The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for nearly seven decades and are always the picture of happiness whenever they step out. So why is it that they rarely show any signs of affection? The royal couple, who have been together for most of their adult lives, frequently refrain from embracing when at public events or royal engagements, and have only occasionally been seen sharing a tender moment.
In 1999, Prince Philip was seen kissing the Queen's cheek during the midnight celebrations on 31 December at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich. Another sweet moment which was captured saw the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen share an intimate moment before she boarded in Ottawa, bound for London, in 1982. Although there is no official rule put in place against public displays of affection, royal etiquette experts have explained it's more professional to refrain from doing so when taking part in an official duty.
The Queen first set eyes on Philip when she was 13 years old, and the pair began exchanging letters before eventually becoming formally engaged in 1947, following the Queen's 21st birthday. The royal couple married later that same year. Although they rarely discuss their relationship with the press, the Queen said of her husband in her golden wedding speech in 1997: "He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years. I and his whole family, in this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know."
Prince Philip has also jokily praised his wife, and once said: "You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance." In a letter to his soon-to-be mother-in-law following their engagement, the Prince also spoke of his love for the Queen, writing: "I am sure that I do not deserve all the good things that have happened to me…. to have been spared in the war and seen victory. To have fallen in love completely and unreservedly."