DezVox collected some intersting facts and photos about the lives of the British British Royal Family, next to some of the most amazing unseen photos of them, offering a deeper understanding of the British monarchy.
A Special Bond between Mother & Daughter
For the first 10 years of her life, Princess Elizabeth never expected to become Queen. Without the pressures of becoming heir to the throne, she enjoyed a very close relationship with her mother. Queen mother made sure young Elizabeth knew domestic duties, even though they lived a lavish lifestyle. It was only when her uncle abdicated the throne and her own father was crowned that her destiny changed entirely.
Little Queen Mother
This family photo of a nine-year-old child practicing her curtsy was taken in 1909 and it is actually The Queen Mother when she was 9-year-old Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon. Little did she know she was destined to become Duchess of York, Queen, and the Queen Mother to the present queen. Born in the Victorian Age, her life charted unprecedented changes to the British monarchy.
With her husband crowned only three short years earlier, The Duchess of York – now Queen – became a beloved source of moral support to the British people during World War II. She refused to evacuate her children or herself. Indeed, her daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, donned a uniform and drove trucks for the war effort.
The young princesses
After Elizabeth married Albert, the Duke of York in 1923, the couple was blessed with two daughters, Princess Margaret Rose and Princess Elizabeth. She rejected his proposal twice because she did not want to be a member of the British Royal Family, before finally accepting, little expecting to become Queen. They were married in Westminster Abbey on April 26, 1923.
Rare Color Photo of Domestic Life
Princess Elizabeth was born three years into the marriage of Albert and Elizabeth, with Princess Margaret Rose born four years after that. The Queen Mother was very attached to her children and hated leaving them, even though the demands of her husband’s role meant she had to travel to distant parts of the British Empire when international journeys could take months.
The Unexpected Heir to the Throne
For much of her childhood, Princess Elizabeth never imagined that she would be the heir to the throne. In 1936, when she was ten, her uncle abdicated to marry a divorced woman and her father, the king’s younger brother, became King George VI, and the course of her life completely changed.
The World War
Princess Elizabeth was a teenager when war broke out. As an auxiliary mechanic and truck driver, she is the only female member of the British British Royal Family to join the armed services and the only living head of state to have served in World War II.
This Photo shows the young sisters Elizabeth and Margaret. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, would spend much of her life kicking at the traces of her royal duties. Although married for 18 years before divorcing photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, she was reputed to often drink too much, had affairs with a number of men and often made statements which embarrassed the British Royal Family.
Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret enjoyed a very special relationship as children growing up in a close-knit family which was later tested by Elizabeth’s royal duties and Margaret’s willful ways. Princess Margaret would call her “Lilibet.” When she became Queen, Elizabeth insisted on getting a direct line between Buckingham Palace and her sister at Kensington Palace, two miles away.
Visit To South Africa
In 1947 Princess Elizabeth, accompanied by her parents King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, took a state visit to South Africa. The journey took an astonishing three months on board the HMS Vanguard, where the British Royal Family also visited Swaziland. During the trip Elizabeth famously announced that her life would be devoted to serving the country.
True Love Story
Princess Elizabeth fell deeply in love with Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark when she was just a teenager, even though he was her distant cousin. Even though he struggled at first to play second fiddle to the Queen in a chauvinistic age, he has been her greatest support for all the years of her long reign.
The Royal Wedding
Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, was reticent about Princess Elizabeth’s choice of husband, but the couple was married in 1947. Britain was still dealing with the economic hardship of World War II, so Elizabeth had to collect ration coupons to buy the fabric for her wedding dress. German royalty, including Prince Philips’s three sisters, were not invited.
What’s in a Name
King George VI was not happy with the marriage of Elizabeth and Philip. Philip was considered brash, without resources and his royal lineage minor. Once Elizabeth and Phillip got married at London’s Westminster Abbey, they took on the name Windsor, although it wasn’t their first choice. They preffered to keep Phillip’s family name, Mountbatten, but the government did not approve.
On her marriage, her family and the British government insisted that Princess Elizabeth keep her family name, Windsor. Both families had changed their surnames from their German ones due to anti-German sentiment during the First World War. Much effort was required to defuse Prince Philip’s insistence that the family take his surname, and only in 1960 were male descendants without royal titles able to take on the name Mountbatten-Windsor.
Charles is Born
Prince Charles was born in 1948 when Elizabeth was just 22 years old. King George VI had issued a decree only a month before Charles’ birth which permitted Princess Elizabeth’s children to become princes or princesses, even though their father was not a royal prince. Charles was made Prince of Wales at the young age of 10.
Calm Life Pre-coronation
Unaware that she would find herself on the throne at such an early age, Princess Elizabeth enjoyed an idyllic life in the early 1950s with her husband Prince Philip. This photo from 1950 shows the princess on one of her many trips in the Empire when she was probably pregnant with her second child, Princess Anne.
Growing up Royal
This 1950 photo shows Princess Elizabeth with her new-born daughter Anne, as well as the Queen Mother and Prince Charles. The Queen Mother would always be a strong and supportive presence in the lives of her grandchildren. Queen Elizabeth’s children were the first royal children to attend school rather than have private tutors.
Young Prince Charles
Prince Charles was just three years old when he became heir to the throne when his mother became queen at only 25 years of age. As heir to the throne much was expected of him. he attended a pre-preparatory school followed by boarding school at Cheam School in Berkshire, and then Gordonstoun in Scotland.
A Young Family
Elizabeth started to stand in for George VI at public events as his health declined. While Elizabeth and Philip were traveling to Kenya in 1952, she received news of the King’s death and had to return home to begin her accession to the throne. She was crowned in June 1953.
The Queen’s Coronation
Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 was the first ceremony that was broadcast on live television in color. A special effort was made to stage an impressive event and it enhanced the popularity of the monarchy (and television) enormously. It took 14-months to prepare and around 20 million people in the UK watched it on television.
Where’s Home Going to be?
Before the coronation, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh moved into Clarence House in 1949 and they lived there during the early years of their marriage. In 1953, after the death of her father, King George VI, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth moved from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace with her husband and two small children, although they tried to keep Buckingham as office only. That didn’t work out.
The Young Queen
Queen Elizabeth II became the monarch of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon on June 2, 1953. She ascended the throne following the death of her father. The ceremony took place more than a year after the King passed away, so the family could first mourn the loss. Otherwise, it would have been considered inappropriate.
Christmas with the Queen
Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas speech is broadcast to the Commonwealth of Nations on television and radio every year, and the internet as well in recent years. Here she is with her two younger sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward on Christmas of 1971.
The Windsors in Balmoral
The Castle of Balmoral in Scotland is beloved by the Queen as a refuge from the public eye, and the family often spends their holidays and Christmases there, as Queen Victoria did. This family photo shows the young family enjoying a summer vacation there. The castle surrounded by its large estate is family-owned and not a public property.
The Queen’s Daughter
Princess Anne is Queen Elizabeth’s second child and her only daughter. Inheriting her mother’s love of horses, she competed very successfully at the highest level in equestrian events and was a member of the British Olympic Equestrian Team in 1976. She is known for her charitable work and is patron to around 200 charities.
The Only Daughter
As her only daughter, Princess Anne has always enjoyed a special relationship with the Queen. Women’s issues are incredibly important to Princess Anne. Her main focus continues to be on empowering women through female education and entrepreneurship.
The Reign of Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth has been queen for more than 64 years and is the oldest reigning monarch in the world. During her reign, the world, Britain and the monarchy have undergone huge changes. The popularity of the monarchy has waned over the years but has received a boost from her grandchildren’s generation of royals.
The Royal Tube
The Queen officially opened Victoria Underground Railway line in 1969. This event was special because it was the very first time a member of the British Royal Family used public transport! The televised event was watched by millions. In 2019 the new Elizabeth line, named after the Queen, will start operating in London.
The Queen’s Tour to Bahrain
Queen Elizabeth’s tour of the Middle East in 1979 showed her great ability as a diplomat and monarch. Although beset with many potential difficulties, her tour of six Gulf countries was considered an outstanding success. Her famous love of horses may have provided a common interest with the leaders of those countries. Here she chats with the Emir of Bahrain.
Meeting the Spice Girls
Even celebrities want to meet the Queen! Here the Queen chats to the Spice Girls backstage after their performance for the Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium in 1997 with Michael Bolton looking on.
The Yachting Queen
HMY Brittania was the Royal Yacht from 1953 till 1997. It could be used as a hospital ship in time of war, but never was. The luxury liner was much loved by the British Royal Family. The queen has hosted many celebrities and world leaders on board. Today the yacht is a popular tourist attraction in Leith, near Edinburgh.
A Lost Empire
Queen Elizabeth visited India with Prince Philip in 1961. It was the first official tour by a Bitish monarch since India’s independence from Britain in 1947. Also included in the trip were Pakistan, which separated from India. The Queen toured India again in 1983 and 1997, as have other royals, including a recent visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Queen’s Corgis
The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis over the years. She was given her first one when she was ten. She presently owns five corgis, alnogside five cocker spaniels and Span; and four “dorgis” (dachshund-corgi mix). Despite their luxurious lifestyle, various members of staff have been bitten by them over the years.
The Queen meets the Pope
The Queen is also the Head of the Church of England which made her meeting with Pope John Paul II in October 1980 particularly interesting. She was the first ever British monarch in history to visit the Vatican. The Pope later described the visit as “warm and relaxed”. The Pope visited the UK in 1982.
Reagan Rides with the Queen
The queen has seen 12 US presidents come and go during her reign. Ronald Reagan made an official visit to Great Britain in June 1982. While on his trip, Reagan visited Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s residencies. they both share a love of horses, so a horse-ride was inevitable.
The Queen in China
Elizabeth and Phillip made an official state trip together to China in October 1986. The visit was extremely symbolic since no other members of the British British Royal Family has ever toured the country.
The Queen’s Family Life
Queen Elizabeth has always been very careful to maintain her regal persona as a public figure, but it seems from pictures that she and her husband Prince Phillip had a very relaxed family life. She cares deeply for her family and keeps their life very private. Her family has survived more than their share of storms over the years.
Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 and their first child, William, was born the following year. Even though their marriage was in trouble, Princess Diana became the darling of the world and has caused the monarchy to review its role in the modern world. Today, Prince William and his wife Kate are very popular.
Second in Line to the Throne
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth II, after his father. The birth of Prince William and his brother, as well as his own children, have helped fuel a resurgence in popularity for the monarchy.
Prince William and his younger brother Prince Harry enjoy a strong bond of friendship. They were of great support to each other after the death of their mother when they were still young. Even though Prince Harry had a reputation as a rebel, both brothers carry on their mother’s legacy by supporting many charities.
William the Wombat
When three months pregnant with her firstborn, a depressed Princess Diana tried to end her pregnancy by falling down the stairs. Fortunately, she was not successful and, after a long and difficult birth, grew to love her firstborn son William very deeply. Princess Diana would affectionately call him “Wombat” or “Wills.”
William was only 15 years old when his mother was killed in Paris in a car crash. His honest discussions about his grief as a “painful experience” have defined the new generation of royalty. William works with the charity Child Bereavement UK which supports children who have suffered the death of a parent.
This delightful photo of Princess Diana and the young princes was taken in 1985. At a young age, William told his mother that he wanted to be a police officer when he grew up so that he could protect her, being aware of the public interest in his mother. Younger brother Harry retorted, “Oh, no you can’t. You’ve got to be King.”
Even though much effort was made to present their marriage as a happy one, the signs were there from early on that Charles did not love Princess Diana. Diana knew of Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, while Diana had affairs of her own. They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, with Charles marrying Camilla in 2005.
Prince William has had to learn to be in the public eye from a very young age. William made his first official appearance at age 9, visiting Wales with his parents on an official tour. He signed the visitors’ book at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff and the world learned that he was left-handed.
Prince Harry and Prince William succeeded in gathering their fair share of youthful scars, bumps, and bruises. At 9 years old, William was accidentally hit by a fellow student swinging a golf club to the side of his head. While there was no serious damage, he had 24 stitches and still has what he calls his “Harry Potter scar”.
Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth often clashed as to how the British Royal Family should conduct itself. Princess Diana wanted her sons to have a more normal upbringing and tried to expose her sons to the real world and to the less fortunate. While flawed, Diana has permanently changed the role of the monarchy in modern Britain.
Prince William’s Love
Catherine Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, was born in 1982. Her parents, not of royal descent, worked for British Airways. For a couple years during her childhood, her family lived in Amman, Jordan while her father worked for British Airways. Although she had met the two princes while at school, her romance with William began at St. Andrews University.
Although Kate had met Princes William and Harry while still at school, she and William only met properly after a fashion-show fundraiser in their second year in which Kate was modelling. They managed to keep the relationship private until 2004 when it became public.
Another Royal Wedding
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother’s engagement ring in November 2010, while on a vacation in Kenya. The wedding took place in April 2011. Since Prince Harry is not the heir apparent to the throne, the wedding was not a full state function and the couple had opportunity to arrange the ceremony as they wished.
A New British Royal Family
Almost a year after Kate and William’s wedding, St. James Palace officially announced that Kate was pregnant. Kate suffered badly from pregnancy-related illness through all her pregnancies, but the births themselves were successful. The couple now have two children, George and Charlotte and another on the way. The young family is the darling of the celebrity press.
Babies George and Charlotte
Prince George was born on July 22, 2013, while his younger sister, Charlotte, was born on May 2, 2015. Various London landmarks were lit up in colors to celebrate the births and gun salutes took place. Their births mark the first time since Queen Victoria that there have been three generations of direct heirs to the throne.
The Best-Dressed Prince
Even though he is only four years old and still at nursery school, Prince George is one of the most popular members of the British Royal Family. Retailers copy his outfits and toys as they appear in photographs and of course they immediately become sold out. The young boy was even ranked on GQ’s “50 Best Dressed Men in Britain.”
Elizabeth the “Busy Lizzie”
Even at 91 years old, Queen Elizabeth is still the busiest royal. Prince Charles and Princess Anne have recently begun to take some duties away from the Queen, especially travel to other countries. The Prince of Edinburgh, her husband, and constant companion, finally retired this year.
The Highs and Lows of Parenting
Kate Middleton and Prince William have been open about the trials of parenting young children. They plan most of their engagements close to home in London, and they do fewer royal engagements than the older generation. However, the popularity of the young family has been a boon to the prestige of the British Royal Family as a whole.
A Young Family
Kate and William are role models for many parents raising young children in the modern world. Still, they have been honest about their struggles and the highs and lows of bringing up two young children in the public eye. Of course, it doesn’t help that all four of them are very photogenic.
Prince William and Kate got engaged on a safari holiday in Kenya and were pictured as a family in 2016 on a Swiss skiing holiday. The couple has also enjoyed island holidays on Mustique in the Caribbean and Rodrigues, near Mauritius. European breaks to France are a favorite for short breaks.
Queen and Heirs
Queen Elizabeth loves her role as a grandmother and a great-grandmother. Prince William enjoys a special relationship with her and sees her as his role model since the Queen helped raise him after the death of his mother. He learned much about the role and duties of the monarchy as well as life lessons from her.
This photo of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 with Jennifer Lopez shows that both royals and celebrities can still be awe-struck. Jennifer Lopez was so excited to meet the royal couple that she affectionately put her hand on William’s elbow – an etiquette no-no!
In April 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge invited the Obamas to a private dinner at Kensington Palace. Kate and Michelle seem to hit it off immediately and chatted the night away. Prince Harry was also in attendance. Since they arrived after bath-time, the Obamas met little George when he was already dressed for bed.