Queen Elizabeth II: A Life in Photos

LONDON — Born in 1926, eight years after the end of World War I, Elizabeth took her first steps in a world we recognize only from sepia photographs, in a country yet to see its first public TV broadcast and one that was in some respects more like the 19th century than the 21st.

More than nine decades later she died as Britain’s longest-serving monarch, leaving behind a very different nation to the one whose throne she inherited at age 25 in 1952.

Under the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Britain lost the last of its empire, underwent dizzying social transition, saw extraordinary technological advances and bewildering political changes.

Only Britons well into their 70s can remember a time before the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who remained a unique symbol of continuity and duty in a period of extraordinary upheaval. As head of state, her mainly ceremonial functions also included overseas tours and regular meetings with prime ministers from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss.

Respect for her has sustained support for the royal family despite its many problems. It has also underpinned the unity of the United Kingdom at a time of growing pressure for Scottish independence and Irish reunification.

Here are a selection of images from that remarkable life.

Princess Elizabeth sleeping in a royal christening robe in 1926, with her father, who was then the Duke of York, and her mother, then Elizabeth, Duchess of York.

On the platform at King’s Cross station in London, departing for Christmas holidays at Sandringham in 1929.

Riding a pony in Windsor in 1936. Elizabeth’s father was the second son of King George V; she was not in line for the throne until her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 and her father became King George VI.

Sitting on a garden seat with two dogs in 1936.

In Frogmore Park, Windsor Castle, wearing her Girl Guides uniform in 1942. The princesses moved to Windsor Castle with the outbreak of war in 1939.

Greeting officers and cadets in 1943. Elizabeth was honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards.

Learning basic car maintenance in the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1946. She had enrolled as an honorary subaltern in early 1945, when she was 18.

Celebrating Victory in Europe Day with her mother and father. Prime Minister Winston Churchill stands in the center; her younger sister, Princess Margaret, is also on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on May 8, 1945.

At her desk in Buckingham Palace in 1946.

With her then fiancé, Philip Mountbatten, later Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Buckingham Palace, after their engagement was announced in 1947.

With Philip at Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony in 1947.

Princess Elizabeth with Prince Philip and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Clarence House in 1951. Charles was born in 1948 and Anne two years later. Two more children were to follow, Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964.

With Prince Philip, waving at crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after her coronation in 1953.

Posing for a portrait with Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace in 1958.

From left, Prince Edward, Prince Philip, the queen, Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew in a drawing room at Sandringham House in 1969. In the late 1960s, the queen lifted some of the secrecy around their family with a widely viewed TV documentary film.

A motorcade taking the queen along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House in Washington in 1957, on her first trip to the United States as the British monarch.

Speaking in the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 1957.

Riding an elephant after a tiger hunt, part of a royal tour of Nepal, in February 1961.

With Prince Philip as their train departed during a royal visit to Canada in 1978.

Riding with President Ronald Reagan on the grounds of Windsor Castle in 1982.

Being met by Nigerians with Prince Philip in 1956.

In Yosemite National Park, Calif., in 1983.

With Prince Philip, passing the Berlin Wall in 1965.

The royal family at Buckingham Palace in 1972, left to right: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Edward and Prince Charles.

On a walkabout among crowds in 1984.

Visiting the Terracotta Army on a state visit to China in Xi’an in 1986.

Visiting the Great Wall of China with Prince Philip in 1986.

On a balcony at Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, after their royal wedding in 1981. The couple had two children — William, in 1982, and Harry, in 1984 — but separated in 1992.

Watching a polo match in Windsor with Diana in 1982.

With Prince Harry, left, and Prince William, right, at Guards Polo Club, Windsor, in 1987.

With the emir of Bahrain during horse and camel racing in Bahrain in 1979.

Riding with President Nelson Mandela of South Africa at the beginning of his state visit to Britain in 1996.

Delivering a speech in the Capitol during a visit to Washington in 1991.

Shaking hands with Innu women while visiting central Labrador, Canada, in 1997.

With Prince Philip, viewing flowers left in memory of Diana outside Buckingham Palace in 1997. The princess’s death that year in a car crash led to a huge outpouring of public feeling in Britain, which the queen seemed initially to struggle to handle.

Riding in Windsor Home Park in 2020.

Visiting the Royal Albert Hall in London for a show in 2004.

Presenting Charles with a horticultural society medal during a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2009.

Smiling at her grandson Prince Harry, second from right, as she inspects soldiers at the Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy in 2006.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the first lady, with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Winfield House, the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London, in 2011.

Sitting next to Anna Wintour, third from right, Vogue’s editor in chief, at a runway show at London Fashion Week in 2018.

With Prince Philip, waving to guests attending celebrations for her 90th birthday in London in 2016.

With Charles, fourth from right, and his second wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, second from right, during the state opening of Parliament in 2019.

Greeting President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, on their arrival at Windsor Castle last year.

At the funeral of Prince Philip, who died last year at 99, the queen sat alone under Covid regulations.

Waving from the Buckingham Palace balcony during celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee this summer, alongside Charles, left; her great-grandchildren Louis, Charlotte and George; Prince William, right, and his wife, Kate.

Viewing jubilee memorabilia at Windsor Castle earlier this year, alongside Candy, one of her dogs.

At Balmoral Castle in Scotland before receiving Liz Truss, Britain’s new prime minister, for an audience on Tuesday.

Celebrating her 87th birthday in 2013.

Queen Elizabeth, 1926-2022.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/world/europe/queen-elizabeth-ii-photos-young.html