Prince Philip was Queen Elizabeth II’s closest confidant and his death is said to have left a “huge void in her life.” The Queen and Philip tied the knot in 1947 and enjoyed the first years of their marriage outside the royal limelight. However, their quiet life came to an end in 1952 following the death of King George VI after which the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth took the throne.
Prince Philip had to give up his budding naval career to serve as the Queen’s consort and provided her with vital support for decades.
In 1997, in a speech to mark their Golden Wedding anniversary, the Queen described the Duke of Edinburgh as her “strength and stay” and Philip is said to have provided her with sage advice and support right up until his death.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing marks the end of an era for many Britons and Express.co.uk has rounded up six pictures that capture some of the Queen and Philip’s most iconic moments over the years.
Body language expert and author Judi James analysed the six photos of the couple for Express.co.uk and shared her insights.
Touching on the Queen and the Duke’s special bond, Judi said: “So much changed in the world during the lifetime of their marriage and yet so little changed in their body language.
“Age seemed to have little effect on either their facial expression as they looked at one another with an undeniable look of love or in their body poses, with Philip retaining the upright, attentive look of the dashing military man throughout while the Queen, one of the most powerful women in the world, adopted a more girlish look in his presence right up to their last few photographs together.”
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1951 – Young parents
Judi said: “This iconic photograph defined a moment in history for the Queen and The Duke in their role as parents.
“The Duke’s sharp, double-breasted suit complete with a pocket hankie and the Queen’s designer dress would have placed the couple far outside the lifestyle of most of the public admiring this photo but the body language would have been easily recognizable and identifiable with for most young parents because it was a deliberately-chosen moment of informal spontaneity with the smaller child calling the shots.
“To select a pose where little Anne was reaching out to place her fingers over her father’s lips, prompting Philip to pull a funny face rather than opting for a moment when all four were staring at the camera in a more traditional, rigid royal style did a lot to show Philip and Elizabeth as normal, loving parents who were happy to allow their children to be playful, rather than bringing them up like small adults, which had happened with previous generations.”
Judi added: “This was a ground-breaking pose that became iconic because it looked so natural.”
1972 – Balmoral
Judi said: “Between their formal royal duties the Queen and Philip always allowed glimpses of their life together as a country couple, wearing tweeds and carrying walking staffs as they either rode, shot or walked around their estates.
“This allowed the public to see some much closer and more relaxed body language displays like this, where Philip could be seen leaning in closely as they walk together.
“Like other photos of the time a pose like this still defined a lifestyle that was well outside the experience of most of the public but, again, the body language of sharing as a couple and their delighted smiles as they chatted together would have been identifiable by anyone in any walk of life.”
2007 – Diamond Wedding Anniversary
Judi said: “It was adorable to the point of ridiculous how The Queen and Philip would almost automatically reproduce the look of love from the earliest days of their relationship for the cameras decades after their wedding day.
“For a couple famous for their avoidance of the kind of more open PDAs some of the younger royals now use, this intense eye contact and soft, loving smiles defined a very resilient affection that looked unchanging over the years.”
Judi said: “This was a look they would often reproduce at some of the most formal moments of their lives.
“On tour, you could often see the Duke chatting to The Queen with this same, playful facial expression and she would respond with what often looked like a besotted smile.”
2020 – Duke’s 99th birthday
Commenting on one of the last ever portraits taken of the Queen and Philip together, Judi said: “Posing for one of their last iconic photographs together, The Queen and The Duke’s body language was remarkably similar to the pose taken back in the ‘50s.
“The Duke still adopted his signature, upright, ‘dashing military’ pose while the Queen folded her hands across her torso and gazed at the camera with a more youthful-looking smile.”