New colour photos of the Queen in her youth give you a glimpse of Princess Elizabeth like you’ve never seen it before.
Ahead of this weekend’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Her Majesty will celebrate 70 years on the throne, with photos showing her driving and riding through Buckingham Palace with Prince Philip from a few days old to early adulthood.
One photo shows Elizabeth riding a carriage through the park at the age of two, while another shows her in a gorgeous purple dress for a 1947 cricket match with Princess Margaret at Eton College.
The photos were found in the TopFoto Archives, documenting moments in the Queen’s life from her birth in 1926 to her accession in 1952.
Queen Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926 and became first in line to the throne after her uncle Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 and her father George VI became king.
No one expected Elizabeth to take the throne, as Edward was young and expected to have many heirs who would take Elizabeth’s place.
However, less than a year after the death of Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, Edward abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorced Wallace Simpson.
During World War II, then 13-year-old Elizabeth and her sister Margaret refused to evacuate to Canada and remained in the UK, living in Scotland, Norfolk and Windsor during the war.
In addition to performing pantomimes to raise money for the war, Elizabeth trained as a driver and mechanic, and was awarded the rank of Honorary Junior Commander of the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
During the war, Elizabeth kept exchanging letters with Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, announcing her engagement in 1947 and marrying later that year.
The couple welcomed their first child, Prince Charles, in 1948, followed by Princess Anne in 1950. Ten years later, they will give birth to their second son, Prince Andrew, and their third, Prince Edward, in 1964.
In 1952, Elizabeth learned of her father’s death and immediately became her queen. Queen Elizabeth was crowned in June 1953, beginning a reign that has lasted 70 years so far, bringing her to her platinum jubilee.
The latest colour photos of the Queen in her youth give you a glimpse of Princess Elizabeth like you’ve never seen it before: the easy chairs on the lawn are exactly where you’ll enjoy a peaceful sunny afternoon at the Windsor Royal Hotel. The Queen, 20, with her sister Margaret, their mother and a corgi in 1946
Dancing Queen! In 1952, Princess Elizabeth danced a square dance at a reception at the Government House in Ottawa.The photos are now in full color, showing off the gorgeous details of her gown
Style sisters! In June 1947, the royal siblings – then Princess Elizabeth and Margaret – showed up at Eton College, not far from their home at Windsor Castle.They went to the village to watch the Eton Ramblers cricket match against Eton College
Oh baby! Princess Elizabeth is just two years old as she drives in Hyde Park.Her Majesty grew up at 145 Piccadilly on the edge of Hyde Park
This rare photo of Princess Elizabeth was taken on October 9, 1926, when she was only six months old.
Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) at the Children’s Coronation Concert at Westminster Central Hall on April 6, 1937, just weeks before her 11th birthday
Pull her socks off! Seven-year-old Princess Elizabeth arrived at Olympia on May 3, 1933.She seems to get out of the car to sort her socks
On her high horse! Princess Elizabeth riding through the gates of Buckingham Palace after 1951
Princess Elizabeth strokes an award-winning horse while visiting the Richmond Show in June 1934
Queen Elizabeth II, who left the country as Princess Elizabeth on the first stage of her Commonwealth tour with the Duke of Edinburgh, was in their car as they left London airport from Kenya this afternoon following the death of her father Photo taken on. Feb 7, 1952
August 1943: Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret help the war – and have great fun – helping the land girls harvest on their farm in Sandringham
This portrait of Princess Elizabeth, taken in 1942 in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace, shows her Royal Highness wearing the Grenadier Guard badge
Princess Elizabeth recorded her first broadcast from Windsor for BBC Radio during Children’s Time. Princess Margaret sat on her left. October 13, 1940
Newborn Queen! The Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II in 1926, when the 96-year-old was just a few days old
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attend a coronation rehearsal at Westminster Abbey before their coronation in 1953
Princess Elizabeth (left) and Princess Margaret kiss as they part at City Hall after a luncheon welcoming back from Canada in the City of London in 1951