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

My husband and I

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What's the origin of the phrase 'My husband and I'?

This turn of phrase has often been used by Queen Elizabeth II in public speeches.

My husband and IThe 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 - Elizabeth emphasized this by using the traditional 'honour and obey' pledge at her wedding.

The stilted 'my husband and I' 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'".

Gary Martin - the author of the website.

By Gary Martin

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

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