The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Look back at moments from her life so far.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth was born April 21, 1926, in London. She is held here by her mother, Elizabeth. Her father would later become King George VI.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth in 1928.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth is seen with her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales, during a visit to Balmoral, Scotland, in September 1933. He would go on to become King Edward VIII in 1936. But when he abdicated later that year, Elizabeth’s father became King and she became heir presumptive.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth is seen in the Duchess’ box during a pantomime act at London’s Lyceum Theater in February 1935.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

From left, Princess Elizabeth, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret wave to the crowd from the Royal Balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 22, 1939.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

A 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth, right, sits next to her sister for a radio broadcast on October 13, 1940. On the broadcast, her first, she said that England’s children were full of cheerfulness and courage.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth shakes hands with an officer of the Grenadier Guards on May 29, 1942. King George VI made Elizabeth an honorary colonel in the Royal Army regiment.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth, right, and Princess Margaret wear summer dresses circa 1942.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

With the Drakensberg Mountains behind her, Princess Elizabeth sits in South Africa’s Natal National Park on April 21, 1947, her 21st birthday.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

This portrait of the British royal family was taken in July 1947, after Princess Elizabeth, far left, got engaged to Prince Philip of Greece, a lieutenant in the British Navy. He is second from left. To his left are Queen Elizabeth, King George VI and Princess Margaret.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Royal Wedding Party waves from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on November 20, 1947. After becoming a British citizen and renouncing his Greek title, Philip became His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His wife became the Duchess of Edinburgh.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth smiles in March 1950 as she arrives to a state banquet at the French Embassy in London’s Kensington Palace Gardens.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth ascended to the throne in February 1952, when her father died of lung cancer. Here, the new Queen leaves the Royal Archers Hall in Edinburgh after a ball in June 1952. It was the first function she attended as Queen following her father’s death.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II walks to the altar during her coronation ceremony on June 2, 1953.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Melbourne’s Government House, during her tour of Australia in March 1954.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

From left, Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother visit Epsom Downs Racecourse in June 1958.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen holds her son Prince Andrew while his sister, Princess Anne, watches during a family holiday at Scotland’s Balmoral Castle in September 1960.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II is seen during the State Opening of Parliament in April 1966.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II with her oldest son, Prince Charles, in 1969.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Charles adjusts his coronet during his investiture ceremony as Prince of Wales in 1969.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave from a plane ramp shortly before taking off from Tokyo in May 1975.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II takes a portrait at Windsor Castle for her 50th birthday on April 21, 1976.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen meets the crowds during her royal tour of New Zealand in 1977.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen stands next to Prince Charles as he kisses his new bride, Princess Diana, on their wedding day July 29, 1981.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II takes pictures of her husband during a horse show in Windsor, England, on May 16, 1982.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen reacts to an elephant as she tours a charity event in London’s Hyde Park in June 1987.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II fires a rifle during a visit to the Army Rifle Association at Bisley, England, in July 1993.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

While at Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip view the floral tributes to Princess Diana after her tragic death in 1997.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen addresses the nation on the night before Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Charles looks back at his mother after wedding Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in April 2005.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip leave London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral on October 9, 2009, following a commemoration service to mark the end of combat operations in Iraq.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen, second from right, greets a crowd from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011. Her grandson Prince William, third from left, had just married Catherine Middleton.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II drives her Range Rover as she attends the Windsor Horse Show in May 2011.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen’s signature is seen in the visitors book at Aras An Uachtarain, the Irish President’s official residence in Dublin, Ireland, in May 2011.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Flags are waved as Queen Elizabeth II leaves St. Paul’s Cathedral following its 300th anniversary service in June 2011.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Madame Tussauds London reveals a wax figure of the Queen in May 2012.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Charles kisses his mother’s hand on stage as singer Paul McCartney, far right, looks on at the Diamond Jubilee concert held June 4, 2012, at Buckingham Palace. The Diamond Jubilee celebrations marked Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary as Queen.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen speaks at a reception for members of the International Olympic Committee on July 23, 2012.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen tours the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London in December 2012.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

A boy in Belfast, Northern Ireland, takes a selfie in front of the Queen in June 2014.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen enters the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle after attending a commemorative service for the Scottish National War Memorial in July 2014.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen waits to give her speech during the State Opening of Parliament on May 27, 2015.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen sits at a desk in Buckingham Palace in July 2015.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

The British monarch greets the public after attending church services in February 2016

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Prince George gets a boost from some foam blocks for a special family photo. The portrait, featuring the four generations of the House of Windsor, was commissioned by the Royal Mail and will be featured on a series of stamps to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II acknowledges the crowd as she celebrates her 90th birthday in Windsor, England, on April 21, 2016.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

On June 10, 2016, Buckingham Palace released a new official photograph to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. It shows her with Prince Philip and was taken at Windsor Castle just after Easter.

The life of Queen Elizabeth II

This 2014 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was reissued on February 6, 2017 to celebrate her Sapphire Anniversary, marking 65 years since she ascended to the throne following her father’s death in 1952.

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