Prince Philip's Secret to a Long-Lasting Marriage with Queen Elizabeth

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had a relationship that spanned over seven decades. In The Palace Papers, author Tina Brown revealed Philip's sweet marriage advice: a former member of the Queen’s staff told Brown: "In his nineties, Philip asked, 'Do you want some marriage advice? Spend enough time apart, and make sure you don’t have all the same interests.'"

The quote about Philip's marriage advice followed paragraphs from Brown speculating on Philip's extramarital affairs, which Philip himself has denied. "Philip has been one hundred per cent faithful to the Queen," Philip's private secretary, the late Mike Parker, told the Telegraph in 2004. "No ifs, no buts."

Philip followed his own advice: He often lived apart from the Queen, and they absolutely had different interests. For example, the Queen has been devoted to horses her entire life—an obsession Philip did not share.

In 2017, Philip retired to Wood Farm, on their Sandringham Estate. As Brown explains, "In his retirement, Philip took himself off to his man cave at Wood Farm, the cozy and unpretentious royal property on the Sandringham Estate, where he organized his papers, painted watercolors, and read history voraciously."

In early March 2020, with the pandemic, Philip returned from Wood Farm to Windsor Castle to live in a pandemic bubble with Queen Elizabeth and a small amount of staff. (During the lockdown, the royal household staff was coined "HMS Bubble.")

Brown writes, "It was the longest time the Queen and Prince Philip had ever spent together alone as a couple in their seventy-three-year marriage. Theirs was a bond that didn’t need a constantly reinforced presence. Though they permitted themselves no displays of affection in public, in private they had a 'wonderful teasing intimacy,' their friend Alastair Bruce told me. 'They played off each other the way two people who love each other do, in a way that makes their inner sanctum very trusting.'"

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