The life of Queen Elizabeth II, family life: Royal baby’s arrival is marked by blue fountains

·1-min read
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Charles at Balmoral (Corbis via Getty Images)
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Charles at Balmoral (Corbis via Getty Images)

Six days before Elizabeth and Philip’s first wedding anniversary, her first son and heir was born on November 14, 1948.

Prince Philip was playing squash with his close friend Mike Parker. He dashed back to the palace, picking up on the way some champagne and carnations. A huge crowd had already gathered at the gates, and the fountains in Trafalgar Square were dyed blue in honour of the new arrival.

The infant was christened Prince Charles Philip Arthur George in a ceremony witnessed by George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, the Queen Mother.

Soon afterwards Philip was posted to Malta and the princess divided her time between the UK and the tiny island. It was a period that he described as among the happiest days of his sailor life, as well as being the closest he and his young bride came to living an ordinary life.

The Queen with Princess Anne and Prince Charles at Balmoral (Rex Features)
The Queen with Princess Anne and Prince Charles at Balmoral (Rex Features)

They entertained themselves with picnics and swimming expeditions, and Elizabeth enjoyed the life of any other young officer’s wife.

When she was six months’ pregnant with her second child, she returned home for good.

Princess Anne was born in August 1950. Royal duty soon intervened, though. In the autumn of 1951, the King’s declining health meant that Elizabeth and Philip had to step in for her parents on a royal tour of Canada and the US. Though Philip was promoted to commander fate would dictate a different path for this young naval officer and his wife.