NEWS

The Queen's Birthday Sees Monarch Turn 90 - Here's Her Life In 90 Images

And she's still as regal as ever.

19/04/2016 18:05 | Updated 21 April 2016

She's the world's oldest-reigning monarch, as well as the longest-reigning British monarch - and now the Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday too.

In a series of images taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz to mark the occasion, the monarch appeared alongside members of her family.

the sovereign - in the tradition of royal portraiture - holds her youngest great-grandchild Princess Charlotte in her arms.

Also appearing in the touching image is two-year-old Prince George, as well as Zara Phillips’s two-year-old daughter Mia Tindall, who is proudly holding the Queen's famous black handbag, and Peter Phillips’s daughters Savannah, five, and three-year-old Isla.

The Queen, who is known as Gan Gan to George and Charlotte, is also joined by the two youngest of her eight grandchildren – the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s children - James, Viscount Severn, eight, who has his hands in his pockets, and Lady Louise Windsor.

Lady Louise, who was one of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s bridesmaids, is now 12 and towers above her younger relatives.

Annie Leibovitz/PA Wire
Annie Leibovitz/PA Wire
Annie Leibovitz/PA Wire

The Queen is also pictured in an informal shot in the white drawing room at Windsor with her only daughter the Princess Royal, as well as posing in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Her Majesty The Queen has lived through some extraordinary times in our world.

"From the Second World War to the rations with which she bought the material for her wedding dress.

"From presenting the World Cup to England at Wembley in 1966 to man landing on the moon three years later.

"From the end of the Cold War to peace in Northern Ireland.

"Throughout it all, as the sands of culture shift and the tides of politics ebb and flow, Her Majesty has been steadfast - a rock of strength for our nation, for our Commonwealth and on many occasions for the whole world.

"As her grandson, Prince William has said: “Time and again, quietly and modestly, The Queen has shown us all that we can confidently embrace the future without compromising the things that are important.”

Born in 1926 in London to the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the young Elizabeth Windsor was never destined to be Queen.

But when King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, her father acceded to the throne - putting her in line to become the next monarch.

She was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953, aged 27, and has since gone on to celebrate a number of milestones such as her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012, respectively.

We've gathered some of the best images of the Queen's life, documenting her journey from childhood to the well-loved monarch she is today...

  • 1926
    Print Collector via Getty Images
    Princess Elizabeth in 1926, when she was a few months old, (1937). The future Queen Elizabeth II (1926-). A photograph from the Illustrated London News: Coronation Record Number, (London, 1937). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
  • 1927
    Print Collector via Getty Images
    Princess Elizabeth at St Paul's Walden Bury, 1927, (pub. 1937). The future Queen Elizabeth II (1926-). A photograph from the Illustrated London News: Coronation Record Number, (London, 1937). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
  • 1928
    Central Press via Getty Images
    The young Princess Elizabeth, later to reign as Queen Elizabeth II, 1928. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1929
    Edward G. Malindine via Getty Images
    21st December 1929: Princess Elizabeth on the platform at King's Cross station, about to depart with her Royal grandparents for Christmas holidays at Sandringham. (Photo by Edward G. Malindine/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
  • 1930
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    Princess Elizabeth wearing a party frock. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1931
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    Princess Elizabeth aged five, 1931. The future Queen Elizabeth II (1926-). A photograph from the Illustrated London News: Coronation Record Number, (London, 1937). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
  • 1932
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    1932: Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) walks in to visit the Royal Tournament at Olympia. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1933
    Central Press via Getty Images
    The future Queen Elizabeth II at Abergeldie Castle in Scotland at the age of seven, 1933. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1934
    AP
    Princess Margaret Rose, 2, left, and Princess Elizabeth, 6, daughters of the Duke and Duchess of York, pose, Aug. 20, 1934, London, England. (AP Photo)
  • 1935
    Central Press via Getty Images
    The future Queen Elizabeth II waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, with her younger sister Margaret and her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary, on the occasion of their Silver Jubilee, 6th May 1935. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1936
    Lisa Sheridan via Getty Images
    July 1936: Princess Elizabeth sitting on a garden seat with two corgi dogs at her home on 145 Piccadilly, London. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images)
  • 1937
    PA/PA Wire
    File photo dated 12/05/1937 of Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) with her eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, after the coronation of King George VI as the Queen turns 90 on the April 21st.
  • 1938
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    The future Queen Elizabeth II with her sister, Princess Margaret, during the National Pony Show at the Agricultural Hall in London, 4th March 1938. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1939
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    (GERMANY OUT) Elizabeth II* 21.4.1926-Queen of England, since 1953- as the winner with 35 points in a children's swimming competition in London - 1939Vintage property of ullstein bild (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
  • 1940
    Lisa Sheridan via Getty Images
    Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, 22nd June 1940. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images
  • 1941
    PA/PA Wire
    File photo dated 01/01/1941 of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) in the garden of her wartime country residence (Windsor) as the Queen turns 90 on the April 21st.
  • 1942
    PA/PA Wire
    File photo dated 01/01/1942 of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) in her Girl Guide uniform as the Queen turns 90 on the April 21st.
  • 1943
    Apic via Getty Images
    UNSPECIFIED - SEPTEMBER 30: Princess Elizabeth of England (future queen Elizabeth II) young wearing girl scout uniform (she's member of the Buckingham Palace Company of Girl Guides) in 1943 (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
  • 1944
    Lisa Sheridan via Getty Images
    Princess Elizabeth with her pet Corgi Sue or Susan at Windsor Castle, UK, 30th May 1944. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1945
    PA/PA Wire
    File photo dated 01/01/1945 of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) at the wheel of an Army vehicle when she served during the Second World War in the Auxiliary Territorial Service as the Queen turns 90 on the April 21st.
  • 1946
    Lisa Sheridan via Getty Images
    Princess Elizabeth playing the piano in Buckingham Palace on July 19, 1946. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images)
  • 1947
    PA/PA Wire
    File photo dated 20/11/1947 of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and Lt Philip Mountbatten at Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony as the Queen turns 90 on the April 21st.
  • 1948
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    15th December 1948: Princess Elizabeth holding Prince Charles after his christening ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. (Photo by PNA Rota/Getty Images)
  • 1949
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    Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) with her baby son Prince Charles, 1949. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1950
    PA/PA Wire
    File photo dated 21/10/1950 of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) with her baby daughter, Princess Anne, after the christening at Buckingham Palace, London as the Queen turns 90 on the April 21st.
  • 1951
    Fox Photos via Getty Images
    12th October 1951: Princess Elizabeth attending a state banquet at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, during a State Visit to Canada. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
  • 1952
    Apic via Getty Images
    UNSPECIFIED : Queen Elizabeth II of England (b 1926, daughter of George VI) here in february 1952. This is an official picture from the time when she acceded to the throne. Colorized document. (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
  • 1953
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    1953: Queen Elizabeth II waving from the balcony at Buckingham Palace with her husband Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1954
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Australia, 1954. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
  • 1955
    Monty Fresco via Getty Images
    31st October 1955: A regally adorned Queen Elizabeth II arriving at the Royal Performance of the film 'To Catch A Thief' at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square. (Photo by Monty Fresco/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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