By Chloe Shakesby
AS HER Platinum Jubilee nears, these rarely seen newly colourised photos of the Queen when she was younger are showing Elizabeth Windsor as a candid young woman.
One photo shows Her Royal Highness celebrating her 21st birthday in April 1947 with Princess Margaret and crew of the HMS Vanguard during a voyage to South Africa by playing a deck game, being chased by an officer.
Another photo, which has been recently colourised, shows Princess Elizabeth recording her first radio broadcast from Windsor in 1940, aired during Children’s Hour for BBC radio.
The photos have been discovered in the TopFoto archives, documenting moments throughout the Queen’s life from her birth in 1926 to 1952, just before she ascended the throne.
Queen Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926 and became first in line for the throne after Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 and her father, George VI, became King.
Nobody had expected Elizabeth to ever ascend the throne, as Edward was young and expected to have plenty of heirs, who would overtake Elizabeth’s place in line.
However, less than a year after the death of Elizabeth’s grandfather, King George V, Edward abdicated the throne in order to marry Wallace Simpson, an American divorcee.
During the Second World War, Elizabeth – then 13 – and her sister Margaret refused to be evacuated to Canada and stayed in the UK, living in Scotland, Norfolk and Windsor over the course of the war.
As well as putting on pantomimes to raise money for the war effort, Elizabeth trained as a driver and mechanic and was given the rank of honorary junior commander with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
Over the course of the war, Elizabeth had been exchanging letters with Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and in 1947 the two announced their engagement, marrying later that year.
The couple welcomed their first child – Prince Charles – in 1948, followed by Princess Anne in 1950. A decade later, they would have their second son, Prince Andrew, and in 1964, their third, Prince Edward.
In 1952, the news reached Elizabeth that her father had died, making her Queen with immediate effect. Coronated in June 1953, Queen Elizabeth began the reign that has so far lasted 70 years, bringing her to her Platinum Jubilee.
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