A previously unseen photograph of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren has been released to mark what would have been her 97th birthday.
The touching family photograph, taken by the Princess of Wales at Balmoral last summer, shows the late Queen with her grandchildren Lady Louise Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex (then Viscount Severn), and great-grandchildren Savannah and Isla Phillips, Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall, and Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
It comes after King Charles III led tributes to his late mother. King Charles, his three siblings and the rest of the Royal Family are marking the date for the first time since Her Majesty’s death in September 2022.
‘Today we remember the incredible life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on what would have been her 97th birthday,’ a post by the Royal Family Instagram account reads. It also acknowledges the Queen’s unlikely path to the throne.
When Her Majesty was born in April 1926, Princess Elizabeth and her family did not expect that she would one day become Queen. Following the abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII in 1936, her father acceded to the throne. When King George VI died in February 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II when she was just 25. Her Majesty went on to be Britain’s longest reigning Monarch – the only one in history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth II’s former daughter-in-law Sarah, the Duchess of York, also shared some touching words in tribute.
‘Today would have been Her late Majesty the Queen’s 97th birthday and I will spend the day thinking of her,’ she wrote, alongside a regal portrait of the Queen.
For over 70 years she was a constant and steadfast presence in our national life, and for me she was a wonderful mother-in-law, friend and adviser. I miss her more than words can express.
The Queen will no doubt be at the forefront of her son King Charles’s mind at his Coronation at Westminster Abbey on 6 May.
As a young boy, the then Prince Charles witnessed his mother being formally crowned in a solemn service in the same hallowed venue.