Queen Elizabeth II: The images and photographs documenting her story and the history of the Royal family

Anne Storno Queen Elizabeth

Queen, 2015 (mixed media), Storno, Anne / Private Collection / © Anne Storno. All Rights Reserved 2022 / Bridgeman Images

Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II acceded to the throne in 1952 at the young age of 25, later becoming the United Kingdom's longest reigning monarch, one of the most greatly loved in British history, and certainly one of the most photographed people of the twentieth century.

 

Throughout her reign, support for the monarchy, and for the Queen in particular, remained consistently strong.

 

Over the years there have been countless images documenting her long reign, mostly taking the form of photographs and official portraits. As Queen, Elizabeth dedicated her entire life to her nation, a feat displayed in both the public historical events, and the more subtle, personal moments of her private family life.

Black and White footage of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey, London

Black and White footage of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey, London / Bridgeman Images

Queen Elizabeth II: Portraits

Since Queen Elizabeth II took the throne when she was only 25 years of age, numerous portraits have been executed depicting her in both an official and unofficial manner. Our selection includes works by well-known artists such as Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, Gilbert & George, and Gerhard Richter – as well as photographs by Cecil Beaton and portraits by contemporary artists Anne Storno and Christian Furr.

Portrait of Elizabeth II, Queens Christmas broadcast, 2018  © Picture Alliance Photoshot  Bridgeman Images

Portrait of Elizabeth II, Queen's Christmas broadcast 2018 / Picture Alliance / Photoshot / Bridgeman Images

HM Queen Elizabeth II, 1995 (oil on canvas), Furr, Christian (b.1966)  The Royal Overseas League Headquarters, Park Place, London  © Christian Furr. All rights reserved 2022  Bridgeman Images

HM Queen Elizabeth II, 1995 (oil on canvas), Christian Furr (b.1966) / The Royal Overseas League Headquarters, Park Place, London / © Christian Furr. All rights reserved 2022 / Bridgeman Images

The informally dressed Prince of Wales (on left) takes a photograph of his mother Queen Elizabeth II with the Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Mountbatten aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, Torbay, Devon, 30 July 1969

The informally dressed Prince of Wales (on left) takes a photograph of his mother Queen Elizabeth II with the Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Mountbatten aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, Torbay, Devon, 30 July 1969/ TopFoto / Bridgeman Images

King George VI with his daughter Elizabeth II, 1950

King George VI with his daughter Elizabeth II, 1950 / Universal History Archive / UIG / Bridgeman Images

Young Princess Elizabeth learns to change a wheel in training camp during World War II, circa 1945

Young Princess Elizabeth learns to change a wheel in training camp during World War II, circa 1945 / Bridgeman Images

Elizabeth II of England and Prince Philip

Elizabeth II of England and Prince Philip / Picture Alliance / DPA / Bridgeman Images

Queen Elizabeth II: Photographs

Elizabeth II is one of the most photographed women in the world. One of the first images of Elizabeth II dates back to a few days after her birth, where she appears together with the Queen Mother, who was the Duchess of York at the time.

The photographs in this section include portraits taken at official events and during private moments. Discover our selection here

 The young Princess Elizabeth, future Queen Elizabeth II, at the Convent Garden Opera House, 1939

 The young Princess Elizabeth, future Queen Elizabeth II, at the Covent Garden Opera House, 1939 / SZ Foto / Scherl / Bridgeman Images

Charles Prince of Wales visits Langenburg Castle to attend the Food Safety Forum May 27, 2013

King Charles III, formerly Prince of Wales, visits Langenburg Castle to attend the Food Safety Forum May 27, 2013 / Picture Alliance / DPA / Bridgeman Images

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at the reopening of Strand Hall in Builth Wells, Wales, 4th July 2018

King Charles III, formerly Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at the reopening of Strand Hall in Builth Wells, Wales, 4th July 2018 / Picture Alliance / DPA / Bridgeman Images

Queen Elizabeth II investing Prince Charles as Prince of Wales, Caernarfon Castle, Wales, 1st July 1969

Queen Elizabeth II investing Prince Charles as Prince of Wales, Caernarfon Castle, Wales, 1st July 1969 / Bridgeman Images

Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer July 29, 1981

Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer July 29, 1981 / Bridgeman Images

King Charles III

King Charles III, the former Prince of Wales, became King immediately upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Born in London on the 14th of November 1948, he had been the heir to the British throne since 9 February 1952, which made him the longest-lived heir to the throne in the history of England.

In 1981 Charles married the late Lady Diana Spencer and fathered two sons, William and Harry. The couple later divorced, and Charles re-married Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall on the 9th of April 2005.

See the gallery of images and photographs of King Charles III and his family

Princess (and future Queen) Elizabeth holding Prince Charles, 1949

Princess (and future Queen) Elizabeth holding Prince Charles, 1949 / Everett Collection / Bridgeman Images

Prince William and Katherine
Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge

Prince William is the eldest son of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. On April the 29th 2011 William married Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge. The couple have parented three children: George, Charlotte and Louis.

Check out the gallery for images and photos of William and Kate

The Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall & Cambridge / Picture Alliance / DPA / Bridgeman Images

Baptism of Prince Louis, 2018, Kate carrying Prince Louis, accompanied by Prince George, Prince William and Princess Charlotte

Baptism of Prince Louis, 2018, Kate carrying Prince Louis, accompanied by Prince George, Prince William and Princess Charlotte/ Picture Alliance / Photoshot / Bridgeman Images

Baptism of Prince George of England, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at St James's Church in London, October 23, 2013
Kate Middleton Duchess of Cambridge at the Portrait Gala, National Portrait Gallery, London, February 11, 2014

Baptism of Prince George of England, Prince William, Duke of Cornwall & Cambridge, at St James's Church in London, October 23, 2013 / Picture Alliance / DPA / Bridgeman Images

Kate Middleton Duchess of Cornwall & Cambridge at the Portrait Gala, National Portrait Gallery, London, February 11, 2014 / Picture Alliance / Photoshot / Bridgeman Images

 The Royal Family of England, Charles Prince of Wales poses for an official portrait for his 70th birthday in the gardens of Clarence House
William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of the United Kingdom attend the Queen's Birthday parade Trooping the Color in London, 14 June 2014

 The Royal Family of England, King Charles III poses for an official portrait for his 70th birthday in the gardens of Clarence House, accompanied by Camilla, Queen's Consort; Prince William and Katherine, Duke & Duchess of Cornwall & Cambridge; Prince George; Princess Charlotte; Prince Louis; Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex in London, September 5, 2018 / Bridgeman Images

William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cornwall & Cambridge attend the Queen's Birthday parade Trooping the Color in London, 14 June 2014 / Picture Alliance/ DPA / Bridgeman Images

Queen Elizabeth's Husband:
Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh

The late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was born in 1921 as a Prince of Greece and Denmark. In 1939 Philip joined the British Royal Navy at the age of 18. Through adopting his maternal grandparents surname Mountbatten, Philip fully established himself as a British subject. On November 20th 1947 he dedicated his life to his Nation and Elizabeth by marrying her at Westminster Abbey. After spending an immense 73 years together, Philip passed away last year on April the 9th 2021 aged 99.

Check out our gallery of pictures and portraits of Prince Philip here

Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh / Bridgeman Images

HRH Duke of Edinburgh, 2008 (oil on canvas) by Yeo Jonathan

HRH Duke of Edinburgh, 2008 (oil on canvas) by Yeo Jonathan / Jonathan Yeo / Bridgeman Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with Prince Charles and Princess Anne, 1952

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with Prince Charles and Princess Anne, 1952 / Private Collection / Universal History Archive / UIG / Bridgeman Images

 Queen Elizabeth (Consort of King George VI of the United Kingdom), Cecil Beaton, circa 1939
Prince Albert Duke of York, future king George VI, and his wife Elizabeth (Queen Mum), visiting Wembley, London, circa 1930

 Queen Elizabeth (Consort of King George VI of the United Kingdom), Cecil Beaton, circa 1939 / Universal History Archive/ UIG / Bridgeman Images

Prince Albert Duke of York, future king George VI, and his wife Elizabeth (Queen Mum), visiting Wembley, London, circa 1930 / Spaarnestad Photo / Bridgeman Images

Photograph of Prince Albert driving a tram

Photograph of Prince Albert driving a tram / Universal History Archive / UIG / Bridgeman Images

Queen Mother Elizabeth playing pool, March 1961 at the London Press Club

Queen Mother Elizabeth playing pool, March 1961 at the London Press Club / Bridgeman Images

 

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother) on their 25th anniversary, 1948

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother) on their 25th anniversary, 1948 / CSU Archive / Everett Collection / Bridgeman Images

Parents of Queen Elizabeth II: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Mother)

King George VI served as the sovereign of the United Kingdom from the 11th of December 1936 until his passing on the 6th of February 1952. King George was the second child of King George V and Princess Mary of Teck, who named him Albert and raised him alongside his older brother Edward.

In 1920 Prince Albert was appointed Earl of Inverness by his father and in 1923 he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Westminster Abbey with whom he fathered two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret.

Following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII on the 11th of December 1936, Prince Albert ascended to the throne, taking the title of King George VI to establish continuity with his father’s name and rule. King George VI was crowned on the 12th of May 1937 with his wife Queen Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. This was the first coronation broadcasted on the radio and recorded for private reproduction by the BBC. During their reign the Queen Mother became famous for her moral support to the nation and its people during the tumultuous years of World War II.

Discover our gallery of images and portraits of King George VI and the Queen Mother 

Churchill at Buckingham Palace with the Royal Family, VE Day, 8th May 1945

Churchill at Buckingham Palace with the Royal Family, VE Day, 8th May 1945 / Bridgeman Images

Princess Margaret: Queen Elizabeth's sister

Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden was the second daughter of King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Margaret was born in Glamis on the 21st of August 1930 and passed away in London on the 9th of February 2002, after a life of great publicity and controversy.

See the gallery of pictures and portraits of Princess Margaret 

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden in her St. John's uniform, 1950

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden in her St. John's uniform, 1950 / Universal History Archive/ UIG / Bridgeman Images

Princess Margaret of England on her wedding day with Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6, 1960
Elizabeth and Margaret playing piano with their Dog Jane lying at their feet, Windsor Castle June 22, 1940

Princess Margaret of England on her wedding day with Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6, 1960 / Bridgeman Images

Elizabeth and Margaret playing piano with their Dog Jane lying at their feet, Windsor Castle June 22, 1940 / Collection Gregoire / Bridgeman Images

Princess Margaret during her visit to Los Angeles, 1966

Princess Margaret during her visit to Los Angeles, 1966, Suero Orlando / Estate of Orlando Suero / Bridgeman Images

Paul Newman, Princess Margaret and Alfred Hitchcock on the set of 'Torn Curtain', 1966

Paul Newman, Princess Margaret and Alfred Hitchcock on the set of 'Torn Curtain', 1966, Suero Orlando / Estate of Orlando Suero / Bridgeman Images

The Royal Family Film Night, 1961

The Royal Family Film Night, 1961 / BOF AMERICAN HISTORY FOOTAGE / Bridgeman Images

The Royal Coach retuning from the State Opening of Parliament Ceremony

 The Royal Coach retuning from the State Opening of Parliament Ceremony / Bridgeman Images

Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II with
Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II with "Dorset Bow Brooch") and Prince Charles, 1948 / Bridgeman Images

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