1926: Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is born
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York was born on April 21, 1926. She’s pictured here with her mother, Elizabeth, the Duchess of York, who was the wife of Prince Albert “Bertie” of York. Since Bertie was the second-born son of the reigning monarch, King George V, no one, and least of all the princess, herself, had any clue Elizabeth would one day be queen. Here, she’s just a sweet firstborn daughter of the “spare” heir.
A mum, a dad and a newborn princess
When Prince Albert (called “Bertie” by his friends and family) married Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, the two became the Duke and Duchess of York. Here, the Duke and Duchess are pictured with their newborn, Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York.
1927: Lilibet at 14 months
When Princess Elizabeth was learning to speak, she had trouble pronouncing her name, referring to herself as “Lilibet,” and the name stuck. Lilibet was a happy and friendly child and the darling of her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary. Outgoing and plucky, Lilibet was one of the few people on the planet who wasn’t intimidated by the man she called “Grandpa England,” whom she led by his beard as if he were a horse, according to TIME.