Images of Queen Elizabeth II: A life in pictures

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Queen Elizabeth II has died, aged 96.

Her Majesty’s death follows the death of her husband, Prince Philip, who passed away on 9 April, 2021 aged 99.

The Queen, who leaves behind four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch having held the throne since 6 February 1952. She was officially crowned on 2 June 1953.

The Queen was Britain’s monarch for 70 years. She was just 25 when her father, King George VI, passed away. In 2022, the monarch celebrated her platinum jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.

The Queen was third in line of succession when she was born on 21 April 1926. Her uncle, Edward VIII, ascended the throne when George V died in 1936, but his abdication later that same year led to Elizabeth II’s father George VI taking over his brother’s position as king.

Edward VIII was the first monarch to voluntarily abdicate, after the Church of England refused to condone his marriage to American divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson. In order to marry one another, the couple had a civil ceremony, which was at odds with his position as head of the Church of England.

The abdication put 10-year-old Elizabeth in the position of heir to the throne and her sister, Margaret, who was six at the time, as the second in the line of succession.

Before she became Queen, Elizabeth II married Prince Philip whom she had first met in 1934 when she was just eight and he was 13 at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, Duke of Kent. The pair met again in the summer of 1939, when she was 13 and he was 18.

The couple announced their engagement on 9 July 1947 and were married four months later on 20 November at Westminster Abbey – the same place George VI and Elizabeth were married in 1923 and, later, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married in 2011.

The Queen and Prince Philip welcomed their first child, Prince Charles in 1948. Anne, Princess Royal was born in 1950 followed by Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964.

During her seven decade reign, the Queen worked with 15 prime ministers – Winston Churchill being the first and Liz Truss being the last. She was dedicated to her diplomatic duties, attending some of the 2,000 events the royal family complete each year and embarking on some 200 royal tours to Commonwealth nations.

Scroll through the images below to see the Queen’s life in pictures.

The future Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (right) pictured with her younger sister Princess Margaret (left) in 1933 (AFP/Getty)

The nine-year-old Elizabeth attends an aristocratic wedding in 1936 with her mother and younger sister. Later in that year, with the death of her grandfather and the abdication of her Uncle Edward VIII, she became first in line to the throne (Getty)

The coronation of King George VI in 1937. Elizabeth, aged 10, became the heir apparent to the throne (Getty)

Elizabeth and her sister arrive at Waterloo station in 1939 to say goodbye to their parents as they leave to tour Canada (Getty)

The 13-year-old Elizabeth and her sister Margaret address children who have been evacuated from the cities on BBC’s ‘The Children’s Hour’ in 1940. She said: ‘We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well.’ (Getty)

Just before the end of the war Elizabeth took part in training to become an ATS officer. She is pictured learning to change a tire, 1945 (AFP/Getty)

The official announcement of Princess Elizabeth and Phillip Mountbatten’s engagement in 1947. The pairing was incredibly controversial as Prince Phillip had no financial standing and he was foreign born (though he served Britain in the war and was given British Citizenship) (Getty)

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in Westminster Abbey on their wedding day, 1947 (PA)

Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip are cheered by the crowd after their wedding ceremony, on 20 November 1947, on their road to Buckingham Palace, London (AFP/Getty)

Elizabeth smiles at her first child, a month-old Prince Charles who was born on 14 November 1948 (Corbis/Getty)

The couple’s second child Princess Anne was born in 1950 (AFP/Getty)

Arriving back in England upon hearing the death of her father King George VI. The King’s health had been in decline for a number of years and Elizabeth had been filling in for him on an official visit to Australia by way of Kenya. As his heir Elizabeth became Queen aged 25 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation took place on 2 June 1953. It was the first coronation to be aired live on television and was watched by millions around the world

Prime minister Winston Churchill kisses Queen Elizabeth II’s hand as she leaves No 10 after a dinner given by the PM on 4 April 1955. Churchill was the first PM the Queen worked with during her reign (AFP/Getty)

President Eisenhower (centre) with the British Royal family (left to right) Prince Philip, Princess Anne, HM Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Captain John Eisenhower, at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, 1959 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II standing next to her daughter Princess Anne in 1960 (Getty)

With the Queen Mother Elizabeth at Ascot the racecourse in the summer of 1963 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II as she turns to smile and talk to an unidentified officer, during the Trooping of the Colour by the First Battalion of the Jamaica Regiment at Up-Park Camp, Kingston, Jamaica, 1966 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II walking cross country at the North of Scotland Gun Dog Association Open Stake Retriever Trials in the grounds of Balmoral Castle in 1967 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in London, a regular fixture in the royal calendar, 1971 (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during their traditional summer break at Balmoral Castle in 1976. The highland retreat is one of the Queen’s favourite places, each year, she heads off to Scotland for the summer. ‘It is rather nice to hibernate for a bit when one leads such a moveable life,’ she once said (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II during a walkabout in Muscat while visiting Oman, 1979 (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II with some of her corgis walking the Cross Country course during the second day of the Windsor Horse Trials. The monarch is responsible for introducing a new breed of dog known as the ‘dorgi’ when her corgi Tiny was mated with a dachshund sausage dog called Pipkin which belonged to Princess Margaret, 1980 (PA)

(Left to right) the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Prince Harry and the Prince and Princess of Wales after the christening ceremony of Prince Harry, 1984 (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II taking the salute of the Household Guards regiments during the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in London, 1985 (PA)

Diana, Princess of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II smile to well-wishers outside Clarence House in London, 1987 (AP)

Queen Elizabeth II, with Chief Instructor, Small Arms Corp LT Col George Harvey, firing the last shot on a standard SA 80 rifle when she attended the centenary of the Army Rifle Association at Bisley, 1993 (PA)

South Africa’s President, Nelson Mandela, greets Queen Elizabeth II as she steps from the royal yacht Britannia in Cape Town in 1995. It’s her first visit to the country since 1947 (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she visits Bowring Park in St John’s, Newfoundland, on the third day of a 10-day official visit to Canada, 1997 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, make their way into St. George’s Chapel at Windsor for the annual Garter ceremony, 1999 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II as they meet at the Vatican, 2000 (AP)

Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother leaving church by horse drawn carriage on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, 2000 (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II visits RAF Marham in January 2002, on the first public engagement of her Jubilee year (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and Philip watch Tjapukai Aborigines light a ceremonial fire near Cairns, Australia in 2002 on the final leg of her golden jubilee tour (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth rides her horse in the grounds of Windsor Castle, 2002 (Reuters)

Queen Elizabeth II poses for a picture with members of the 1st Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Howe Barracks in Canterbury, 2004 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth at the world premiere of James Bond movie ‘Casino Royale’ at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square in London, 2006 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh walking at Broadlands, Hampshire in 2007 (AFP via Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Clarence House with Prince Charles, (Left Foreground) Prince Edward, (Right Background) Princess Anne (Centre Background) and Prince Andrew (Left Background) on the occasion of a dinner hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to mark the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of The Queen and The Duke, 18 November, 2007 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth boards a scheduled train at Kings Cross station in London, 2009 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II planting a tree at Newmarket Animal Health Trust, during a royal visit which marked her 50th year as the charity’s patron, 2009 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II talking with Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh during a four day visit by the Pope to the UK, 2010 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 2010 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II receives flowers from the crowd during her visit to Federation Square in downtown Melbourne, 2011 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth watches a preview of her Christmas message wearing a pair of 3D glasses, studded with Swarovski crystals in the form of a “Q”, at Buckingham Palace in central London, 2012 (AFP/Getty)

Members of Britain’s royal family (front left to right) Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles cheer as competitors participate in a sack race at the Braemar Gathering in Braemar, Scotland, 2012 (Getty Images)

Britain’s Prince Charles kisses the hand of his mother Queen Elizabeth at the end of her Diamond Jubilee concert in front of Buckingham Palace in London, 2012 (AFP/Getty)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laughs as Queen Elizabeth gestures during a visit to Vernon Park in Nottingham, 2012 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend a service for the Order of the British Empire at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, 2012 (AFP/Getty)

The Trooping of the Colour is an annual celebration marking the Queen’s birthday, 2012 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II meets young people during an official visit to The Shard building in central London, 2013 (AFP/Getty)

Actress Angelina Jolie is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace, 2014 (Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red evolving art installation at the Tower of London, 2014 (Getty)

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the State Opening of Parliament, 2015 (AFP/Getty)

(L-R) Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge holding his son Prince George of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry (back), Prince Andrew, Duke of York (back), James, Viscount Severn (front), Princess Beatrice of York (back), Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Eugenie of York (back) stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace waiting to view the fly-past during the Queen’s Birthday Parade, ‘Trooping the Colour,’ in London, 2015 (AFP via Getty Images)

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II stands with Kate the Duchess of Cambridge whilst pushing Princess Charlotte in a pram as they leave after attending the Christening of Britain’s Princess Charlotte at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, 2015 (AP)

Queen Elizabeth II greets well-wishers during a ‘walkabout’ on her 90th birthday in Windsor in 2016 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II pictured through a gap in a floral exhibit by the New Covent Garden Flower Market, which features an image of the Queen, during a visit to the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show (AFP/Getty)

Prince Philip watches as his wife Queen Elizabeth II feed an elephant named ‘Donna’ after opening the new Centre for Elephant Care at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in 2017 (AFP/Getty)

Members of the Royal Family during Trooping of the Colour in 2017 (AFP/Getty)

The Queen waves at Prince Harry and Meghan after their wedding in 2018 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to the Storyhouse in Chester, Cheshire in 2018 (AFP/Getty)

Prince Charles reacts as he sits with his mother during an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, in Portsmouth in 2019 (AFP/Getty)

Leaders of Nato alliance countries, and its secretary general, join Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales for a group picture to mark 70 years of the alliance in 2019 (AFP/Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle in May, 2019 (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II reacts as she visits the Haig Housing Trust in Morden in 2019 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat on the The Sovereign’s Throne in the House of Lords next to Prince Charles, before reading the Queen’s Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in 2019 (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II looks at the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on 17 April (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II reacts during her visit to the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth on 22 May, 2021, ahead of its maiden operational deployment to the Philippine Sea (AFP/Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II attempts to cut a cake with a sword, lent to her by The Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, Edward Bolitho, to celebrate of The Big Lunch initiative at The Eden Project, near St Austell in June (AFP/Getty)