45 Rare Photos of Queen Elizabeth Through the Years

30th may 1944  queen elizabeth ii as princess elizabeth writing at her desk in windsor castle, berkshire  photo by lisa sheridanstudio lisagetty images
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In September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-ruling monarch in Great Britain's history, surpassing her great-grandmother Queen Victoria's record rule of 63 years. To celebrate, the royal family presented an exhibit of photos at The Royal Collection Trust of the then-89-year-old Queen to commemorate her reign. Now, we're doing the same in honor of her upcoming 94th birthday. Ahead, take a walk down memory lane and see how a young Elizabeth made her mark from the start.

even at a young age—this was snapped when she was just about one year old—she already knew how to pose perfectly and wave to the crowds
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The Little Princess

Even at age one, Princess Elizabeth knew how to pose perfectly and wave to the crowds.

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who would've guessed little elizabeth could have given shirley temple a run for her money
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Baby Photos

Who would've guessed little Elizabeth could have given Shirley Temple a run for her money?

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princess elizabeth as a child, 1930
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All Smiles

Princess Elizabeth cheerily poses for the camera in 1930.

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queen elizabeth was such a cute kid, it's almost hard to believe she now has five greatgrandchildren herself no wonder prince george is so adorable—he has great genes
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Princess Dresses

The princess sitting pretty in dress fit for a (future) queen.

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Of course, being a royal isn't all about wearing pretty dresses and posing for photos—it's also about cuddling with the royal corgis. A lifelong dog lover, Queen Elizabeth still keeps around two of these adorable dogs. Her current corgis' names are Holly and Willow. She also has two dorgis (a cross between a dachshund and a corgi) named Candy and Vulcan, so score one for creative name lovers.
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Her Favorite Dog Breed

Of course, being a royal isn't all about wearing pretty dresses and posing for photos—it's also about cuddling with the royal corgis.

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Jane And Dookie
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Lap Dogs

Just try not to smile at another sweet image of Princess Elizabeth with her pet corgis Jane and Dookie.

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Though much of the work involved with being part of the royal family is serious, Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret nevertheless managed to make time for fun. Here, they dress up as Cinderella and Prince Charming during a royal pantomime at Windsor Castle. Let's be honest, they probably had cooler make-believe costumes and props than the rest of us.
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Sister-Sister

Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret dress up as Cinderella and Prince Charming during a royal pantomime at Windsor Castle.

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Princess Elizabeth, future Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Windsor, 1930s.
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Flower Child

The future queen stands in front of her playhouse given to her by the people of Wales.

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Queen Elizabeth with Daughters
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Say Cheese

The princesses pose for a family portrait with their mother, Queen Elizabeth I.

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Painting Princesses
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Picture Perfect

Here, the princesses work on paintings in the school room of Buckingham Palace.

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Crown Princess Elizabeth with Her Pony
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Pony Up

Princess Elizabeth with her one of her horses.

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Princess and Queen Elizabeth
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Mother-Daughter

Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI of England, poses with her daughter Princess Elizabeth.

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Royal Chameleon
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Royal Pets

Princess Elizabeth (right) and Princess Margaret play with another one of their unconventional pets, a chameleon.

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Princess Elizabeth
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Hanging With the Girls

The sisters with the girl guides (the U.K.'s equivalent to Girl Scouts) in April of 1942.

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and by the way, can buckingham palace send its hairstylists our way
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Teen Royals

Can Buckingham Palace send its hairstylists our way?

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Queen Elizabeth in Garden with Dog
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A Queen's Best Friend

Nearly 20 years later, Queen Elizabeth poses alongside one of her beloved corgis yet again.

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Queen Elizabeth II Smiling
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All Smiles

Queen Elizabeth flashes her pearly whites while attending an event at Tivoli Theatre.

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They announced their engagement in July 1947 and were married on November 20, 1947. And just look how sweetly he looked at her!
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Elizabeth and Philip's Official Engagement

They announced their engagement in July 1947. Just look how sweetly he looked at her!

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Royal Family
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Meet the Family

Princess Elizabeth with her fiance Philip alongside her sister Margaret in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace.

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And here's an adorable tidbit about the Queen: She supports long-lasting romances. In fact, she's sent a whopping 280,000 telegrams to couples in the UK and the Commonwealth celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. How sweet is that?
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I Do

On November 2o, 1947, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, wed at Buckingham Palace.

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Malta Honeymoon
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The Honeymoon

Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during their honeymoon in Malta, where he is stationed with the Royal Navy.

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Royal Honeymoon
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Wedding Album

Princess Elizabeth and her husband study their wedding photographs.

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UK-ROYAL FAMILY-QUEEN ELIZABETH II-PRINCESS MARGARET
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First Born

Princess Elizabeth with her son, Prince Charles of Edinburgh, after his christening

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England, Charity Ball At The Dorchester Hotel, Princess Elizabeth And The Duke Of Edinburgh During The Reception In 1948
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Parents Night Out

The new parents attend a Charity Ball at the Dorchester Hotel.

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Royal Family
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Starter Family

Princess Elizabeth alongside her husband with their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

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Royal Family
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Royal Family

The young royal family outside of Balmoral Castle in the fall of 1952.

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Charles And Mum
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The Little Prince

Prince Charles and his mother look out the window of Balmoral Castle that same fall of 1952.

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Royal Mum
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Play Date

Princess Elizabeth watches her son play in his shiny toy car while at the castle.

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Princess Elizabeth
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Family Time

QE2 with Princess Anne and Prince Charles on Charles' fourth birthday.

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After King George VI died, Elizabeth acceded the throne and became the wise, stoic, graceful Queen we know her as today.
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The Beginning of Her Reign

After King George VI died, Elizabeth acceded the throne and became the wise, stoic, graceful Queen we know her as today.

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