The legendary seven-decade-long marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, almost didn’t happen. Apparently the young Elizabeth, then a princess, was counseled not to marry the Greece-born royal because he was prone to “gaffes” and humor.
“[Queen Elizabeth II] is a very reserved, diligent person. He isn’t. He was a naval officer and he was also quite funny,” said royal biographer A.N. Wilson, according to Insider. Most families would enjoy adding a funny son-in-law to the ranks, but we guess it’s a little different when you’re a future monarch. Just 21 at the time of their wedding in 1947, Queen Elizabeth was told by advisers that Prince Philip was “entirely the wrong person to choose,” although history certainly proved that wrong. By all accounts, the two had a strong bond throughout their 73-year marriage, and Prince Philip’s wit was praised in multiple statements after his passing.
Royal photographer Samir Hussein told Insider that the duke was “a very witty man” with a “sense of mischief.” Prince Philip’s grandson Prince Harry wrote that his grandfather was “a man of service, honour, and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next.” Harry also remembered him as a “legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”
Prince William also recalled his grandfather’s “infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour,” while Princess Eugenie noted she would always remember laughing at his jokes.
Prince William and Prince Harry are both expected to attend Prince Philip’s funeral, which will be held on Saturday, April 17, in the U.K.. Multiple outlets are reporting Prince Harry has already arrived in the U.K. and will be staying for one week.