Queen’s first photo to the last: A life of duty in pictures

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Queen Elizabeth took to the throne when she was just 27 years old, on February 6, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI. She was the longest reigning monarch of all time and has sadly passed after 70 years as Queen.

Queen Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926 in London, the first child of King George VI and his wife, the Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

Her father ascended the throne on the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time Elizabeth was the heir to the throne.

From birth to death, the Queen was photographed thousands of times as she lived her life in the public eye.

The future monarch was first pictured officially when she was weeks old, being held in the arms of her mother in 1926.

The couple also had a younger daughter, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, who like the Queen, was also photographed thousands of times until her death in 2002 at the age of 71.

From a young age, Elizabeth was used to the spotlight, although it was never expected that she would become Queen.

Her parents also kept with the royal tradition of not taking their children on royal tours, although she was thought to be the best-travelled monarch ever.

She was tutored privately at home for her whole schooling life and never sat one academic exam.

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As a child, Princess Elizabeth was nicknamed Lilibet by her family and Philip also adopted this nickname when he was alive.

Elizabeth’s Coronation in June 1953 was televised and millions gathered around TV sets, many of them for the first time, to watch her become Queen with Philip by her side.

The Queen was married to Prince Philip for 73 years before he passed away in April 2021. Their marriage was the longest of any British sovereign and they together devoted their lives to service.

The couple first crossed paths in 1934 at a Royal Family wedding and then met properly again five years later in 1939 when she was 13 and he was 18.

They later tied the knot in 1947 in Westminster Abbey and went on to have four children.

Prince Charles is the eldest son of the couple and will be the new King.

Princess Anne is the second eldest child of the couple and also the only daughter, and it is well known that she is one of the most hardworking royals.

Prince Andrew is the third eldest child, followed by Prince Edward.

Her Majesty was very passionate about her role as Head of the Commonwealth, which saw her travel to all parts of the world.

Countries in the Commonwealth include Canada, Australia, Jamaica and New Zealand.

The royal collection, which includes thousands of historic works of art, and the British Crown Jewels, was not owned personally but held in trust by the Queen as were her official residences such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

It was thought the Queen to have a personal wealth of around £360million.

She was known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, and was an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous change.

The Queen also had links to more than 600 charities and organisations as patron or president, which saw her present many awards and honours.
The monarch was last pictured at Balmoral.

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