April 21st marks the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Here are some images throughout her long reign.
Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926 in London, the first child of Albert, Duke of York, and his wife, formerly Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
The future Queen was soon introduced to her subjects, who came to see her on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. She is seen here with her parents alongside King George V and Queen Mary.
The young princess was pictured here arriving at Olympia for the Royal Tournament in 1930.
Both Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret Rose, who was born in 1930, were educated at home.
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on coronation day on 12 May 1937 when Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret came out onto the Palace balcony to receive the acclaim of the crowds.
A year before World War Two engulfed Europe, the Royal Family posed for a picture.
In 1940, Princess Elizabeth, 14, featured in a radio programme called Children’s Hour. She sent her best wishes to the children who had been evacuated from Britain to America, Canada and elsewhere as Britain was suffering the worst of the Blitz during World War Two. This is the earliest recording of the future Queen in the BBC archives.
Elizabeth is seen here in her Girl Guide uniform. She became a Guide in 1937, her sister, Princess Margaret enrolled as a Brownie and their mother became the Patron of the Girl Guides. During World War Two, Princess Elizabeth did her part to boost public morale.
In the final year of the war, Elizabeth donned a uniform herself, joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service – the ATS. She spent three weeks with a carefully chosen group of other recruits, learning basic motor mechanics and how to drive a lorry.
On 20 November 1947 she married Prince Philip of Greece, at Westminster Abbey.
Their first child, Charles, was born in 1948.
In 1950 Charles’s sister Anne was born.
Her Coronation in June 1953 was televised and millions gathered around TV sets, many of them for the first time, to watch as Queen Elizabeth II made her oath.
Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill welcomes the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to 10 Downing Street for dinner.
The Queen is seen here during a visit to Rothes Colliery, Fife in 1958. It was her first visit to a coal mine and she spent about half an hour underground at the coalface.
In 1960, Prince Andrew was the first child to be born to a reigning monarch for 103 years.
Another royal portrait at Frogmore House in Windsor.
Queen Elizabeth II formally invests her son Prince Charles with the Coronet of the Prince of Wales during a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in 1969. He actually took on the title when he was nine, but the Queen insisted the ceremony should wait until he fully understood its significance.
Sitting with her corgis at Virginia Water to watch competitors, including Prince Philip, in the Marathon of the European Driving Championship, part of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis, with many of them direct descendants from her first one, Susan. Now she has only two – Holly and Willow – but does not plan to get any more.
The Queen often gets behind the lens herself to take photos of the Duke of Edinburgh carriage driving and while on tour. Here she is taking photographs with her gold Rollei camera during her visit to the South Sea islands of Tuvalu in 1982.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Bedaling Pass, on the Great Wall of China, on the third day of their state visit to the country. No British monarch had ever travelled to mainland China, let alone walked the Great Wall so the Queen’s trip in October 1986 made history.
Following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car accident in 1997, the Royal Family grieved in private. However, the public reaction to Diana’s death led to accusations the Queen was unresponsive and out of touch with the public mood. The swell of anger had shocked the Queen and she admitted there were “lessons to be drawn from her life and the extraordinary public reaction to her death”.
In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh marked their diamond wedding anniversary.
2012. On stage outside Buckingham Palace with Charles, Camilla and a host of pop stars at the Diamond Jubilee concert during celebrations to mark her 60 years as sovereign.
At 17:30 on 9 September 2015, Elizabeth had reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes – surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. She spent the day in Scotland, thanking well-wishers at home and overseas for their “touching messages of kindness”. With Prince Philip she travelled by steam train from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, where she formally opened the new £294m Scottish Borders Railway.
Prince George of Cambridge speaks to his great grandmother, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as they leave Princess Charlotte of Cambridge’s Christening at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England, on July 5, 2015. AFP.
The Queen is surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren at Windsor Castle in this photo by Annie Leibovitz.