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September 29, 2022

A look back at the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II

A look back at the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II


Highlights from the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Duchess of York holds her baby Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), May 1926.

— Bob Thomas/Popperfoto / via Getty Images

Albert, Duke of York, and his daughter Princess Elizabeth in July 1929.

— The Royal Collection

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with Princess Margaret Rose, left, and Princess Elizabeth, right, at the Welsh House, a miniature cottage on the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, in 1931.

— Lisa Sheridan / Getty Images

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with Queen Mary, center; Princesses Elizabeth, left, and Margaret Rose; and members of the extended royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after his coronation ceremony on May 12, 1937.

— Fox Photos / Getty Images

Princess Elizabeth and a friend take the London Zoo’s penguins for a walk June 30, 1938.

— AP

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret make a broadcast to the children of the British Empire during World War II on Oct. 10, 1940.

— Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

Princess Elizabeth visits an army training establishment, in southern England, on Dec. 18, 1944. 

Shortly after her 18th birthday in 1944, she was appointed a counsellor of state during the king’s absence on a tour of the Italian battlefields and, for the first time, carried out some of the duties of head of state.

— AP

Then-Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten pose together during their engagement in July 1947.

In 1939, when Philip was a cadet at the Royal Navy College, he began exchanging letters with Princess Elizabeth, the 13-year-old heir to the British throne.

Her early correspondence about Philip tells the tale of a besotted teenager. She described him as looking “like a Viking god.” The third cousins eventually got engaged in the summer of 1947.

Photos: At the queen’s side: Prince Philip through the years

— PA via AP

Princess Elizabeth sits side-saddle in her uniform as colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards in 1947.

— Central Press / Getty Images

Elizabeth and Philip pose with King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) and other members of the royal family at Buckingham Palace after their wedding Nov. 20, 1947.

Philip received the title Duke of Edinburgh on the morning of the wedding.

— Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Princess Elizabeth wears a silver gown with a diamond tiara and a pearl necklace in this formal portrait taken in August 1949.

— AP

Princess Elizabeth greeting Winston Churchill at Guildhall on March 23, 1950.

— Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband, Prince Philip, and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Clarence House, the royal couple’s London residence, on Aug. 9, 1951.

— AP

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was held June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey in London, more than a year after Elizabeth, then 26, ascended the throne of the United Kingdom upon the death of her father, King George VI, on Feb. 6, 1952.

She was crowned queen of the United Kingdom as well as taking on the role of head of the Commonwealth.

The coronation was the first to be televised and was also the world’s first major international event to be broadcast on television.

— Keystone / Getty Images Contributor

Queen Elizabeth II on April 15, 1952, to mark her accession and coronation.

— Dorothy Wilding / via Bettmann Archive

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, pose for a portrait in Buckingham Palace in London in December 1958.

— Donald McKague/Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images file

Queen Elizabeth II addresses a vast gathering, estimated at more than a quarter of a million, at the Ramlila Grounds, outside the walls of Old Delhi, India, on Jan. 28, 1961.

— AP

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip drive in the Potsdamer Platz where they had a close view of the wall dividing East Germany and West Germany, during a sightseeing tour of West Berlin on the last stages of their state visit to West Germany, on May 27, 1965.

The queen’s tour of Germany was the first state visit by a British monarch since King Edward VII in 1909. Her grandfather, King George V, went to a private family wedding of German Kaiser Wilhelm II’s daughter in 1913. 

— AP

Queen Elizabeth II visits the coal mining village of Aberfan in Wales, following the disaster that resulted in the deaths of 116 children and 28 adults, on Oct. 29, 1966.

An avalanche of 2 million tons of rain-soaked coal waste slipped 500 feet down a mountainside and engulfed a schoolhouse. Of the 240 children at the school, 109 were killed, along with five teachers.

— Mirrorpix via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at King’s Cross railway station in London with her four corgi dogs on Oct. 15, 1969.

— – / AFP – Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II visits the Town Hall in Sydney with Lord Mayor of Sydney Emmet McDermott during her tour of Australia, in May 1970.

It was on this trip that the royal “walkabout” idea was formed, meeting not just officials and dignitaries, but also well-wishers from the public on foot as opposed to sitting in a car further away from the crowds.

— Keystone / Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward and Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in London, on Nov. 20, 1972.

— Fox Photos / Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip admiring a silver bell during celebrations of her Silver Jubilee on June 7, 1977, in London.

During the summer months, the queen embarked on a large-scale tour, having decided that she wished to mark her jubilee by meeting as many people as possible.

During the year, it was estimated that the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh traveled 56,000 miles.

— Fox Photos / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II on a walkabout in Portsmouth, England, during her Silver Jubilee tour of Great Britain on June 29, 1977.

— Ron Bell / PA Images via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their visit to New Zealand, summer 1977 during the international Silver Jubilee tour.

— Serge Lemoine / Getty Images file

Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Charles and his fiancée, Lady Diana Spencer, at Buckingham Palace on March 27, 1981.

— Hulton Archive / Via Getty Images

Prince Charles and his bride, Diana, Princess of Wales, and his parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London after their marriage at St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.

— AP

Pope John Paul II walks with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London on May 28, 1982.

He sought to overcome centuries of distrust when he became the first pope to visit British shores, preaching reconciliation between the Vatican and Anglicans even as British troops battled Catholic Argentines in the Falklands.

— AP

President Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth II go horseback riding on the grounds of Windsor Castle, in England, on June 8, 1982.

— Bob Daugherty / AP

Queen Elizabeth II and Mother Teresa look at the insignia of the honorary Order of Merit that the queen presented in New Delhi on Nov. 24, 1983.

— AP

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit the Great Wall of China on Oct. 14, 1986.

The queen became the first British monarch to visit the Chinese mainland, almost two years after the two countries agreed on the future of the British crown colony of Hong Kong, and during a time of increasing British-Chinese trade.

— Tim Graham / Getty Images

South African President Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II ride in a carriage along the Mall, London, on the first full day of his state visit to Britain on July 9, 1996.

— David Cheskin / AP

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, view some of the numerous tributes to Diana, the Princess of Wales, at London’s Buckingham Palace on Sept. 5, 1997.

When Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris and the world mourned her death, Elizabeth was criticized for staying silent for days and hunkering down at her home in Scotland with Prince Charles and her grandsons, Princes William and Harry.

When the queen finally returned to London nearly a week later, she paid tribute to Diana. “I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death,” Elizabeth said.

— John Stillwell / AP

Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II meet at the Vatican on Oct. 17, 2000.

The pope and the queen shared their hopes for progress in Christian unity during her first visit to the Vatican in 20 years.

— Allesandro Bianchi / AP

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip ride in the Gold State Coach at the head of a parade from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate her Golden Jubilee on June 4, 2002.

— Sion Touhig / Getty Images

The Prince of Wales and his new bride, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with their families at Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony on April 9, 2005.

From left are Prince Harry, Prince William, and Tom and Laura Parker Bowles. Seated are the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla’s father, Maj. Bruce Shand.

— Hugo Burnand / Pool via Getty Images

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II stands in the forecourt of London’s Buckingham Palace as she observes a two-minute silence in memory of the victims of the London bombings, on July 14, 2005.

The British capital led the tributes as people across Europe joined a two-minute silence to mark the July 7 London bombings that claimed at least 52 victims.

— Fiona Hanson / WPA Pool via Reuters

Prince Harry smiles broadly as his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II reviews him and other officers during the Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in Surrey to mark the completion of their training in April 2006.

— Martinez Dylan / Abaca

U.S. President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip pose for a picture at the Grand Foyer of the White House for a State Dinner in Washington, on May 7, 2007.

— Jason Reed / Reuters

To mark their diamond wedding anniversary, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip revisited Broadlands, where 60 years prior they spent their wedding night, on Nov. 20, 2007.

Broadlands in Hampshire had been the home of Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten.

— Tim Graham / AP

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II to Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009.

— Pete Souza / The White House via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II opens the refurbished East Wing of Somerset House on Feb. 29, 2011, in London.

— Eddie Mulholland / WPA Pool via Getty Images file

Prince William shows Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh the Sea King helicopter he flies during his training as a search and rescue pilot during a visit to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, on April 1, 2011.

The queen and Duke of Edinburgh saw William for the first time in his working environment as he gave them a personal tour of an RAF search and rescue helicopter at RAF Valley.

— John Stillwell / PA via AP

The royal family poses for the official royal wedding portrait taken at Buckingham Palace in London on April 29, 2011.


Queen Elizabeth II is shown the Ampulla and Coronation Spoon used at her coronation in 1953 by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, left, as her husband, Prince Philip, and other Christian guests watch as they attend a multi-faith reception to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the queen’s accession at Lambeth Palace in London on Feb. 15, 2012.

— Matt Dunham / Pool via AP

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Queen Elizabeth ll; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; and Prince Harry on board the royal barge Spirit of Chartwell during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3, 2012, in London.

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant had up to 1,000 boats assembled on the Thames from across the U.K., the Commonwealth and around the world. The queen and the Duke of Edinburgh traveled in the royal barge, which formed the centerpiece of the flotilla.

— Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II walks in procession with Prince Charles, left, and Prince William, right, in the annual Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, on June 17, 2013.

The queen leads other members of the royal family and members of the Knights of the Garter in a procession from the castle to St. George’s Chapel for the annual service, after which they return by carriage. The Garter ceremony is the oldest of the ceremonial events.

— Kirsty Wigglesworth / Pool via AP

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II toast at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 5, 2013, in London.

— Neil Hall / WPA Pool/Getty Images

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip proceed through the Royal Gallery during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London on June 4, 2014.

— Yui Mok / Pool via AP

Queen Elizabeth II sits with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards after presenting them with New Colors at Windsor Castle on April 30, 2015, outside London.

— Cathal McNaughton / Pool via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II — wearing the Diamond Diadem made for King George IV by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell in 1820 as well as the Coronation Earrings and the Coronation Necklace made by Garrard for Queen Victoria in 1858 — accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, travels down The Mall in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach after attending the State Opening of Parliament on May 27, 2015, in London.

— Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images

Prince George of Cambridge talks to Queen Elizabeth II outside the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate during the christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on July 5, 2015, in King’s Lynn, England.

— Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II at her desk in her private audience room in Buckingham Palace on on Sept. 8, 2015, with one of her official red boxes in which she receives on an almost daily basis official correspondence from government ministers, her representatives across the Commonwealth, and dignitaries further afield.

— Mary McCartney / Buckingham Palace via AFP – Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II attends the formal unveiling of the new logo for Crossrail, which is to be named the Elizabeth line, at the construction site of the Bond Street station in central London on Feb. 23, 2016.

— Richard Pohle / Pool via Reuters

Queen Elizabeth II in the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the steps at the rear of the East Terrace and East Garden with four of her dogs — clockwise from top left, corgi Willow, dorgie Vulcan, dorgie Candy and corgi Holly — on April 20, 2016.

— Annie Leibovitz via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II sits next to fashion editor Anna Wintour at the Richard Quinn runway on Feb. 20, 2018.

It was the queen’s first visit visit to London Fashion Week. The monarch gave out the first Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to London-born Richard Quinn.

— Yui Mok / Pool via AP

The official wedding portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex along with the royal family at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, following the carriage procession.

From left, back row, Jasper Dyer, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Doria Ragland, Prince William; center row, Brian Mulroney, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Rylan Litt, John Mulroney; front row, Ivy Mulroney, Florence van Cutsem, Zalie Warren, Remi Litt.

— Alexi Lubomirski / Kensington Palace

Queen Elizabeth II laughs with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during a ceremony to open the Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018, in the county of Cheshire, England.

Crowds cheered them on during their first official joint royal trip without Prince Harry.

— Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth ll; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to view a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force on July 10, 2018, in London.

— Anwar Hussein / WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, introduce their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019.

— Chris Allerton / SussexRoyal via AP

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip look at a homemade wedding anniversary card, given to them by their great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle on Nov. 17, 2020, in Windsor, ahead of their 73rd wedding anniversary on Nov. 20.

— Chris Jackson / Buckingham Palace via AFP – Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II awards Capt. Sir Thomas Moore with the insignia of Knight Bachelor at Windsor Castle on July 17, 2020, in Windsor, England.

British World War II veteran Capt. Tom Moore raised over 32 million pounds for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

— Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat alone in St. George’s Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, on April 17, 2021.

— Yui Mok / Pool via AP

Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen’s Speech in the House of Lords Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021, in London.

— Chris Jackson / WPA Pool/Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden, Queen Elizabeth II and President Joe Biden view the ranks of a Guard of Honour formed of The Queen’s Company First Battalion Grenadier Guards at Windsor Castle on June 11, 2021, in Windsor, England.

The president arrived from Cornwall, where he attended the G-7 Leaders’ Summit.

Photos: Queen Elizabeth has met 13 out of the last 14 U.S. presidents

— Richard Pohle / WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II meets representatives of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery to mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of A and B Batteries, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, on Oct. 6, 2021.

— Steve Parsons / Pool via AFP – Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II during an audience with Switzerland’s President Ignazio Cassis at Windsor Castle, west of London, on April 28, 2022.

— Dominic Lipinski / Pool via AFP via Getty Images

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Louis; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; Princess Charlotte; Prince George; and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Color on June 2, 2022, in London.

— Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II waits in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral, where Truss was be invited to become Prime Minister and form a new government, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on Sept. 6, 2022.

— Jane Barlow / Pool Photo via AP

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