving bridesmaids, opened up about the whirlwind day—and revealed that even the Queen was subject to "normal wedding chaos."

 

To celebrate the royal couple's platinum anniversary, India Hicks asked her mother what "this day felt like 70 years ago," and posted her response on Instagram. "The tiara broke and the bouquet was lost for a while, but the Queen was delighted to discover that her favorite corgi, Susan, had been hidden under a rug in her carriage, so that she could join them for their honeymoon at Broadlands [Lord Mountbatten's country estate]," Lady Pamela said. Despite the bedlam, she described the wedding as a "supremely romantic occasion"—one that brought a country "mired in post-war austerity" hope.

 

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Have Been Married for 70 Years

 

 

At the time of the 1947 wedding, World War II had just ended, which meant Britain was still using a rationing system. The Queen, even as a bride, was not exempt from the rule. In conjunction with the 200 coupons gifted by the British government, the Queen saved her own rationing coupons to purchase materials for her wedding dress. The final result, a magnificent ivory silk, pearl-encrusted gown with a pattern inspired by a Botticelli painting, showed no sign of her thrift

 

However, to the young Queen Elizabeth, the wedding dress was of little consequence. She was marrying a man she'd fought hard for, after convincing her father, King George VI, and Parliament that he was the one—for her, and for England. "She fell in love at age 18 and she never looked at anyone else," biographer Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen, told People.

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