Look Back at the Queen's Most Memorable Moments by Decades
It's hard to comprehend all that the queen has experienced since she was born on April 21, 1926 — from the second World War to the invention of the Internet, the first African-American US president to the first female UK prime minister, and space exploration to the birth of the digital age. To commemorate her majesty's 90th birthday, we're taking a look at some of the key moments from each of her nine decades, both publicly and privately.
The young Princess Elizabeth had a relatively carefree upbringing — her fate as future queen wasn't set until her uncle King Edward VIII's abdication.
A 10-year-old Elizabeth with little sister Margaret; their mother, Queen Elizabeth; and the family Corgis in 1936, the year her father became king.
At her father King George VI's coronation in 1937.
One year into WWII, at the age of 14, Princess Elizabeth addressed the children of the nation in her first radio broadcast.
Playing Aladdin alongside sister Margaret in a pantomime at Windsor Castle in 1943.
Training as a mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945.
Giving a speech about dedicating herself to service on her 21st birthday in 1947.
The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947.
Prince Charles was born in 1948.
Four generations of royal women: baby Princess Anne with Queen Mary, the queen, and the queen mother in 1950.
Greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the newly acceded Queen Elizabeth II returned to the country following the death of her father.
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
The first-ever televised Christmas message in 1957.
The queen with her growing family at Balmoral in 1960.
Pregnant with Prince Edward in 1963.
The queen allowed TV cameras behind palace walls for the 1969 documentary Royal Family.
On the balcony of Buckingham Palace at her Silver Jubilee in 1977.
With her first grandchild, Peter Phillips, in 1977.
With Margaret Thatcher — the UK's first female prime minister — in 1979.
Her relationship with Princess Diana was strained.
A historic event: 1982 saw the first UK visit by a pope in 450 years.
With the new second in line to the throne; Prince William's christening in 1982.
A landmark visit to China in 1986 — the first for a reigning British monarch.
Witnessing the fire damage at Windsor Castle in 1992.
Celebrating South Africa's reentry to the commonwealth following the end of apartheid with Nelson Mandela in 1995.
Walking among the floral tributes outside Buckingham Palace following the death of Diana in 1997.
Emotional at the decommissioning of the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1997.
Celebrating her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Welcoming in the millennium at midnight with a kiss from Prince Philip.
Visiting a UK mosque for the first time in 2002.
Celebrating her son Prince Charles's marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005.
A historic first visit to Ireland in 2011.
William and Kate's wedding in 2011.
With Barack Obama, the first African-American US president, in 2011.
Celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Attending the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in 2012.
The queen with the first, second, and third in line to the throne at Trooping the Colour 2015.
On the day Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British history, Sept. 9, 2015.