2015 sees the Queen celebrate her time as the longest reigning monarch, after 63 years on the throne! We take a look back at the Queen's life in pictures
It’s been a weekend full of 90th birthday celebrations for Her Majesty, and on Sunday afternoon the Queen took to the Admiralty Arch Stage on the Mall to thank the 10,000-strong crowd, and the rest of the general public, for all their support and birthday wishes.
Addressing the crowd at the Patron’s Lunch, she said: ‘I much appreciate the kindness of all your birthday wishes, and have been delighted and moved by the many cards and messages I have received,’ the Queen told the audience. ‘How I will feel if people are still singing Happy Birthday to me in December, remains to be seen!’
The Queen’s light-hearted speech followed some sweet words from her grandson Prince William, who personally thanked the Queen for everything she does for the family.
After his speech, he added: ‘Before I finish, I hope you won’t mind if I say a personal thank you to The Queen – and to do so on behalf of all her grandchildren – and great-grandchildren,’ he said. ‘Granny, thank you for everything you have done for your family. We could not wish you a happier birthday.’
Click through to see more of the Queen’s life in pictures…
Video of the Week
Aww how cute. Here’s the Queen (well, princess at that time!) as a baby in 1927. She was born Princess Elizabeth in 1926 and was the daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who were at the time the Duke and Duchess of York, but later became the King and Queen in 1937.
How gorgeous is this little cutie? Here’s the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth in 1929 when she was just three years old.
She may have only been small, but it seems the little princess was already showing natural leadership skills at a young age. Winston Churchill is said to have described two-year-old Elizabeth as ‘a character. She has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant.’
Is it just us, or is there a very slight resemblence to Prince George there?
Here’s Her (somewhat small) Royal Highness standing between her parents, King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later to become the Queen Mother).
Less than a year after this picture was taken the couple welcomed another princess, Princess Margaret, into the family.
Well, we bet you never thought you’d see our monarch looking like this!
Here’s the Queen in 1945, learning vehicle maintenance at the Military Police Centre in Surrey, as part of her training as a T.S. Officer during the Second World War.
She was invited to join the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary second subaltern as part of the women’s war effort.
Elizabeth met Prince Philip (he was Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark before becoming the Duke of Edinburgh) in the 1930s and fell in love. The pair kept in touch with letters and later married at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. The pair received a whopping 2,500 wedding gifts from around the world!
In 1950 Princess Elizabeth gave birth to her second child, Princess Anne, at Clarence House in London. Prince Charles had been born 2 years earlier. The Duke of Edinburgh toasted his daughter’s health with champagne and telephoned Balmoral Castle where King George VI was shooting on the moors to let him know the good news.
After her father King George VI passed away, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at a coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 in front of more than 8,000 guests. Around 3 million people lined the streets of London to see the new monarch as she travelled to Buckingham Palace in the golden state coach. Check out the gold on that carriage!
On 25 December 1957 the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast was televised for the first time. During the message she held a copy of religious book Pilgrim’s Progress from which she read a few lines.
As the owner of lots of bling, we love it when the Queen wears some of her jewels. Check out that sparkling tiara she wore while travelling in a royal car in 1960.
How fabulous is the Queen’s vintage style in this picture taken at the 1962 Epsom Derby? We’re loving her hydrangea-style hat, mint green outfit and brooch. She’s always been a huge fashion icon and this photo proves it!
The Queen presented footballer Bobby Moore with a trophy after England won a match against West Germany making them the 1966 World Cup winners. The Queen was at the football match with Prince Philip among a crowd of 93,000 spectators.
The Queen looked relaxed with her family, husband Prince Philip and children Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew as they posed for a photo at Frogmore in Windsor. We love how one of her corgies sneaked into the picture too!
The Queen loves animals and especially her pet corgies. She was pictured with one of her dogs at Buckingham Palace in 1969.
The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated 25 years of marriage on 20 November 1972 where celebrations for their silver wedding anniversary included them driving through London in an open-top carriage with the public waving at them.
At her daughter Princess Anne’s wedding to Captain Mark Phillips on 14 November 1973, the Queen looked her usual glamorous self in a bright blue ensemble and waved at the crowds on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Can you see a young Prince Charles standing beside her?
For her Silver Jubilee on 7 June 1977, the Queen looked pretty in pink and celebrated with a service at St Paul’s Cathedral before heading to Buckingham Palace and waving to the crowds with Prince Philip from the balcony.
On 15 December 1977 the Queen’s first grandchild, Peter Phillips, was born to Princess Anne. For the 1978 Christmas broadcast she invited her grandson and her daughter Anne to be a part of the message.
Queen Elizabeth wore an eye-catching blue number to Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding on 29 July 1981, which saw a whopping 750 million viewers tune in to watch their nuptials on TV!
The Queen delivered her Christmas speech from the terrace of Buckingham Palace in 1981. She spoke of it being the International Year of Disabled Persons, which saw the courage and needs of the disabled become a focal point.
In 1983 the Queen visited Mother Teresa in New Delhi and presented her with the Order of Merit at the Presidential Palace for her work with the poor in India.
Ever wondered how the royals gather for a family photo? Here they are at the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson in July 1986. The Queen smiled next to her new daughter-in-law wearing a violet outfit. Beside her was the Queen Mother and Princess Diana holding Prince Harry.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Great Wall of China in October 1986. We wonder how much of the 8,800km wall they walked!
Animal lover Queen Elizabeth got stuck in as she met an elephant at the St Johns Ambulance Brigade Centenary in Hyde Park, London in 1987.
The Queen showed her uncanny resemblance to her younger sister Princess Margaret at the Windsor Horse Show in May 1988. The Queen looks like quite the keen photographer with her camera at the event.
After more than 30 years on the throne, the Queen still wore a smile as she went about her royal duties, inspecting the Irish guards at Buckingham Palace in May 1988.
The Queen again wore blue as she attended the second wedding of her daughter Princess Anne to Timothy Laurence at the Crathie Church, Balmoral. Look at little Zara Phillips standing next to the Queen!
One of the few documented times the Queen visited the hospital was for a broken arm in 1994. Despite her injury the Queen went about her duties, sporting a yellow garland on her visit to Belize in 1995 with Prince Philip.
On 6 May 1994 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled on a new Eurostar train at the opening of the Channel Tunnel, the first land link between Britain and mainland Europe since the last Ice Age around 8,000 years ago! The Queen looks like she’s checking out the First Class carriage!
The Queen often had the Queen Mother at her side during official events, here they celebrated the 50th anniversary of VE Day on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Wow! How glam does the Queen look on her visit to the Royal Opera House in 1996? Looks like she dusted off her best jewels for the outing too!
After the death of Princess Diana in 1997 Princes William, Harry and Charles stopped to look at the flower tributes outside Balmoral in Scotland and were accompanied by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Queen looked as happy as the Spice Girls did when she got to meet them at the Royal Variety Performance in 1997. We didn’t know she was a fan of girl power!
The Queen and Prince Philip were joined by members of their family at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1997 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. How delighted does the Queen look?
The Queen nearly had a Marylin Monroe moment in November 1999 when the breeze lifted up her dress on her tour of South Africa. Now that could have been a royal embarrassment!
Enjoying a glass of bubbly at the London Millennium celebrations in January 2000, the Queen toasted the new year with her hubby Prince Philip.
It was a sombre day for the Queen and the royal family on 9 April 2002 when they attended the funeral of the Queen Mother, who died aged 101. Two months before her death the Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret died aged 71 of a stroke.
The Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee on 4 June 2002, travelling around the UK and the world, meeting people of all ages, religions and nationalities.
After the Queen Mother died in 2002, the Queen unveiled a bust of her late mum at Sandown Park Racecourse in 2003.
We love seeing the Queen in her dress-down clothes! Here she is at the Royal Windsor Horse Show doing a spot of browsing of the stalls and enjoying the day.
One of the Queen’s longest-running passions is her love of horses.
The Queen leaves St George’s Chapel in Windsor with her grandson Prince Harry after the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla.
The Queen visited the QE2 (the luxury cruise named after herself) for the last time in June 2008 before the ocean liner retired from service.
The Queen visited the Olympic Park in Stratford, London ahead of the 2012 Olympics in November 2009. One looks impressed with what they’ve done to the place!
Our Queen clearly has a head for heights. Here she is pictured at the top of London’s Gherkin building on a lunch visit held by the Lord Mayor.
Ahh we love a bit of mother-son bonding. Here’s the Queen with Prince Charles at The Braemar Highland Gathering in Scotland on 4 September 2010. The pair clearly share the same sense of humour. We wonder what they were laughing about!
She likes it! The Queen looks impressed with a portrait of herself that was commissioned by Cunard of Her Majesty and presented to her at the ‘Queen Elizabeth’ Cruise Liner naming ceremony in Southampton on 11 October 2010.
The Queen welcomed the new additions to the Royal Family as she had a natter with Carole Middleton and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The 3 looked very stylish in their pastel-coloured outfits.
The Royal Family gather for Kate and William‘s royal wedding portrait. Now that’s what we call a wedding photo!
The Queen got all dressed up to welcome Barack Obama at Buckingham Palace for the US president’s state visit to the UK. We’re loving her sash!
The Queen talked to a girl playing with her phone at The Royal Windsor Horse Show. With the Queen on Facebook and Twitter, she was probably asking the girl for social media tips!
The Queen made her first state visit to the Republic of Ireland in May 2011. It was the first time a British monarch had visited the country since King George VI in 1911. Her appearance alongside Irish president Mary McAleese was a significant moment for Irish-British relations.
The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Kate Middleton visited Kate’s wedding dress, which went on display at Buckingham Palace. Kate and the Queen have since been on a few outings together.
The Queen looked lovely in peach at the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall at Canongate in Scotland. This was the second royal wedding of the year.
The Queen wore a lime green outfit at the christening of her first great-grandchild Savannah Phillips at the Church of the Holy Cross in Gloucestershire. Savannah is the daughter of Autumn and Peter Phillips.
A new portrait of the Queen has been revealed! Painter, Daniel Llywelyn Hall’s, work has been shown at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Do you think this is a good likeness of her majesty? Leave your comments in the box below…
To mark the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation, Royal Mail have decided to make 6 special new stamps which show a portrait of the Queen. Royal Mail themselves paid for the portrait to be painted by Nicky Philipps, who has previously painted Prince William and Harry.
But some experts have called the painting ‘abomniable’, saying it looks nothing like Elizabeth.
What do you make of the new portrait? Love it? Hate it? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below…
We love this picture of the Queen, beaming from ear to ear after her horse, Estimate, rode to victory at this year’s Ascot Gold Cup.
The Queen’s passion for horses has been well publicised throughout her life. Not only has she been horseriding since she got her first pony at the age of four (a Shetland pony named Peggy), but she’s also owned and bred countless racehorses herself. She’s a regular at Ascot Racecourse, where she’s had a total of 22 winning horses to date!
We love this picture of Her Majesty, just a few weeks before her 88th birthday, still enjoying what she loves most, being in the saddle.
The Queen may be 89, but she’s still driving!
The monarch is the only person in the UK permitted to drive without a licence and is the only person allowed to drive down Windsor Park’s 2.6-mile Long Walk, apart from park rangers.
How adorable is this? Little Prince George speaks to his great-granny outside the church where his baby sister, Princess Charlotte was christened in 2015.
Prince George was later heard describing the Queen’s Sandringham estate as ‘Nanny’s house’ to Prince William, before they headed back for their official photos to be taken.
Grandson Prince William has written a touching letter to serve as the preface to an upcoming book, Elizabeth II: The Steadfast, will take a look back at the Queen’s time on the throne.
This might just be one of our favourite ever pictures of Prince Phillip and the Queen.
While watching a performance at the Braemar Highland Gathering in Scotland, the couple, who’ve been married since 1947 (that’s 58 years!) were pictured in fits of giggles.
It’s lovely to see that the pair are still laughing together after all these years.
Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip have a big reason to celebrate, as they’ve reached their 68th wedding anniversary!
The couple, pictured above on their wedding day and below earlier this month, married at Westminster Abbey on the 20th November 1947. Their ceremony was one of the first major public events after the end of World War II – Elizabeth had accepted Phillip’s proposal on the spot the year before, without even consulting her parents.
‘She really was radiant, with her diamond tiara on top. And she was very much in love,’ one of her bridesmaids recalls to People magazine.
The Queen and Prince Phillip have since had four children (and even more Corgis) together, and appear to have remained just as in love as the day they got hitched.
As a senior courtier once commented: ‘The Queen admires him for many things, but mainly I think for the way he has managed to remain himself – the same man she married.’
From her baby photos to her wedding day, and even some horse riding, driving, and a spot of mechanics along the way, these photos will give you a glimpse into the life of our Queen, who’s sat on the throne for 63 years!
She may be just a few months away from her 90th birthday, but that?s not stopping the Queen from getting out and about.
Attending an event at the Claridge’s Hotel in London on Tuesday 16th February, the monarch seemed to be in very high spirits as she stepped out of her car.
Elegantly dressed as always, Queen Elizabeth II went for her go-to two-piece suit, but in a very glamorous gold hue with a floral pattern. She also accessorised the classy outfit with a double string of pearls.
The 89-year-old monarch was attending the Gold Service Scholarship service, an event where the best waiter or waitress of the nation is crowned.
The national competition, now in its fourth year, selects the best talent from the young front of house professionals working in the hospitality industry.
The Queen, who is a patron of the scholarship, joined key figures in the hospitality industry to recognise the budding professionals’ talent.
This was the Queen’s first official outing since she returned from her prolonged Christmas break in Norfolk. Unlike previous years, her winter break lasted until the beginning of February, perhaps because she wanted to get a bit more rest ahead of the big birthday celebrations.
Even though her official birthday is in April, the royal will have a big three day bash in May at Windsor Castle.
Click through to see the Queen’s life in pictures!
It seems like even Her Majesty can’t resist the charms of a well-stocked local supermarket, as she looked elated to receive a Tesco giftcard at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
On account of her horse Barber Shop winning the Tattersalls & ROR Thoroughbred Ridden Show, Queen Elizabeth was presented with a winner’s trophy and a £50 voucher for the chain, and was pictured looking thoroughly chuffed with her prize.
Wearing a casual tweed skirt and cardigan combination accessorised with a co-ordinating headscarf, Elizabeth laughed and joked with friends at the event, and it looks like the win was the cherry on top of a thoroughly enjoyable day for the 90-year-old.
In a reassuring turn of events it turns out even the queen needs technological help from her children and grandchildren!
The relatable insight into the monarch?s life came from a snippet of a conversation she had with one of her guests at her most recent garden party. Her majesty and her family opened up the grounds of Buckingham Palace to 8000 people to feast on cucumber and mint sandwiches and Eton Mess tarts.
During the celebrations one of the guests, Barbara Wilkinds, 82, who has received the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours for services to education and runs eight pre-schools was asked to speak to the queen.
Revealing the details of the conversation with the 90-year-old monarch Barbara said that the Queen often asks for help when it comes to online affairs, but disapproves of her grandchildren being on their phones too much!
‘The Queen was talking to me about young children and asked me if they had changed a lot,’ Barbara said.
‘I said they are all digital these days and I said that instead of sitting at the dining room table having conversations like I did with my children they are all sitting on the settee with their teas on their knees watching television.
‘She agreed. She said her grandchildren did things for her digitally but she didn’t like them to be on their phones and computers all the time. She days they need social skills. She was like any other grandmother really.’
Barbara, who is a widow from Southend-on-Sea was accompanied by her grown-up children Angela and Christopher, added: ‘She didn’t say exactly what her grandchildren did for her but she did say she gets them to sort her out on the computer.
‘Well she didn’t use the words ‘sort her out; but you know what I mean. She actually said she gets them to help her out and to do things for her. ‘I have to say she has fantastic communication skills being able to talk to anybody about anything at any time.’
How reassuring to know that we?re not the only ones struggling with all those gadgets and gizmos!
Picture: The Royal Family/Twitter
We’ve been thoroughly spoilt for new pictures of The Queen and her family during her special 90th birthday year, and this latest snap, shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, is no exception.
The monarch can be seen posing for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine alongside her trusted companions – her beloved dorgis and corgis Willow, Vulcan, Candy and Holly – by a rose bush in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The colourful shot is just one in the latest series of new photos, taken by Leibovitz, that were commissioned to commemorate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday in April. In others, released just last month, Queen Elizabeth is pictured walking her dogs in Windsor’s gardens, and posing with family including her great-grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Annie Leibovitz told Vanity Fair: ‘The most moving, important thing about this shoot is that these were all her ideas.’
‘She wanted to be photographed with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh; her daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal; and her corgis.’
Picture: Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair