Email Getty Images The wedding that millions of people witnessed last Saturday was a game-changer for Britain's royal family. Harry and Meghan's courtship. Photos Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Day Photos In very modern fashion, they met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend though if it were truly now, they would've met on the Internet , and their third date was a safari getaway in Botswana.
So that's a little new for royals, if not celebrities, although since they're both adults in their 30s Meghan's even three years older, also very hip they had almost all of the freedom and autonomy in the world to really go for it.
A love match back when no one necessarily expected that to be part of the package, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have proved the platinum standard of what an enduring, supportive, affectionate and not overly dramatic royal relationship can be.
Photos Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's Year Marriage in Pics In case anyone thought that ducking photographers and arriving and leaving separately were some recent Hollywood invention, just look to Elizabeth and Philip's early years together. Their paths had previously crossed at the ages of 8 and 13, at a wedding when Philip's cousin married Elizabeth's uncle. Elizabeth kept a photograph of a clean-shaven, dapper Philip, who served with the Royal Navy in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, in her room—but when she started getting teased about her affection for the young officer, she's said to have swapped out that photo for a more rugged shot of a heavily bearded Philip.
She couldn't have known that would be the fashion 70 years later, with grandson Harry staying hirsute for his wedding. Meanwhile, the butler who regularly unpacked Philip's weekend bag for him reliably came across a photo of Elizabeth in a worn leather frame tucked among his belongings.
I suppose I began to think about it seriously, oh, let me think now, when I got back in '46 and went to Balmoral," Philip said, regarding the decision to make it official. He proposed during his summer visit to Balmoral Castle in Scotland in and year-old Elizabeth was all for it—but her father, King George VI, wanted to wait until his daughter and heir to the throne was 21 before they announced the engagement.
Ultimately almost a year passed before their betrothal was shared with the public on July 9, Much has been made since of when, exactly, William proposed to Kate, and similarly when Harry actually proposed to Meghan—because both couples had to sit on the news for a bit before the timing was right for an announcement.
The following month Harry was compelled to release a statement via the palace imploring the media, and the public at large, to respect his girlfriend's privacy. William had to do the same a decade prior when the media obsession with Kate got out of hand. Philip helped design Elizabeth's platinum-and diamond ring, which contained stones from a tiara that belonged to his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Decades later Harry helped design Meghan's ring, utilizing diamonds from his mother's collection as well. Meghan and Harry's photos were practically steamy compared to Kate and William's affectionate but slightly more staid pictures, which were more reminiscent of Elizabeth and Philip's prim reveal.
Cue the subsequent hoopla. The joint televised interview that William and Kate and, seven years later, Harry and Meghan sat down for was of course more of a modern ritual, the increased accessibility of the royal family more of a priority in recent years than it was doing WWII-era Britain, when it was more important to portray the monarchy as an unflappable institution that was always there for its subjects—for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
Press Association via AP Images The future queen of England though no one predicted just how imminent her ascension would be, just over four years later married Prince Philip on Nov. Philip wore his military dress uniform for his wedding, as did his grandsons at their nuptials. None of the groom's German-born family—nor his sisters, who married Germans—were invited, due to still raging anti-German sentiment in Britain after the war.
After the ceremony, Elizabeth's bouquet was placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, representing all British soldiers who've died in military conflicts since World War I, at Westminster Abbey—as was Kate's in and Meghan's this past weekend. They didn't have any pressing official engagement, but they opted for a local honeymoon in Hampshire, England, at Broadlands House, which was owned by Philip's uncle, and then visited Birkhall in Scotland, a favorite family vacation spot for Elizabeth when she was a girl.
Later they took a second honeymoon to Malta, but their wedding being so soon after the war, they didn't want to take a splashy, luxurious trip while most of their compatriots were still struggling. While the generation of royals that's currently of marrying age will continue to be entrusted with bringing the monarchy into the future—speaking out more about issues such as mental health that affect people universally, raising their children with less hired help, wearing black while not in mourning—some practices stand the test of time.
Finding a soul mate and being so in love that all of the nonnegotiable rigmarole seems worth it, for instance, is certainly a tradition worth keeping.