Queen Elizabeth II In Photos: 92 Glorious Years in 92 Beautiful Pictures

Queen Elizabeth II through the years.Newsweek
Picture dated from the year 1933 of future Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (right) and Princess Margaret (left), her younger sister.AFP/Getty Images

Back in 1926, Al Capone was terrorizing Chicago, the sudden death of Rudolph Valentino caused mass hysteria and the Great Miami Hurricane struck America. But over the pond, a far less dramatic event took place.

On April 21, a baby girl called Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in Mayfair, London. Although daughter of the Duke of York, her birth was largely ignored, as she was a mere third in line to the throne. However following the shock abdication of Edward VIII and the death of her father, she ascended the British throne in 1952, and would go on to become the world’s longest-reigning current monarch.

She ruled during a time of immense social change taking place in the UK and across the world. Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed the decolonization of large swathes of the British Empire, the outbreak of numerous wars and the rise of pop culture from the Beatles to the Spice Girls. She has met five Popes and survived a number of assassination attempts.

Her personal life has been anchored to her long marriage with Prince Philip, now going strong for over 70 years. Her eldest son, heir to the throne Prince Charles, wasn't so lucky. He married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, but their marriage fell apart amid infidelity and tabloid frenzy. Diana tragically died in 1997, leaving Charles to marry the woman widely regarded to be the love of his life, divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles.

After this tough time for the royal family, which the Queen acknowledged in a 1992 speech, royal life looks rosy again. The recent marriages of her grandsons, Prince William and Harry, have put the British royal family back in a far more sympathetic light.

One of the many odd quirks of the British royal family is that kings and queens have birthday celebrations on a day that isn't their birthday, a tradition started more than 250 years ago by King George II. Ahead of her official birthday, we look back at the highlights of her long and incredible life, from her 1930s childhood to welcoming Meghan Markle into the family.

 

Queen Elizabeth, center, poses with her two daughters, Princess Elizabeth, left, and Princess Margaret, in June 1936 in the garden of the Royal Lodge at Windsor, England. Getty Images/Staff
Princess Elizabeth makes her first broadcast, accompanied by her younger sister Princess Margaret Rose October 12, 1940 in London. Princess Margaret died peacefully in her sleep at the King Edward VII Hospital February 9, 2002 in London.Getty Images/Staff
The Queen Elizabeth (2nd left, future Queen Mother), her daughter Princess Elizabeth (4th left, future Queen Elizabeth II), Queen Mary (center), Princess Margaret (5th left) and the King George VI (right), pose at the balcony of the Buckingham Palace in December 1945.AFP/Getty Images
Official portrait of Princess Elizabeth taken three days before her 21st birthday, April 18, 1947, in London.AFP/Getty Images
The Princess Elizabeth and Philip The Duke of Edinburgh pose on their wedding day, November 20, 1947, in Buckingham Palace. AFP/Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and her husband Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, pose during their honeymoon, November 25, 1947 in Broadlands estate, Hampshire.AFP/Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh walking in the grounds of Broadlands in southern England, the home of the Duke's uncle, Earl Mountbatten, on their honeymoon, November 1947. Reuters/The Royal Collection/Handout
Princess Elizabeth smiles as she is holds on her lap Princess Anne, born August 18, 1950.STF/AFP/Getty Images
President Harry S. Truman sitting with Princess Elizabeth during a dinner at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC, circa 1950. Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
British statesman Winston Churchill (1874—1965) speaks at the opening of the International Youth Centre at Chigwell, Essex, in the presence of Princess Elizabeth, who performed the opening ceremony, July 12, 1951.Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Undated picture showing the Royal British couple, Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their two children, Charles, Prince of Wales (left) and Princess Anne (right), circa 1951.OFF/AFP/Getty Images
A picture of the coronation of the Queen Elizabeth II, taken June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey, London.OFF/AFP/Getty Images

Back in 1926, Al Capone was terrorizing Chicago, the sudden death of Rudolph Valentino caused mass hysteria and the Great Miami Hurricane struck America. But over the pond, a far less dramatic event took place.

On April 21, a baby girl called Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in Mayfair, London. Although daughter of the Duke of York, her birth was largely ignored, as she was a mere third in line to the throne. However following the shock abdication of Edward VIII and the death of her father, she ascended the British throne in 1952, and would go on to become the world’s longest-reigning current monarch.

She ruled during a time of immense social change taking place in the UK and across the world. Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed the decolonization of large swathes of the British Empire, the outbreak of numerous wars and the rise of pop culture from the Beatles to the Spice Girls. She has met five Popes and survived a number of assassination attempts.

Her personal life has been anchored to her long marriage with Prince Philip, now going strong for over 70 years. Her eldest son, heir to the throne Prince Charles, wasn't so lucky. He married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, but their marriage fell apart amid infidelity and tabloid frenzy. Diana tragically died in 1997, leaving Charles to marry the woman widely regarded to be the love of his life, divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles.

After this tough time for the royal family, which the Queen acknowledged in a 1992 speech, royal life looks rosy again. The recent marriages of her grandsons, Prince William and Harry, have put the British royal family back in a far more sympathetic light.

One of the many odd quirks of the British royal family is that kings and queens have birthday celebrations on a day that isn't their birthday, a tradition started more than 250 years ago by King George II. Ahead of her official birthday, we look back at the highlights of her long and incredible life, from her 1930s childhood to welcoming Meghan Markle into the family.