Life of a Queen

View images from the extraordinary life of Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II has reigned as the constitutional monarch of the Commonwealth for more than 60 years. See photos from the queen's life and long reign.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Rome for an official visit on April 3, 2014. Queen Elizabeth flew to Rome to meet Pope Francis for the first time.

Angelo Carconi / AFP

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, with Prince Philip and Prince William, unveil the Windsor Greys statue, which was made to mark the anniversary of the queen's coronation, in Windsor, England on March 31, 2014.

Arthur Edwards / AFP

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip watch dancers perform during a visit to the Rambert dance company on March 21, 2014 in London.

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Ed Parker, co-founder of Walking with the Wounded, shows Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth II a pulk belonging to a team of wounded servicemen and women who were venturing to the South Pole.

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South Korea's President Park Geun-hye and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II toast at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 5, 2013 in London.

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President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai visits with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Oct. 30, 2013 in London.

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles at the Epsom Derby as she speaks with Prince Andrew, in Epsom, England, on June 1, 2013.

Andrew Winning / X00802

Queen Elizabeth II delivers her speech next to Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh during the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London.

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Queen Elizabeth II walks and talks with Emirati President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan after a ceremonial welcome on the grounds of Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, west of London on April 30, 2013.

Toby Melville / AFP

Queen Elizabeth leaves after attending the funeral service for former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, at Saint Paul's Cathedral, in London on April 17, 2013. Thatcher, who was prime minister between 1979 and 1990, died on April 8 at the age of 87.

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Queen Elizabeth leaves King Edward VII hospital in central London, March 4, 2013, a day after being admitted with symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Olivia Harris / X02875

Queen Elizabeth and the royal family appear on the famous Buckingham Palace balcony for a royal wave in front of thousands who are helping the nation's monarch celebrate 60 years on the throne.

The queen was without her husband Prince Philip at her side after he was taken to hospital with a bladder infection on the third day of the celebrations.

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Queen Elizabeth waves from her boat during the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant on June 3, 2012 in London. A flotilla of 1,000 boats accompanied them down the river.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images Europe

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip inspect horses in the parade ring on Derby Day on June 2, 2012, the first official day of her Diamond Jubilee celebration.

Ben Stansall / AFP

Queen Elizabeth greets Sir Paul McCartney at a Celebration of the Arts event at the Royal Academy of Arts on May 23, 2012.

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Queen Elizabeth smiles as she arrives for a visit to Kings Lynn Town Hall in Norfolk, England on Feb. 6, 2012, 60 years to the day that she ascended to the throne.

Chris Radburn / AFP

The royal family poses for the official royal wedding portrait taken at Buckingham Palace in London on April 29, 2011.

Hugo Burnand / AFP

Queen Elizabeth returns to Buckingham Palace after addressing Parliament during the official State Opening of Parliament ceremony at Westminster on Nov.18, 2009.

Leon Neal / AFP

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are welcomed by Queen Elizabeth to Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009.

The White House / Getty Images Europe

Queen Elizabeth attends the Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph on Nov. 9, 2008 in London. This year is the 90th Anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images Europe

To mark their diamond-wedding anniversary on Nov. 20, 2007, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip re-visit Broadlands, where 60 years ago, they spent their wedding night. Broadlands in Hampshire had been the home of Prince Philip's uncle, Earl Mountbatten.

Tim Graham / POOL Tim Graham

U.S. President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip pose for a picture at the Grand Foyer of the White House for a State Dinner in Washington, May 7, 2007.

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Queen Elizabeth meets the public during a walkabout to celebrate her 80th birthday in Windsor, England. The queen was born on April 21,1926 and ascended the throne in Feb. 1952.

Kirsty Wigglesworth / WPA POOL

Prince Harry smiles broadly as his grandmother Queen Elizabeth reviews him and other officers during the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in Surrey to mark the completion of their training in April 2006.

Martinez Dylan / PA

The Prince of Wales and his bride Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, pose with their families at Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony on April 9, 2005. Seen standing, from left, are Prince Harry, Prince William and Tom and Laura Parker Bowles. Seated are the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth and Camilla's father, Major Bruce Shand.

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip ride in the Golden State Carriage at the head of a parade from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul's Cathedral to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee on June 4, 2002.

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Queen Elizabeth and Pope John Paul II meet at the Vatican on Oct. 17, 2000.

Alessandro Bianchi / ANSA POOL

On Sept. 5, 1997, Queen Elizabeth paid tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, as an "exceptional and gifted human being," during a TV appearance. Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.


Queen Elizabeth made history in 1991 by becoming the first British monarch to address a joint session of Congress. She opened her remarks by poking fun at herself and ended with, "May God bless America." She received three ovations and was interrupted by applause several more times during a 15-minute speech.

Anwar Hussein / Anwar Hussein

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth go horseback riding on the grounds of Windsor Castle, England on June 8, 1982.

Bob Daugherty / AP

Queen Elizabeth poses with Prince Charles and his fiancée Lady Diana Spencer at Buckingham Palace on March 27, 1981.

Queen Elizabeth arrives at King's Cross railway station in London with her four corgi dogs on Oct. 15, 1969.

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Queen Elizabeth addresses a vast gathering -- estimated at more than a quarter of a million -- at the Ramlila Grounds, outside the walls of Old Delhi, India, on Jan. 28, 1961.


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, with their children, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Charles, Prince of Wales, sit on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1960.

Keystone / Hulton Royals Collection

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was held on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey, London, more than a year after Elizabeth, then aged 26, ascended the thrones of the United Kingdom upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952.

She was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon, and Pakistan, as well as taking on the role of Head of the Commonwealth. The coronation was the first ever to be televised and was also the world's first major international event to be broadcast on television.

Keystone / Hulton Royals Collection

Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband, Prince Philip, and their first two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, at Clarence House, the royal couple's London residence. The photo was taken in August 1951.


Princess Elizabeth wears a silver gown with a diamond tiara and pearl necklace in this formal portrait taken in August 1949.


Princess Elizabeth sits side-saddle in her uniform as colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards in this 1947 photo.

Central Press / Hulton Archive

Princess Elizabeth in April 1940.

The Royal Collection / Ho / THE ROYAL COLLECTION

Princess Elizabeth and a friend take the London Zoo's penguins for a walk on June 30, 1938.


Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with their daughters Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in Dec. 1936.

The Royal Collection / Ho / THE ROYAL COLLECTION

The future Queen Elizabeth is seen here as a young girl with her mother, affectionately known as "Queen Mum," and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, in 1930.

Hulton Archive / Hulton Archive

Albert, Duke of York, and his daughter, Princess Elizabeth, in July 1929.

The Royal Collection / Ho / THE ROYAL COLLECTION

Albert and Elizabeth, Duke and Duchess of York, and their daughter Princess Elizabeth in June 1927.

The Royal Collection / Ho / THE ROYAL COLLECTION

The Duchess of York holds her baby Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), May 1926.

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