Queen Elizabeth: 91 glorious years in pictures

Take a look back as the Monarch celebrates her 91th birthday.

Queen Elizabeth has been many things in the course of her long life: a lady, a girl guide, a Princess, a mechanic in the army, a mother, a Queen, a grandmother, a great-grandmother. And she is the longest ever serving monarch in England’s history. Now – she’s turning 91.

Elizabeth, who has weathered the storms of politicians, scandals, wars and deaths, is revered as one of the most formidable Queens to have taken the Throne.

Born as a daughter of a man who was never meant to rule, the young Lady went from being a girl guide in her London terrace to ascending her father’s throne as Queen Regnant.

Her love story with Prince Philip of Denmark and Greece was regarded as great romance, as was their happy marriage and the births of their four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

As she succeeds her ancestor, Queen Victoria, as the longest-serving English monarch in history, we look back at the incredible life and times of one of the greatest women this age has seen: Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

Elizabeth was born the first child of her parents, Queen Elizabeth and King George VI.

She was raised in London, with her sister Margaret, and was educated privately.

For the first time in history, a Princess was allowed to serve as a Girl Guide.

The Princess Elizabeth was also a member of the British Armed Forces. She is seen here leading the troops in a ceremony.

Princess Elizabeth was educated in arts, literature, and music by her governess, Marion Crawfield, or “Crawfie”.

After a string of love letters sent back and forth (which is how Prince Philip is rumoured to have won her heart), Elizabeth and her military sweetheart, Prince Philip of Denmark and Greece, became engaged.

Elizabeth and Philip were married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. Their wedding took place at the end of the second world war and Elizabeth required ration coupons to buy the material of her dress.

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The Queen’s Wedding

Princess Elizabeth gave birth to their first child in 1948, a boy she named Prince Charles.

Soon three other children followed, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Elizabeth’s father, George VI, died in 1952 and Elizabeth was crowned Queen a month later.

Queen Elizabeth with her family after her coronation.

Queen Elizabeth meeting Marilyn Monroe.

A portrait of the Queen in 1961.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Prince Edward in 1971.

A smiling Queen Elizabeth in the rain.

Queen Elizabeth going to visit her new great-grandson, Prince George of Cambridge.

Queen Elizabeth in 2013.

She’s still got that cheeky smile, she’s pictured here earlier in 2015.

Cracking a smile at a royal garden party.

To celebrate her 90th birthday, the Monarch graced the cover of Vanity Fair.

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