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The meaning and origin of the expression: My husband and I

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My husband and I

Origin

my husband and IThis turn of phrase has often been used by Queen Elizabeth II in public speeches. The Queen married the Duke of Edinburgh (formerly Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark) on 20 November 1947. Since that day he has been resigned to walking a few paces behind her in public. Putting the husband first in 'my husband and I' was a device used to indicate the dominance of the male in marriage. The stilted form of address became rather out of touch with modern thoughts about marriage and was satirized in the UK in the 1960s and onwards. The Queen now rarely, if ever, uses the phrase.

Her consciousness of the notoriety of the phrase was tacitly acknowledged when she wheeled it out for a late airing in her speech at Guildhall, London in November 1972, on the occasion of her 25th wedding anniversary:

"I think that everybody really will concede that on this, of all days, I should begin my speech with the words 'My husband and I'".