— ClockOutWars (@clockoutwars) April 9, 2021
A love story of endurance. A love story spanning generations. A love story of 70 years. A love story in the public eye. A love story that touched a nation.
Today the United Kingdom and the rest of the world learned the news that HRH, Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh passed away, at home in Windsor, aged 99.
As the tributes flooded in from far and wide, and the news switched to 24/7 coverage, we were reminded of the steadfast service of the Duke, who served both in the military and as a public servant. What touched me the most was the story of his enduring love and service to his wife, Queen Elizabeth.
The images of the handsome, young, strong prince that first met the pretty Princess Elizabeth on the grounds of the famous Dartmouth Naval college, in 1939 being projected onto our screens show young love at its purest point. Before the queen was the queen and when Philip was a serving officer, their love story started with exchanges of letters and stolen glances—in 1946, the prince then approached the then King for his daughter’s hand, a moment that would change the course of his naval life and see him instead cast as the queen consort; steadfast and devoted, he remained by his beloved’s side for the next 70 years—until death they did part.
This marriage was one of choice not arrangement, a marriage of rebellion (some would say) for the queen—one that wasn’t necessarily stamped with royal approval but one that was not marred with reluctance either. In this generation, a marriage of love amongst royals was unusual—but love it was, and love it remained.
During their Golden Wedding Anniversary at Banqueting House in London, the Queen gave a speech in tribute to Philip; she said:
“All too often, I fear, Prince Philip has had to listen to me speaking. Frequently we have discussed my intended speech beforehand and, as you will imagine, his views have been expressed in a forthright manner. 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.”
In her Diamond Jubilee speech, she also said: “Prince Philip is, I believe, well known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout, he has been a constant strength and guide.”
Strength and Stay; Steadfast and Strong. This is a love story we all aspire too. One that faced many challenges, huge public interest, and significant speculation—yet remained constant.
Alongside the world, we mourn our beloved Duke, but we also must celebrate this love. This enduring love that will never die.
Today we should be reminded that true love endures—and this love story will be one that we all look back on in awe, one which even in death will not be diluted.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~ Thomas Campbell