Royal Family

Queen Elizabeth’s Life In Photos: 1926-2022

The Queen ascended to the throne in 1952 and was the longest-reigning monarch in England’s history.

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Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, 2022, at age 96. She ascended the British throne at 25 years old. Throughout her reign, she oversaw 15 prime ministers, celebrated her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum jubilees, and bred dozens of dogs. Here, we take a look back on her extraordinary life, including her 70 years on the throne.

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1926

Queen Elizabeth II was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on April 21, 1926. Later in life as the Queen, she lead her own family through tragedy and triumph. She was a model for discretion, and remained a popular personality.

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1929-1930

A young Princess Elizabeth plays among flowers in a photograph reportedly taken by her father.

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1935

The Queen and her sister Princess Margaret wave from the balcony while celebrating her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary for the Silver Jubilee.

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1936

The Queen, her parents, and her sister Princess Margaret, spend a quiet moment with four dogs before her father became king at Windsor Castle.

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1937

The Queen’s life changed dramatically in 1937 when her father became King George VI after his brother King Edward VIII abdicated the throne.

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1940

The young Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth make a royal broadcast during World War II.

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1947

In November 1947, she married Prince Philip. They would remain together for more than 70 years until his death.

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1953

The year after she ascended the throne, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey.

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1953

Her husband, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, would wind up becoming the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Here, they pose in Buckingham Palace.

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1953

She remained close with her first Prime Minister (of many) Winston Churchill from her ascending the throne until his death in 1965.

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1957

Fourteen U.S. presidents served throughout her life. Here, the Queen and Prince Philip pose with Dwight D Eisenhower and his wife Mamie at a White House State banquet in 1957.

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1960

The Queen was known for her love of dogs, and has bred corgis for decades.

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1969

Prince Philip and The Queen frequently traveled together throughout their reign. Here, they share a quiet moment on a private jet.

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1972

The Queen was very fond of her castle in Balmoral. Here, she works at the writing desk in her study.

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1972

A rare look at Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward, and Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace.

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1981

The Queen rides sidesaddle here in uniform during the 1981 Trooping the Colour parade.

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1982

The Royal Family poses for portraits celebrating Prince William’s christening.

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1987

Throughout her life, the Queen has had an intense interest in horses. She was given her first horse when she was 4 years old. Here, she pets 2-year-old stallion “Tourmalet” during a trip to Vauville, France.

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1988

Princess Margaret and The Queen remained close throughout their lifetimes. “I’ve got a baby sister, Margaret Rose, and I’m going to call her Bud ... She’s not a real Rose yet, is she? She’s only a bud,” she said when Margaret was born.

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1988

The Queen is accompanied by Princes Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales and their children during Trooping the Colour.

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1992

The Queen and Prince Philip ride in a gorgeous state coach, which was a Bicentennial gift from Australia.

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2000

The Queen Mother waves to crowds from Buckingham Palace, accompanied by her daughters Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth II, as she celebrated her 100th birthday in 2000.

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2003

The Queen poses with Prince Philip, along with her son Prince Charles, and his son Prince William. The portrait illustrates the line of succession to the throne.

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Every year, the Queen gives a Christmas Day address. Here, she poses in London in 2008, with photos of her husband Prince Philip and son Prince Charles seen on the piano.

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2012

The Queen cracks a smile with Kate Middleton and Prince William during a Diamond Jubilee visit to Nottingham.

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2017

The Queen and Prince Philip pose on the Balcony during the 2017 Trooping the Colour parade in London, England with her grandson Prince William, Kate Middleton, and two of their children.

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2018

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry watch a flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

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2021

The Queen mourned her husband of over 70 years, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021. She famously sat alone during the funeral mass, in part due to COVID guidelines.

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2022

In June 2022, months before her death, she celebrated her Platinum Jubiliee, marking 70 years on the throne.