10 July 2017

Flashback: The Engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, 1947

It's been seventy years since The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh announced their engagement. Seventy!

First confirmation of the engagement came in the Court Circular on July 9, 1947, where an announcement read: "It is with the greatest of pleasure that The King and Queen announce the betrothal of their dearly beloved daughter, The Princess Elizabeth, to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, R.N., son of the late Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Andrew (Princess Alice of Battenberg), to which union The King has gladly given his consent."

On July 10, the happy couple made their first official public appearance together.

It was also, of course, the first public appearance of a jewel that hasn't left The Queen's side since: her diamond engagement ring, made with diamonds taken from a tiara that belonged to her fiancé's mother (this one). The bride-to-be also wore a double strand of pearls around her neck and a brooch on her shoulder. We don't have a confirmed provenance for the Six Petal Diamond Flower Brooch, but I've always wondered if it had a special origin since she chose to wear it on engagement day, or if she just chose at random from what was then a much smaller jewel collection. (Update: The brooch was likely a 21st birthday gift from palace staff.)

Pearls, a brooch, and The Duke of Edinburgh by her side: some things never change.