70 photos from Queen's reign as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee

70 photos from Queen's reign as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee

Her Majesty’s photo album: A memory from each year of the Queen’s extraordinary 70-year reign as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee

  • The Queen has been on the throne for 70 years and will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee this weekend 
  • FEMAIL has collected memories from every single year of her extraordinary reign as Monarch 
  • From 1952, when she landed at London Airport from Kenya following her father’s death, to the birth of her children and her grandchildren’s weddings, to grieving her husband at his Covid-secure funeral last year
  • Latest Platinum Jubilee news as the Queen celebrates 70 years of service

Ahead of the Platinum Jubilee this weekend, where Her Majesty will celebrate 70 years on the throne, these snaps track every year of her reign as Monarch. 

FEMAIL has collected poignant memories to illustrate Queen Elizabeth II’s time on the throne. Pictures include her Royal Tour of India in 1961 and her first visit to Hong Kong in 1975.

More recent snaps include The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visiting Ireland in 2011; she was the first royal to visit the country since 1911, and visiting the injured children of the Manchester Arena bomb attack in 2017.   

Queen Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926 and became first in line for the throne after her uncle Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 and her father, George VI, became King.

Nobody had expected Elizabeth to ever ascend the throne, as Edward was young and expected to have plenty of heirs, who would overtake Elizabeth’s place in line.

However, less than a year after the death of Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, Edward abdicated the throne in order to marry Wallace Simpson, an American divorcee.

During the Second World War, Elizabeth – then 13 – and her sister Margaret refused to be evacuated to Canada and stayed in the UK, living in Scotland, Norfolk and Windsor over the course of the war.

As well as putting on pantomimes to raise money for the war effort, Elizabeth trained as a driver and mechanic and was given the rank of honorary junior commander with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

Over the course of the war, Elizabeth had been exchanging letters with Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and in 1947 the two announced their engagement, marrying later that year.

The couple welcomed their first child – Prince Charles – in 1948, followed by Princess Anne in 1950. A decade later, they would have their second son, Prince Andrew, and in 1964, their third, Prince Edward.

In 1952, the news reached Elizabeth that her father had died, making her Queen with immediate effect. Coronated in June 1953, Queen Elizabeth began the reign that has so far lasted 70 years, bringing her to her Platinum Jubilee.

1952: Returning home as Queen. The new Queen Elizabeth II disembarks at London Airport after returning immediately from Kenya on learning of the death of her father, George VI, on February 6. She was greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill

1953: A new era begins. The coronation of Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey 




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1954: A whole new world. Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a state dinner on the Australian royal tour (left). 1955: Taking in the action. The Queen is pretty in a summer dress and white sandals for a day at the polo in Windsor Great Park

1956: Young mother. In her early years on the throne, the Queen was raising Prince Charles (pictured aged seven with his mother at the polo in Windsor) and Princess Anne. Prince Andrew was born in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964

1957: Homecoming. Princess Anne, then aged six, squeals with joy after being reunited with her parents following a royal tour in February

1958: Giddy-up! The Queen arrives with Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery, at the Epsom Derby, Surrey in June 

1959: Trooping the Colour. The Queen, centre, is joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, right, at Trooping the Colour in 1959

1960: Capturing the memories! The Queen takes a snap of her corgis at Windsor Park in 1960 

1961: A royal welcome. The Queen, dressed in powder blue, enjoys an elephant ride during her royal tour of India in January

1962: Another royal baby. The Queen plays with a two-year-old Prince Andrew in the grounds of a royal residence 

1963: A special relationship. The Queen and Prince Philip welcome President and Mrs Kennedy to Buckingham Palace

1964: Prince Edward’s royal debut. The Queen and Prince Philip introduce their youngest son at Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace

1965: Dazzling. The Queen leaves a state reception at Schloss Augustusburg in Bruhl, on the First State Visit to West Germany 

1966: Tragedy. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Aberfan following the mining disaster that killed 116 children

1967: Special place in her heart. The Queen, dressed in vibrant blue, and Prince Philip dance at a state ball during a Commonwealth visit to Malta. The couple spent two years on the island as newlyweds between 1949 and 1951

1968: Lifelong passion. The Queen gets up close and personal with some of the horses at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

1969: Royalty TV. The Queen and Prince Philip allowed cameras into Windsor Castle for an ill-fated BBC documentary

1970: Back on tour. The Queen and Prince Philip greet flag-waving schoolchildren during a visit to Mount Isa, Australia

1971: Hop to it! The Queen jumps ashore from a barge after disembarking from the Royal Yacht Britannia in Turkey

1972: Treasured memories. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their silver wedding anniversary at Balmoral

1973: Wedding bells. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh join their daughter Princess Anne and her new husband Mark Phillips on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding. Also pictured are Edward (left), Charles and Andrew

1975: HM at the market. The Queen, wearing a pink dress, meets local fruit and veg traders on her first visit to Hong Kong

1976: Shall we dance? The Queen takes to the floor with President Ford during a royal visit to the White House in July

1977: Silver Jubilee. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh wave to crowds who have gathered to celebrate her time on the throne alongside Earl Mountbatten of Burma 

1978: Presenting Virgina Wade with the trophy after she won the Women’s Single Final at Wimbledon in 1978

1979: Shared appreciation. The Queen drinks tea with the Emir of Bahrain on a state visit to the region in February

1980: Holy visit. The Queen meets Pope John Paul and becomes the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican

1981: A royal wedding to remember. The Queen joins Prince Charles and the new Princess of Wales following their nuptials

1982: Welcoming a future king! Four generations of the Royal Family gather for Prince William’s Christening in August

1983: Taking her favourite sport seriously! The Queen is pictured with Sir Michael Oswald, manager of the Royal Stud, at Epsom racecourse 

1984: Trooping the Colour with Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Philip and Princess Diana

1985: Star power! Her Majesty meets with Joan Collins at the Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall

1986: A kiss for the Queen! Her Majesty receives a kiss from her eldest son Prince Charles at the Windsor polo ground following a match 

1987: Mother and daughter. Queen Elizabeth II wears a bright polka dot number as she celebrates her mother’s 87th birthday

1988: An educational family outing. The Queen is joined by Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and her grandchildren Prince William, Prince Harry, and Peter and Zara Philips on a visit to a museum in Sandringham

1989: A Welsh birthday. The Queen and Prince Philip were greeted by well-wishers on a walkabout in the village of Treherbert, Wales

1990: Celebrating Easter with her mother! The Queen leaves St George’s Chapel in Windsor following mass 

1991: The Queen  addresses to a joint meeting of Congress. She was the first British monarch to address Congress, and was greeted with a standing ovation

1992: Annus horribilis! The Queen inspecting the ruins at Windsor castle with a firefighter. A huge blaze broke out damaging more than 100 rooms including the vast medieval St George’s Hall

1993: Visiting Cardiff Castle for the investiture. She is pictured leaving the castle with Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards, HM Lord Lieutenant

1994: The Queen attends a state banquet with Boris Yeltsin in 1994 in Moscow, Russia, wearing her Brazilian Aquamarine tiara

1995: The trio! The Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for VE Day commemorations

1996: Nelson Mandela visits the UK and rides in carriage with the Queen along the Mall in London. During this visit he asked her if she had lost weight

1997: A day the nation will never forget. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are overwhelmed by the amount of well-wishers and floral tributes at Buckingham Palace, on the eve of the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales 

1998: Running to watch Philip. The Queen is pictured jogging to ensure she sees her husband performing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, an event she takes seriously 

1999: The Queen takes the hand of Prince Philip as they prepare to leave the House of Lords following the outlining of the Governments plan for the forthcoming Parliamentary session 

2000: Marking a new Millennium. The Princess Royal, The Duke Of Edinburgh, the Queen, Tony Blair and his wife Cherie all join for a chorus of Auld Lang Syne shortly after midnight in London

2001: Paying tribute to 9/11 victims: Accompanied by Prince Charles, The Queen lays a wreath on the remembrance stone outside Westminster Abbey

2002: Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee! Celebrating 50 years on the throne, The Queen greets crowds who lined the streets of London


2003: Opening Parliament: The Queen is joined by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh in Westminster (left). 2004: Having a laugh! The couple share a joke when President Alexandre Kwasniewski and his wife, Jolanta, come to the UK for an official state visit (right)

2005: A royal wedding. Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles and the newlyweds are pictured with their families in an official snap (L-R back row) Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Parker Bowles (L-R front row) Duke of Edinburgh, HM The Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla’s father Major Bruce Shand.

2006: Out for a ride! The Queen enjoying the sunshine in Windsor, accompanied by her stud groom Terry Pendry

2007: The Queen with Prince Philip celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary at Windsor 

2008: Meeting the future Prime Minister! The Queen shakes the hand of then-London mayor Boris Johnson ahead of the Olympics 

2009: A smile for Philip. Her Majesty beams over at the Duke of Edinburgh during the Horse Guards Parade at Trooping the Colour parade

2010: Crowds gather to catch a glimpse of the Queen at one of her Buckingham Palace Garden Parties, which have become a tradition for the monarch 

2011: Her Majesty meets Fish Monger Pat O’Connell at the English Market on May 20, 2011 (left)

2012: Good evening Mr Bond! The Queen, joined by her beloved corgis, appears in a skit alongside Daniel Craig to mark the beginning of the Olympic Games in London

2013: A new heir is born! The official portrait for the christening of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, taken in the morning room at Clarence House

2014: The Queen and Prince Philip walk among ceramic red poppies in the moat at the Tower of London in London

2015: Riding high! Her Majesty is accompanied by a groom out riding by the River Thames at Windsor, Berkshire

2016: Welcoming a new President: The Queen and Prince Philip greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to a private lunch at Windsor Castle 

2017: Hospital visits: The monarch visits with the injured at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital following the bombing attack 

2018: A new family member: The Queen joins in celebrations alongside her fellow senior royals and the bridal party as Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle 

2019: Welcome baby Archie! The Queen and Prince Philip are among the first people to meet Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first son 

2020: Coronavirus brings the world to a stop: The Queen continues with her duties during the first lockdown as she speaks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone from Windsor Castle 

2021: The Queen in mourning: Her Majesty is seen grieving alone at the funeral for her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at  the Covid-secure event 

2022: Weeks ahead of her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen is beaming as she arrives at the Chelsea Flower Show in a luxury buggy

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