Elizabeth II and George VI: A look back at the royal father and daughter in pictures
Elizabeth II, then 25, was proclaimed Queen immediately after the death of her dear father George VI at the age of 56 on February 6 1952.
The Queen is spending today in quiet contemplation at Sandringham as she marks her Sapphire Jubilee – the 65th anniversary of the day she became Queen.
Queen’s 65th anniversary: Her Majesty’s life in pictures
Queen’s 65th anniversary: Elizabeth II’s reign in pictures
Elizabeth was born on Wednesday April 21 1926 to the delight of Prince Albert, who later became George VI, and his wife Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother.
The proud royal couple were photographed with the baby Elizabeth as she was sleeping in christening robes that have been used by the royal family for generations.
Princess Elizabeth, known as Lilibet to her family, was devoted to her parents and her younger sister Margaret who was born four years later in 1930.
Her father Prince Albert, who was nicknamed Bertie, famously had to overcome a stammer in order to carry out public duties and speak on the radio.
The future Queen Elizabeth in christening robes with her proud parents
The royal family on Buckingham Palace balcony after the coronation of George VI in 1937
The royal family in robes at Buckingham Palace after the coronation of George VI
The young Elizabeth had a great interest in horses and was serious beyond her years, unlike her little sister. The King would say: “Lilibet is my pride, Margaret my joy.”
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Elizabeth's father Albert became King George VI when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated to marry his divorced lover Wallis Simpson in 1936.
The Queen Mother refused to send their daughters abroad when World War Two broke out in 1939. She declared: “The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave.”
George VI out riding with his daughters in Windsor Great Park in 1939
The royal family with their dogs at the Royal Lodge in Windsor in 1940
Elizabeth and her parents watch soldiers on parade in London in 1944
George VI walked Elizabeth down the aisle when she married Prince Philip during a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 1947.
The family man was very happy to become a grandfather when Elizabeth gave birth to the Prince Charles in 1948 and then Princess Anne in 1950.
Elizabeth was acutely aware of her special role as the future Queen and was inspired by her father’s devotion to his country.
Shortly before his death in 1952, George VI said: “There she goes, poor lonely girl. She will be lonely all her life.”
Elizabeth walked up the aisle with her father to marry Prince Philip in 1947
Elizabeth holds Princess Anne and her mother holds holds Prince Charles
Elizabeth speaks with her father in a garden in 1946
Elizabeth with her father George VI in his study
After she was proclaimed Queen, Elizabeth said: "By the sudden death of my dear father I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty.
"My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work, as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over."
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On the 8th February 1952, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II formally proclaimed herself Queen and Head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith
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Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day on 2nd June 1953