Queen Elizabeth II’s 96 years of life included some incredible moments, many of which went unseen or faded from memory. Despite being one of the most recognizable figures of the last 100 years, Queen Elizabeth's personal life wasn't exactly an open book. But over the years, photographers snapped photos of the Queen at truly candid moments. These photos give us a rare glimpse into the life of Britain's longest-reigning monarch. From her early years as a princess to her later years as a respected leader, Queen Elizabeth's life was nothing short of extraordinary...
1. Carriage-riding through London, 1927
At the time of her birth, Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, was third in line to the throne, as her father had yet to become the King – more on that later. In this photo, the one-year-old princess was snapped passing through the gates of her parents’ London residence in the back of a carriage.
2. Shaking hands with servicemen, 1929
By the time her 90th birthday rolled around in April of 2016, Queen Elizabeth II was lending her patronage to hundreds of charities. This photo from 1929 proves that she began her quest to serve others early – she’s shown greeting former servicemen at a Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry Exhibition.
3. Holding one of her many Corgis, circa 1936
Queen Elizabeth II was famously a fan of Corgis, as evidenced by this photo of her as a child cuddling one in her arms. Her father acquired their first in 1933 – a pooch that the family named Dookie – after Elizabeth became very fond of a friend’s dog of the same breed. And after becoming Queen in 1952, she had in excess of 30 Corgis in her charge.
4. Waving at her father’s coronation, 1937
Queen Elizabeth’s uncle ascended to the throne as King Edward VIII in 1936. But he reigned for less than a year, because he chose to abdicate in order to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson. This fateful decision meant that Elizabeth’s father was made king as George VI – and she became his heir apparent. Here, she’s giving a big wave at his May 12, 1937, coronation.