38 Pictures of Queen Elizabeth II and Her "Beloved Sister" Princess Margaret

Queen Elizabeth II has died, the Royal Family confirmed on Sept. 8. In a statement on Buckingham Palace's website, the family said that "the Queen died peacefully at Balmoral" with family members by her side. She was 96 years old.

Throughout Queen Elizabeth's life, one if her most enduring relationships was the one she shared with her younger sister, Princess Margaret.

At the age of 4, then-Princess Elizabeth became an older sibling. Her sister Margaret was born in August 1930, and the two little girls had an undeniable and unbreakable bond from the start. The princesses were educated together by a governess at their home in London until 1936, when their father, the Duke of York, reluctantly took the throne after his brother Edward's abdication. Along with their parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother, the young girls moved into Buckingham Palace. . . and their lives basically changed forever.

Many accounts of the girls' royal upbringing detail their differences in personality. For instance, Elizabeth was always a serious and responsible child, while Margaret was your typical second-born: precocious and playful, with a wild streak and penchant for grabbing attention. If it sounds familiar, it should: just look at the similar traits found in other royal second children like Prince Harry, Zara Tindall, and Princess Charlotte. It's also well-known that King George would often say of his daughters, "Lilibet is my pride, Margaret my joy."

As you know, Elizabeth became queen after the unexpected death of King George VI — and though Margaret would go on to live a life of privilege and glamour untethered from the responsibilities of the crown, she was still technically one of her sister's royal subjects. Margaret and Elizabeth spoke nearly every day (Margaret, who lived at Clarence House, had a direct line to her sister at Buckingham) and would often gossip and laugh on the phone. Their relationship hit a bit of a snag in 1953, when Margaret sought permission from the queen to marry the man she loved, Group Captain Peter Townsend. The fact that Peter was a divorced father who was also 16 years older than Margaret wasn't exactly suitable for the monarchy (or the church), and if you've watched "The Crown," you'll know that Elizabeth's inability to allow Margaret to marry Peter Townsend caused a short-lived rift in their sisterly bond.

After Margaret's death in February 2002, Elizabeth announced the news from Buckingham Palace: "The Queen, with great sadness, has asked for the following announcement to be made immediately," it read. "Her beloved sister, Princess Margaret, died peacefully in her sleep this morning at 6:30 a.m. in the King Edward VII Hospital." Reinaldo Herrera, friend of Margaret's, told Vanity Fair that on that day, the queen "lost her most intimate companion."

A private service for family and friends was held six days later, on the 50th anniversary of Margaret and Elizabeth's father's own funeral. Margaret was cremated — a rarity for royals — and her ashes were placed in the tomb with her parents, King George VI, and the Queen Mother (who died just seven weeks after Margaret) at Windsor Castle. Reinaldo Herrera recalled the queen's emotions on the day of her sister's service. "Never explaining anything to the world — what she feels, or why she does what she does — is part of her greatness," he wrote. "But for a few minutes that day, as she stood by the steps of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, watching her sister's coffin being borne away, her eyes betrayed her."

These photos of Elizabeth and Margaret, from the time Margaret entered the world up to Margaret's death in 2002, recount their close bond.

Getty | Getty Images

Elizabeth and Margaret played with their pet chameleon on the grounds of Windsor Castle in 1941.


Elizabeth let her younger sister say a few words during her first public broadcast in 1940.

Getty | Lisa Sheridan

They posed in elaborate dresses for a Christmas pantomime performance of "Old Mother Red Riding Boots" in 1944.

Getty | Tim Graham

Elizabeth checked in on her sister as they watched a sporting event together in 1988.

Getty | Tim Graham

Margaret and Elizabeth were all smiles on Christmas Day in Sandringham in 1992.

Getty | Tim Graham

Elizabeth and Margaret looked like a royal stoplight alongside the Queen Mother in 1995.

Getty | Bob Thomas/Popperfoto

Margaret gave a serious face for this sweet portrait taken in 1932.

Getty | Paul Popper/Popperfoto

How adorable is this?! Elizabeth and Margaret held on to each other outside their home in 1932.

Getty | PNA_Rota

They posed in a carriage with their dog at the Royal Lodge in 1940.

Getty | Lisa Sheridan

In 1940, the girls posed together on the grounds of the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

Getty | Topical Press Agency

Elizabeth and Margaret worked on their garden as part of the government's "Dig For Victory" campaign in 1943.

Getty | Popperfoto

Elizabeth and Margaret looked less than enthused with their Sea Rangers outfits in 1944.

Getty | Lisa Sheridan

Elizabeth was the Prince Charming to Margaret's Cinderella during a royal performance at Windsor Castle in 1941.

Getty | Lisa Sheridan

LOL! Elizabeth put her sister's arm in a sling as part of the girl guides program in 1942.

Getty | Lisa Sheridan

They posed as biker girls in Windsor in 1942.

Getty | Fox Photos

In 1958, the girls joined their mother at the derby.

Getty | Ward

They wore cute matching ensembles for a rehearsal of their father's coronation as king in 1937.

Getty | Anwar Hussein

Margaret joined Elizabeth, as well as Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour back in 1989.

Getty | Topical Press Agency

Margaret and Elizabeth enjoyed the Spring breeze during a tour of South Africa with their parents in 1947.

Getty | Monte Fresco Jnr.

Margaret rode along with Elizabeth and her two kids, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, after their Summer holiday in Balmoral in 1954.

Getty | Fox Photos

The sisters walked side by side after an event in 1948.

Getty | Bettmann

They wrapped their arms around each other for this sweet portrait on Elizabeth's 14th birthday in 1940.

Getty | Anwar Hussein

Elizabeth chatted with her sister at the Epsom Derby in 1979.

Getty | Rolls Press/Popperfoto

Margaret (somewhat begrudgingly) posed with her sister Elizabeth and her new fiancé, Prince Philip, after their engagement announcement in 1947.

Getty | Lisa Sheridan

Aww! Elizabeth and Margaret posed with their dog Chu-Chu at the Royal Lodge in 1936.

Getty | Lisa Sheridan

This stunning photo of the two sisters was taken in 1946.

Getty | Paul Popper/Popperfoto

They smiled big — alongside a Corgi, of course — in 1941.

Getty | Paul Popper/Popperfoto

Their style and grace was apparent in this cute portrait from 1932.

Getty | Paul Popper/Popperfoto

Elizabeth and Margaret posed on a rocking horse together in 1932.

Getty | PA Images

They walked side by side during their trip to the Caribbean island of Mustique — where Margaret owned a villa and the royal family vacations to this day — back in 1977.

Getty | Evening Standard

Elizabeth and Margaret were joined by their cousin, the Duke of Kent, on a horseback ride in 1968.

Getty | Anwar Hussein

One of Margaret's last public appearances was with her sister and aunt, Princess Alice, in 2001.

Getty | Tim Graham

On the day of Margaret's funeral in 2002, the normally stoic Queen Elizabeth was spotted wiping away tears as she stood outside St. George's Chapel with Margaret's two children, David and Sarah Linley.