Royal Family Marks Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday With Touching Tributes and New Family Photo
Queen Elizabeth II, seen here attending an audience with the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis at Windsor Castle last year, would have turned 97 on Friday. Photo: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images
As we gear up for the Coronation of King Charles, the royal family is paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II today, celebrating what would have been Her Majesty’s 97th birthday.
Today (April 21) marks her personal birthday, but the Queen’s official birthday was traditionally celebrated on the the second Saturday in June with the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.
The Prince and Princess of Wales honoured the late monarch, who passed away in September, by sharing a previously unseen photo of the Queen surrounded by some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The cozy snap, which was shared on the royal couple’s social media accounts, was taken by Kate at Balmoral Castle last summer.
The photo includes George, Charlotte and Louis (William and Kate’s three children); Mia, Lucas and Lena (children of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall ); as well as Savannah and Isla (children of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly).
The pair standing in the back are the Queen’s grandchildren, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex, the son and daughter of the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
The royal family’s official social media accounts remembered the late Queen with posts reflecting on her legacy as Britain’s longest reigning Monarch.
“Today we remember the incredible life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on what would have been her 97th birthday,” read the Instagram caption accompanying a photo of The Queen beaming in a powder blue ensemble.
“When Her Majesty was born in April 1926, Princess Elizabeth and her family did not expect that she would one day become Queen. Following the abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII in 1936, her father acceded to the throne.”
“When King George VI died in February 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II when she was just 25. Her Majesty went on to be Britain’s longest reigning Monarch – the only one in history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee,” the post concluded.
The photo was taken in Edinburgh, in June 2022, at the Queen’s first public appearance following her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. She was in Scotland to attend the Ceremony of the Keys at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in the Scottish capital.
Sarah, Duchess of York, the former wife of disgraced royal Prince Andrew, also paid a touching tribute to the late Queen, calling her “a wonderful mother-in-law, friend and adviser.”
“Today would have been Her Late Majesty the Queen’s 97th birthday and I will spend the day thinking of her,” she posted on Instagram alongside a photo of a young Queen Elizabeth.
“For over 70 years she was a constant and steadfast presence in our national life, and for me she was a wonderful mother-in-law, friend and adviser,” she continued. “I miss her more than words can express.”
Britain’s Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson also chimed in with a tweet in honour of the Queen.
“It is a day to remember all she did for our country, and her timeless virtues of compassion and resilience and service,” he tweeted along with a vintage photo of the Queen wearing a crown.
Meanwhile, Royal photographer Chris Jackson — who snapped the last official Canadian portrait of the Queen and released a coffee table book filled with shots he’d taken of the monarch in 2021 ahead of her Platinum Jubilee — shared a whimsical image he captured of the Queen during a 2012 visit to a new maternity ward at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, England.
“On what would have been Queen Elizabeth’s 97th birthday hopefully a photo that will make you smile,” he captioned the photo along with a crown emoji.