Britain immediately after World War II was a very different country to the one it is now. Although it had emerged a victor, it had paid a huge price. Houses, stores and factories lay in ruins while food and clothing was in short supply. But then came a much-needed boost to morale: the beautiful Princess Elizabeth was to be married.
Gauging the mood
The royal family knew how to gauge the mood of the public. A big luxurious wedding would have been inappropriate considering the great loss of life the country was still reeling from. But a small, sensible one could surely get the people of Britain excited for the future of the realm.
Deciding the future
And in some ways, the country’s future did hang on the wedding. Princess Elizabeth would be Queen one day, and it was important she made a good match. From this would naturally come more heirs to the throne. All royal fans know the name of Elizabeth’s groom-to-be: Prince Philip, one of the exiled Greek royal family.
Her parents didn't approve
Yet even the romance itself was at the mercy of the war. Philip wasn’t German, but he had German links via his siblings. That was almost too much for Elizabeth’s parents, who made their disapproval known. But Elizabeth was insistent that no matter what, she would marry the handsome young prince.
Setting the date
The couple announced their engagement on July 9, 1947, and the wedding was scheduled for a mere four months later. And the British public hung on every detail that came out about it. It would take place at Westminster Abbey, the same place Elizabeth’s own parents had tied the knot back in 1923.