Queen met 18-year-old Navy cadet who became love of her life at the age of 13

The Queen met the love of her life at the age of 13 as an 18-year-old blonde Royal Navy cadet caught her eye when was asked to look after two princesses as part of his duty.

Her Majesty, who was Princess Elizabeth at the time, met Prince Philip while in the company of her parents and her younger sister Margaret while visiting Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1939,

Although a Navy cadet, Philip was tasked with looking after the young royals and playing games with them.

The Queen was said to be “overwhelmed” with Philip during this first real interaction between her and her future husband.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, royal historian Christopher Warwick said: “And when he got tired of playing train sets with them, it’s famously known that he said: ‘Let’s go and jump the nets on the tennis courts.’

“And Princess Elizabeth was just overwhelmed [by Philip], really. Her governess, Marion Crawford, recorded [in her diary] that Elizabeth said: ‘See how he jumps.”

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The Queen had already seen Philip, or the Duke had seen her, due to them being third cousins through Queen Victoria.

Philip was also known as the Prince of Greece and would have seen the Queen at certain events over the years.

However, this meeting saw the pair acknowledge each other for the first time and would lead to them bumping into each other at the royal quarters and the two were even known to have exchanged correspondences.

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Mr Warwick explained that some of Philip’s family were encouraging him to marry the future heir to the throne.

In 1944, with Elizabeth still a teenager, Philip‘s uncle Lord Mountbatten asked her father, King George VI about marriage between the two.

Mr Warwick said the King’s reply was: ‘She’s much too young. If it’s going to happen, let it happen naturally.’

According to Ms Crawford in her memoir, The Little Princesses, it was Philip’s “Viking” good looks, hair and blue eyes that attracted Elizabeth.

As reported by Tatler, Crawford revealed that when Philip came aboard the King’s yacht for meals, it would cause the Queen to turn “pink-faced”.

Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, also saw the Queen taking a shine to Philip and wrote in her biography that it was “truly love from the very beginning”.

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Their engagement came several years later in 1947, following the war, with their marriage taking place at Westminster Abbey in November of the same year.

Philip and the Queen were married for 74 years before his death in April last year.

The late Duke was forever by the side of the Queen as they travelled all over the world together, representing the British Monarchy.

Her Majesty used her Christmas Day message to pay tribute to the loss of Philip as she hailed his work during his life.

The Queen said: “His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible. That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.”

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