"I was so proud and thrilled at having you so close to me on our long walk in Westminster Abbey," the emotional letter begins

By Erin Hill
November 20, 2015 04:30 PM
Popperfoto/Getty; Inset: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty

Get the royal handkerchief ready!

To commemorate Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip‘s 68th wedding anniversary, Her Majesty’s office shared the touching letter King George VI gave to his daughter, the then Princess Elizabeth, shortly after her wedding on November 20, 1947.

“I was so proud and thrilled at having you so close to me on our long walk in Westminster Abbey,” the emotional letter begins. “But when I handed your hand to the Archbishop, I felt I had lost something very precious.

“You were so calm and composed during the service and said your words with such conviction, that I knew everything was all right.

“I have watched you grow up all those years with pride under the skillful direction of Mummy…who, as you know, is the most marvelous person in the world in my eyes, and I can, I know, always count you, and now Philip, to help us in our work.

“Your leaving us has left a great blank in our lives, but do remember that your old home is still yours…and do come back to it as much and as often as possible.

“I can see that you are sublimely happy with Philip, which is right, but don’t forget us is the wish of your ever loving and devoted…Papa.”

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Before Elizabeth’s father took the throne as King George VI (and even further before pop culture came to know him as the King’s Speech monarch), he was His Royal Highness Prince Albert. His look-alike older brother, Prince Edward, famously abdicated the throne, thus putting his brother’s descendants (including little Prince George) in line to reign.

King George was remarkably close with his eldest daughter, Elizabeth. In February 1952, the 25-year-old princess was enjoying a tour of Kenya with her husband, when her world changed forever. On February 6, her father unexpectedly died, prompting the young royal to cut short her visit and return home, this time as the future Queen of England.

Sixty-four years later, the Queen became the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch.

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