Prince Philip Quit Smoking After Queen Elizabeth II Gave Him an Ultimatum

When you’ve been married for over 70 years like Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, you learn how to make compromises and adjustments for the sake of your spouse’s happiness.

Though the pair have been a united force for decades, there have been some tabloid stories over the years about unhappiness, infidelity, and other things. After all, no one is perfect, and seven decades is quite a long time.

However, there was one thing about her husband that Queen Elizabeth absolutely refused to compromise over. In fact, she gave the Duke of Edinburgh an ultimatum before they walked down the aisle.

Queen Elizabeth II was immediately smitten with Prince Philip

While it takes many of us a lifetime to figure out who we want to be with forever, the queen knew almost instantly. As kids, she and the Duke of Edinburgh crossed paths more than once. They are distant cousins after all.

The pair initially met in 1934 when they attended the wedding of Prince Philip’s cousin Princess Marina and the queen’s uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent. However, in 1939, when the queen was 13, they met again during a visit to the Royal Naval College, and this time sparks flew. They began exchanging letters which eventually got romantic.

However, when Prince Philip asked Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, for her hand in marriage, the king told him no. “It caused her parents great anxiety,” historian Robert Lacey revealed in the documentary, Being the Queen. “What parent wouldn’t be anxious about a daughter who wants to marry the very first man she’s fallen in love with? It was a matter of her personal happiness, it was a matter of the stability of the Crown.”

Thankfully the royals eventually relented. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wed on Nov. 20, 1947, when the queen was 21.

Queen Elizabeth II hated that Prince Philip smoked

While the queen was able to overlook her beloved’s unstable childhood, Prince Philip’s habit of smoking was a deal-breaker for the queen. Queen Elizabeth’s father King George VI was also a heavy smoker.

He would eventually die of lung cancer in 1952 at the age of 56, but prior to his death, he had many health issues related to his cigarette habit that the queen did not want to see her husband deal with.

In his book Long Live the Queen! 13 Rules for Living from Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch, royal author Bryan Kozlowski reveals that the queen insisted her new husband quit his smoking habit when they married.

Prince Philip quit smoking the day he married Queen Elizabeth II

Though the prince did stop smoking, he waited until the very last moment to do so. “Understandably, Elizabeth was adamant that Philip give up the habit that wreaked her father’s health,” Kozlowski writes via Marie Claire. “Previously a heavy smoker himself, Philip obliged with phenomenal efficiency, going from a pack a day to quitting cold turkey on his wedding day.”

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