Heritage
Read King George VI's Beautiful Letter to Queen Elizabeth
Try not shedding a tear while reading this.
IMAGE Matson Photo Service / Wikimedia Commons
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With Father’s Day coming up, it’s the perfect time to appreciate all fathers and father figures. One such admirable dad is King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II. The two were incredibly close. And on her 68th wedding anniversary to Prince Philip in 2015, Her Majesty shared a touching letter she had received from her father on the day she wed the Duke of Edinburgh. Here is what the King wrote back in 1947:

“I was so proud and thrilled at having you so close to me on our long walk in Westminster Abbey but when I handed your hand to archbishop, I felt I had lost something very precious.”

Off to an emotional start, the King continues by reassuring his daughter of the future. Like any great parent, he does not fail to acknowledge the support he gets from his wife, Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Not only is he a loving father, but an adoring husband as well.

“You were so calm and 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 those years with pride under the skillful direction of Mummy… who, as you know, is the most marvelous person in the world in my eyes, and I can, I know, always count on you, and now Philip, to help us in our work.” 

At this point, a wave of empty nest syndrome—no matter how crowded Buckingham Palace might be—obviously hits the King, as he adds:

“Your leaving us has left a great blank in our lives, but do remember that your old home is still yours… and do come back to it as much and 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 and devoted…Papa.”

King George VI might not have been the most articulate ruler but he certainly knows his way around a touching handwritten letter. Despite the pressures of the crown, the King remained devoted to his family to the very end. He died four years after writing penning this letter and his elder daughter Elizabeth immediately succeeded him.

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Hannah Lazatin
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