Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip tied the knot on November 20, 1947. Through most of their 70-year marriage, rumours of his alleged affairs have been rife.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh may have been young when they got married, but they knew what to do to make their relationship work. Over time, they reached countless milestones and achievements together. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. As of October 2021, she has four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The Queen previously described Prince Philip as her "strength and stay," and boasted about their "remarkable" time together.
"He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know," she said.
On the occasion of their anniversary, the monarch made her husband a knight. He was presented with the Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, an honor bestowed upon an individual who have given her distinguished personal service. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was the consort of the British monarch from Elizabeth's accession on 6 February 1952 until his death in 2021, making him the longest-serving royal consort in history.
The Queen and Prince Philip's exemplary marriage has even been the subject of books, documentaries, and more recently it's been part of the plot for the Netflix original drama The Crown.
The first season of the show introduced us to the pair's meeting, their nuptials, and first few years of wedded bliss. However, season two of the show seems to have taken a turn, and now has people questioning Prince Philip's faithfulness to his wife.
The first episode of the new season implies that Prince Philip may have had an affair while married to the Queen. In the episode, it is revealed that the Duke of Edinburgh may have been involved with other women while on a month-long trip around the Commonwealth.
The scandal unfolded after his secretary sent a letter to his Thursday Club members describing the trip's "whores in every port" during the trip. It is also revealed that Queen Elizabeth found a photo of a ballet dancer, Galina Ulanova, in her husband's desk before he left.
While the show is based on the lives of the royal family, it is still fictionalized. However, these allegations has us wondering: Did Prince Philip cheat on the Queen in real life?
Experts on the royal family have weighed in on the matter...
According to the 2016 documentary Inside Buckingham Palace, Prince Philip was subjected to rumors of an extramarital affair during the mid 50s, which was one of the main reasons why he was sent on the Commonwealth Tour in 1956.
"Royal aids panicked as rumors grew about Philip having affairs. The affairs were denied and there was no evidence," claimed the documentary. "But rumors persisted...Action was needed. In 1956 the queen was advised to let Philip go away on a long overseas tour which should keep him out of trouble."
The Queen, who is known for being extremely private, never publicly spoke about the rumors, however the palace issued a statement addressing the issue.
"It is quite untrue that there is a rift between the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh," read the statement. "It is a lie."
Experts on the royal family also don't buy the rumor about the Prince's affair with the celebrated ballet dancer, Ulanova. The dancer did come to London that year while on a tour, but her busy schedule wouldn't have permitted her to engage in any other activities outside of performing.
However, the allegations against Philip did not start with Ulanova's visit to London. One of his most publicized supposed affairs was with another dancer named Patricia Kirkwood, whom he met in 1948.
Prince Philip and his friend hung out with Kirkwood in her dressing room after her performance, and danced the night away at a nightclub in London. However, that was the extent of their encounter.
The media alleged that Prince Philip and Kirkwood met a few times after their initial encounter and exchanged letters. After the dancer's death, her friend confirmed that the letters did exist, but they were "written in terms of concerned friendship by two people caught up in a media maelstrom."
Philip was later linked with other women, including Hélí¨ne Cordet, Merle Oberon, Daphne du Maurier, and Sacha, Duchess of Abercorn, and at one point, the Queen's biographer, Sarah Bradford is convinced he had affairs with all of them.
"[Philip] has affairs and the Queen accepts it. I think she thinks that's how men are. Philip and Sacha Abercorn certainly had an affair. Without a doubt." However, she changed her mind in 2014 without explanation.
In 1992, a reporter finally confronted Philip about the allegations, and he actually responded.
"Good God, woman, have you ever stopped to think that for years, I have never moved anywhere without a policeman accompanying me?," he said. "So how the hell could I get away with anything like that?"
Neither he nor the Queen have since addressed the rumors of infidelity. There are some things about the royal family that we will be told, and others that we will probably never know.
Do you think Prince Philip cheated on the Queen?