By chance I had this lined up to send out on Monday; however, it’s just been announced that Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband of seven decades, died this morning at the age of 99. So I’m sending it now.1
On the morning of 20th November 1947, at London’s Westminster Abbey, the 21-year-old future Queen of the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten. They remained married until Philip’s death almost 74 years later, and had four children together. On the evening of their wedding, Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, wrote her a letter. She opened it on their honeymoon.
I was so proud of you and thrilled at having you so close to me on our long walk in Westminster Abbey, but when I handed your hand to the Archbishop I felt that I had lost something very precious. You were very calm and composed during the Service and said your words with such conviction that I knew everything was all right.
I am so glad you wrote and told Mummy that you think the long wait before your engagement and the long time before the wedding was for the best. I was rather afraid that you had thought I was being rather hard-hearted about it. I was so anxious for you to come to South Africa, as you knew. Our family, us four, the Royal Family must remain together, with additions of course at suitable moments!
I have watched you grow up all these years, with pride under the skillful direction of Mummy, who as you know is the most marvellous person in the world in my eyes, and I can, I know, always count on you, and now Philip, to help in our work.
You leaving us has left a great blank in our lives, but do remember that your old home is still yours and do come back to it as much and as often as possible. I can see that you are sublimely happy with Philip which is right, but don’t forget us is the wish of
Your ever loving and devoted,
May I remind you, should you need to rant, that firstname.lastname@example.org remains active but largely unmonitored. Thanks.