Rare Photos Of The Queen Shed A New Light On Her Extraordinary Life

Queen Elizabeth II’s 96 years of life included some incredible moments, many of which went unseen or faded from memory. Despite being one of the most recognizable figures of the last century, Queen Elizabeth's personal life wasn't exactly an open book. But over the years, photographers managed to capture some of Elizabeth’s candid moments, giving us a rare glimpse into the life of Britain's longest-reigning monarch. From her early years as a princess to her later years as a respected leader, Queen Elizabeth's life was nothing short of extraordinary.

1927: Born a princess

At the time of her birth, Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, was third in line to the throne, as her father, Prince Albert, Duke of York, had yet to become the King — more on that later. In this photo, taken in June 1927, the one-year-old princess was snapped passing through the gates of her parents’ London residence in the back of a carriage.

It’s such a poignant photo when you think of the hugely influential world leader that this baby girl would grow up to become.

1929: Starting a life of service

By the time her 90th birthday rolled around in April of 2016, Queen Elizabeth II was lending her patronage to hundreds of charities. But this photo from 1929 proves that she began her quest to serve others early in life. She’s shown here greeting former servicemen at a Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry Exhibition in June 1929.

Elizabeth was just three years old at the time of this photograph. We’d love to know how many people’s hands she would go on to shake during the course of her life and reign!

1936: Her love of corgis blossoms

Queen Elizabeth II was famously a fan of Corgis, but do you know just how far back her love of these dogs went? Her father acquired their first Corgi in 1933 — a pooch that the family named Dookie — after Elizabeth became very fond of a friend’s dog of the same breed.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth is said to have had around 30 of these dogs in her charge. In this photo, nine-year-old Elizabeth is pictured cuddling one of her furry friends.

1937: Becoming heir to the throne

In 1936 Elizabeth’s uncle ascended to the throne as King Edward VIII. However, Edward reigned for less than a year, choosing to abdicate in order to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson — a major scandal at the time. This fateful decision meant that Elizabeth’s father was made king as George VI, and she became his heir apparent.

Had Edward not abandoned the crown, Elizabeth may never have become queen. Here she is aged 11, giving a big wave at her father’s historic coronation on May 12, 1937.