Previously unpublished pictures of
the Queen as a baby have been released to coincide with her 84th birthday.
The photographs form part of an
exhibition of the work of the photographer Marcus Adams, which opens at Windsor
Castle on Saturday.
The 56 images on display include
pictures of the then Princess Elizabeth which were taken to be sent to her
mother and father, the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, while they
were on a six-month tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Among the collection is a poignant
letter from the Princess’s nanny, Clara Knight, which reflects how many
landmarks of their young daughter’s life the then Duke and Duchess of York
missed while they were on the tour.
The note, written on 8 March 1927,
reads: “If Mummy looks into my wide open mouth with a little magnifying glass
she will see my two teeth. Elizabeth is quite well & happy!”
Lisa Heighway, curator of the
exhibition, said: “The Duchess of York was certainly unhappy at the time about
the idea of leaving her child for so long, and you can see that if you read her
“So while the Royal couple were
away the Princess was photographed during four sittings so that the pictures
could be sent on to them. That must have been a great comfort to the Duchess.
“At the time, it was expected that
if members of the Royal family went away for long periods their children would
be left at home and no-one would make a fuss, whereas today it would probably
be frowned upon. Certainly when the Prince and Princess of Wales went to Australia
when Prince William was tiny they took him along.”
The queen, who was born on 21 April
1926, celebrated her birthday in Windsor Castle with Prince Philip her husband
of 62 years.
The official celebration — which
traditionally includes a ‘Trooping of the Colour’ ceremony and a fly-past over
Buckingham Palace — will be held on 12 June.