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Rare Photos of the Royal Family



The history of the British Royal family dates long back before they became the cultural icons we know them as today. Beginning with the lineage of King George V when he fully adopted the Royal House of Windsor alongside Queen Mary, the Royals have come a long way in the past 100+ years…
One of the coolest things about the Royal Family is that they’ve been around short enough to have been photographed throughout their history, and many of the first photos taken during their earliest days reveal a lot that we hadn’t known before. Enjoy these never-before-seen historic photos of one of the most talked about families of all time.

A Young Queen Mother

Before we knew her as the Queen Mother, Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was a normal little girl. She was one of ten children and enjoyed pretending and playing the part of a princess…Little did she know, she would one day become a queen.

Mature in the Face of War

Princess Elizabeth’s experience of WWII was much different than her sister’s. At the vulnerable young age of 14, Elizabeth displayed a strength and maturity beyond her years, starting the first of her well-loved radio broadcasts. Through this medium, the young princess was able to play a part in the war effort by bringing comfort to all the children whose family members and homes had been lost or destroyed.

The Two Love Birds

Despite her young age, Elizabeth knew from early on that she was madly in love with Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh even though he was her distant cousin. Those close to the couple found this an odd match, observing that Philip’s nature was loud, boisterous, and brash, while Elizabeth was the quiet and reserved one of the two. It turned out that the stark difference of their personalities is what brought balance to their union and made them perfect for each other.

Out For a Walk

After their marriage in 1923, the original Queen Elizabeth and King George gave birth to two beautiful girls, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose. The queen loved both of her girls equally, but she and Elizabeth shared a special bond. The queen taught her domestic duties and how to read before she was even 5 years old. Perhaps she was trying to prepare her daughter to become queen one day.

Inseparable Sisters

The two princesses did everything together, however, Princess Margaret was something of a black sheep for the royal family. Directly after WWII, she fell desperately in love with a married officer, but when he divorced his wife in 1952 to marry her, the church of England would not allow it. Heartbroken, she left him to marry a photographer but their marriage only lasted 18 years.

A Royal Wedding

Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding didn’t go off without a hitch. There was slight opposition from her father concerning Philip’s lack of wealth and certain connections to Danish and Greek royal families. Despite the king’s hesitation, they were married in London’s Westminster Abbey in 1947. With Great Britain still struggling from the war, Elizabeth even had to collect coupons so she could buy enough fabric to make her wedding dress.

Taking a Name

The honeymoon didn’t last long for the royal couple as they quickly faced their first major disagreement: What name should they take? While it was expected that the queen would take her husband’s name after marriage, both Queen Mary and Winston Churchill insisted upon them staying with the House of Windsor, much to Philip’s dismay. He was quoted saying, “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children.”

Coronation of a Queen

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation ceremony was quite the extravagant occasion. She wore a white, silk gown embroidered with all the floral emblems of the countries of the Commonwealth, and the one-day-long ceremony took over 14-months of detailed preparation. Her coronation also made history as the first one ever to be broadcast live on television for the whole world to be a part of.

Foreign Officials

Despite her never-ending royal duties, the queen knew when to take some time to relax. However, in 1979, the queen took a famous state tour to the Middle East where she met with and befriended the Emir of Bahrain and other significant dignitaries. This tour received much global acclaim as she was the first member of the British Royal Family to ever tour the Middle East.

Victoria Line

Named after the queen’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, a brand new route on the London Underground was opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The 1969 occasion was considered quite momentous as it was the time a member of the Royal Family rode on public transportation. Fittingly enough, a brand new line will open in 2018 and will be named after Queen Elizabeth II.

Fangirl of the Spice Girls

Who says a queen can’t have favorites? During the 1990s, everyone loved the Spice Girls, including the queen! After their 1997 performance for the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium, the queen immediately went backstage to meet them, accompanied by a huge smile on her face.

Visiting the Vatican

The queen has a knack for making history and in 1980 she did it again when she became the first British monarch to ever visit the Vatican. In addition to their public appearances, the queen and pope also met privately to discuss things like freedom and democracy. Pope John Paul II would later describe her visit as “warm and relaxed.”

Remembering Balmoral

If you’re close to the queen then you’ll know that there are few things she loves more than Balmoral Castle. To this day, she continues to spend as much time there as possible. The castle was purchased by Queen Victoria and has always remained privately owned by the Royal Family.

The Royal Pups

It might be safe to say that no one loves corgis more than the queen. During her reign, she has owned over 30 corgis and there are even statues around the world of the queen’s famous pets. Have no concern, these dogs are treated extremely well. Each one follows a strict, special diet that’s been approved by a veterinary expert.

Meeting with Presidents

During her reign, the queen has met 12 U.S. Presidents, more than any former monarch. Ronald Reagan was formally invited by the queen and Margaret Thatcher and made an official visit to Windsor Castle in 1982. Both the queen and Reagan love riding horses and are skilled equestrians, so it’s not surprising the two went horseback riding together.

Charles and Diana

When Prince Charles met Diana, it was most definitely not love at first sight and he never even considered dating her until years down the road. He later told his biographer that “without any apparent surge in feeling, he began to think seriously of her as a potential bride” after speaking with her at a mutual friend’s barbecue. However, their marriage was always rocky…

Falling Apart

To the world, Diana and Charles were the perfect couple, but the public couldn’t see how their marriage was falling apart. In an interview once, the couple were asked if they were in love, to which Diana promptly responded with, “of course,” and Charles finished with, “Whatever ‘in love’ means.” It was that line that finally clued people into the fact that their marriage might not be all it seemed.

Life or Death

Diana’s unhappiness in her marriage continued into her pregnancy with William. She reached a point where it was too much to take and she threw herself down a staircase. Despite some minor bruising, she sustained no injuries and delivered a healthy baby boy.

Harry Potter Scar

Prince William and Prince Harry were constantly surrounded by the best security, but no amount of bodyguards could prevent the boys from occasionally getting into some sort of mischief. At age 9, William accidentally suffered a blow to the head from a swinging golf club and was rushed into emergency surgery. He had suffered a depressed fracture of the skull and was left with a permanent scar which he fondly referred to as his “Harry Potter scar.

Best Friends

Some siblings don’t get along and are always fighting, but these two brothers have always been close. Perhaps it was the death of their mother that brought them together, but they are each other’s best friends and have always been extremely supportive of each other.

Young Love

When Kate Middleton and Prince William met, she caught his eye, but Kate was dating Rupert Finch at the time. As sophomores, they shared a flat together giving them a safe, private place to get to know each other. William strongly distrusts the media, which most likely stems from his mother’s death. He wanted their relationship to stay a secret for as long as possible.

Their Royal Wedding

In 2010, while on vacation to Kenya, William proposed to Kate with his mother’s gorgeous sapphire engagement ring. The couple exchanged vows at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony that the whole world tuned in for.

Meeting Celebrities

Famous or not, meeting the Duke and Duchess is an honor for anyone. In 2011, stars of every kind had the opportunity to meet the couple at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. Jennifer Lopez seemed extremely comfortable meeting the royal couple, but from the looks on William and Kate’s faces, it seems that they were the starstruck ones in this instance.

Having Children

Almost a year after getting married, it was announced that they would be having their first child and on July 22, 2013 Kate gave birth to George Alexander Louis. Now 3 years old, Prince George attends school and is considered one of the most popular royals. Everyone wants to own the same clothes and toys as him. He was even ranked on GQ’s “50 Best Dressed Men in Britain.”

Growing the Family

Adding a little princess to the family, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born on May 2, 2015, making her the fourth in line for the throne. The royal couple have had their fair share of parenting struggles, however. During a trip to Vietnam, William shared, “Well, as the other parents in the room will testify, there’s wonderful highs and there’s wonderful lows. It’s been quite a change for me, personally. I’m very lucky in the support I have from Catherine. She is an amazing mother and a fantastic wife.”

“Busy Lizzie”

As the longest reigning monarch in history, Queen Elizabeth shows no signs of slowing down, even at age 90. In 2015, she completed 341 official engagements, surpassing the combined engagements of Prince Harry and Kate Middleton.

Four Generations

Queen Elizabeth played a major role in raising William after Diana’s death, and has been said to be an equally wonderful grandmother and great-grandmother. In a documentary about his grandmother, William shared, “Growing up, having this figurehead, having this stability above me has been incredible. I have been able to explore, understand, slightly carve my own path. I greatly appreciate and value that protection.”