One year, five months ago — or 516 days — Queen Elizabeth faced one of the biggest personal challenges of her reign. The loss of her consort, Prince Philip, aged 99, shaped the last months of her life — an absence keenly felt despite the Queen's renowned stoicism. Of all the deaths of her closest confidantes over the years — her father, her sister, her mother — this hit the hardest.

A young Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh in November 1947

Theirs was a story that spanned 73 years of marriage — with love, family and service at its core. From first meeting when the Queen was 8 and Philip 13 to the blissful newlywed years before her coronation and the trials and tribulations of public life, Philip was in lock step.

At his funeral, she cut a lonely figure. It wasn't a funeral of pomp and state like we can expect for the Queen in coming days.

Isolated from her family due to COVID regulations, Her Majesty remained impassive behind her face mask. But it was the moment the public first saw what life would now be like for the Queen, as she juggled her public role and her private grief, as she coped without her "constant strength and guide" — the man who called her "Cabbage".

Weeks after his father's funeral, Prince Charles accompanied his mother to the state opening of Parliament

On July 8, 1947, their engagement was announced, and on November 20 they married in Westminster Abbey before 2,000 guests and a worldwide radio audience.

From there they had five years together before the reality of royal life set in. They lived in a residence near Windsor, and then at Clarence House in London, though at various times Philip was stationed in Malta for the navy.

They welcomed baby Charles in 1948, three years before Elizabeth became Queen

They took their royal duties seriously, with official visits across the Commonwealth including, in February 1952, a fateful visit to Kenya on their way to Australia and New Zealand.

it wasn't all smooth sailing after Elizabeth took the crown in 1952. In some ways they were like any other couple, juggling the competing demands of work and raising a family. But the work was like no other. Elizabeth took the lead, Philip was largely sidelined, which smarted for a man of his time and demeanour.