A SWEET photo shows the life-changing moment the Queen first laid eyes on Prince Philip when she was just 13 years old.
The young princess was said to have “never taken her eyes off him” during the 1939 meeting – and the pair would later go on to be married for 73 years.
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The encounter took place when her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother, made a visit to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where young naval cadet Prince Philip of Greece was stationed.
By pure fate, Philip was chosen to meet the then-princess because two naval cadets nominated to do so both had mumps.
Philip was 19 years old and said to be extremely handsome, with his blonde locks and Nordic good looks.
According to Elizabeth’s governess, Marion Crawford, Philip was confident and “rather off-hand in his manner”, but was a huge hit with the future queen.
In her diary, Marion, also known as Crawfie, wrote: “I thought he showed off a good deal.
“But the little girls were much impressed.
“Lilibet [Elizabeth] said, ‘How good he is, Crawfie. How high he can jump.’ She never took her eyes off him the whole time.”
The teens first of all played with a clockwork train on the nursery floor, but later Philip grew bored and suggested they jump over nets in the tennis courts instead.
Philip is said to have been polite and didn’t pay Elizabeth any special attention, but did tease “plump little Margaret”.
Elizabeth was completely smitten with her future husband, however, and her father’s official biographer, Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, said she had already fallen in love.
After the visit, she didn’t forget Philip and later had a photograph of him on her desk, from his posting in the Pacific.
As early as September 1942, in a letter to Crawfie, Elizabeth dropped a hint that she had told her friends that Philip was “the one.”
The couple exchanged letters and romance flickered, with the future Duke spending Christmas 1943 at Windsor Castle.
The couple exchanged photographs and Philip romanced Elizabeth after his naval training. The King then agreed that they could marry.
Philip renounced his Greek title and became a naturalised British subject when he married Elizabeth, then 21, at Westminster Abbey in the March of 1947.
Two weeks later Philip, who had to abandon a promising naval career, wrote to his mother saying: “Lilibet is the only thing in this world which is absolutely real to me and my ambition is to weld the two of us into a new combined existence.”
In 1948, an heir to the throne arrived in Charles, followed by Anne in 1950. Andrew came along in 1960, Edward in 1964.
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They celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary at Windsor Castle and were together for 107 consecutive days before he went to hospital with heart trouble on February 17.
She was by his side as he passed away at the age of 99 on Friday.
Philip and the Queen shared an unbreakable bond, united at key moments in history.
While private secretaries and household staff came and went, Philip remained her one constant.
The royal couple travelled the globe to attend thousands of engagements made all the more bearable by one another’s company.
The duke, who fondly referred to his wife as “cabbage”, spent 25,265 days at her side — or just behind it — following her accession on February 6, 1952.
In 1997, the Queen said of her husband: “Philip is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments.”
In a TV interview Prince Harry summed it up perfectly, when he said: “I don’t think she could have done her job without him.”
One of her principal private secretaries once said: “Prince Philip was the only man in the world who treated the Queen as a normal human being.
“He was the only man who could.”
They have eight grandchildren: Prince William, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louse Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn.
They have another eight great-grandchildren including Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Prince George, Mia Tindall, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Lena Tindall, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and August Philip Brooksbank.
Their latest great-grandson August, the son of Princess Eugenie and husband Jack, was given the middle name Philip in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh.
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