Princess Elizabeth & Philip: wedding letter & poem

Letter from King George VI following Princess Elizabeth’s wedding to Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947

I was so proud of you & thrilled at having you so close to me on our long walk in Westminster Abbey, but when I handed your hand to the Archbishop I felt that I had lost something very precious.

You were so calm & 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 these years with pride under the skilful direction of Mummy, who, as you know is the most marvelous person in the World in my eyes, & I can, I know, always count on you, & 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 & do come back to it as much & 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 & devoted, Papa

The wedding poem

The Poet Laureate, John Masefield, wrote a poem to mark the Princess' forthcoming marriage on November 20, 1947 and gave her a special copy of the work, inscribed on vellum.

On the Coming Marriage of Her Royal Highness
The Princess Elizabeth, by John Masefield

What is the Crown but something set above
The jangle and the jargon and the hate
Of strivers after power in the State,
A symbol, like a banner, for mens' love?

When hope is dim and luck is out of joint,
When enemies within, without assail,
Where a Crown shines, the courage cannot fail,
There a land's spirit finds a rallying-point.

To those young lands, the countries of our kin,
The friends in need, the comrades in despair,
Our allies steadfast when no others were....
.....But how can Britain praise them? How begin?....

To those dear lands, still calling Britain "Home",
The Crown is still the link with Britain's past,
The consecrated thing that must outlast
Folly and hate and other human foam.

To those, as to ourselves, this marriage-time
Summons all hearts from their accustomed ways
To pray that hidden strengths, supreme, sublime,
May from their glory bless this couple's days.

To pray, that She, our future Queen, may hear
Through many happy years, the bells rejoice,
Telling of People glad, a Sovereign dear,
A Land restored, a Purpose again clear,
With wind-delighting clamour of glad voice.  



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