31 vintage photos of a young Queen Elizabeth before she became Queen

APQueen Elizabeth in 1945.
  • Queen Elizabeth was born in 1926, became Queen in 1952, and was coronated in 1953.
  • Before she became Queen, she worked as a truck mechanic in a women’s branch of the British Army.
  • She’s always been an avid horseback rider and lover of corgis.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Before Queen Elizabeth became the longest-reigning British monarch in history, she was Princess Elizabeth – a truck mechanic in the women’s branch of the British Army, avid horseback rider, and lover of corgis.

As she marks 67 years since her coronation, here are vintage photos of Queen Elizabeth before she ascended the throne.

Queen Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926.

Bob Thomas/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth as a baby.

Her full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth grew up riding around royal grounds.

AP PhotoQueen Elizabeth in 1927.

In 1927, when Queen Elizabeth was just a baby, she rode around Windsor Castle with her cousin Gerald Lascelles.

She attended the Royal Tournament at Olympia London in 1930 with her grandmother, Queen Mary.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1930.

The Royal Tournament was a pageant-style celebration of the armed forces.

The young princess attended the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 1931.

Len Puttnam/Staff/APQueen Elizabeth in 1931.

She rode with Queen Mary (left) and Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, the Duchess of York (right).

She had a strong fashion sense even at a young age.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1933.

Then-Princess Elizabeth adjusted her stockings upon arriving at Olympia station in London in 1933.

She even dressed up for dentist appointments.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1934.

Princess Elizabeth was photographed leaving a dentist’s office in West End after an appointment in 1934.

At the marriage of the Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece, Queen Elizabeth was part of the wedding party.

APQueen Elizabeth, sitting on the left, in 1934.

From left to right standing: King George V, Princess Nicholas of Greece, Princess Marina, the Duke of Kent, Queen Mary and Prince Nicholas of Greece. Seated front left is Queen Elizabeth, front right is Lady Mary Cambridge.

She sat in the Duchess’ box at the Lyceum Theatre to see a pantomime called “Dick Whittington.”

APQueen Elizabeth in 1935.

She attended with her little sister, Princess Margaret Rose, and her mother, Elizabeth, the Duchess of York.

Queen Elizabeth has always enjoyed horseback riding.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1935.

She rode horses with a riding master in Windsor Great Park in 1935.

On her 13th birthday, Queen Elizabeth went riding in Great Windsor Park and held a tea party.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1939.

Her birthday presents included a diamond bracelet and silk stockings.

And of course, Queen Elizabeth has always been fond of her corgis.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1935.

She took them along to Scotland in 1935.

She took them for walks in London’s Hyde Park when she was 9 years old.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1936.

Queen Elizabeth has had more than 30 corgis since 1945.

She and her sister, Princess Margaret, enjoyed playing with them and feeding them treats.

APQueen Elizabeth (right) and Princess Margaret in 1936.

Queen Elizabeth held the Pembrokeshire Corgi while Princess Margaret fed the dog a biscuit.

She mastered the art of the royal wave by age 11.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1937.

A young Elizabeth waved to the crowd while leaving Buckingham Palace in 1937.

She joined King George V and Queen Mary on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 1935.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1935.

They waved to the crowd after attending a Jubilee service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

At 15, she got involved in public service.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1942.

She knitted garments for the poor, contributed funds to purchase cigarettes for the armed forces, and attended dances and programs of evacuated children.

She also became a first aid patrol leader in Girl Guides, the UK version of Girl Scouts.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1943.

She wore the uniform of a first aid patrol leader in Windsor Great Park in 1943.

Queen Elizabeth was a truck mechanic and driver for the Auxiliary Territorial Service, a women’s branch of the British army.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1945.

She took a driving course at the ATS Centre to become an officer.

She achieved the rank of Junior Commander.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1945.

She received a clock as a gift from the camp where she trained in 1945.

She attended a rally for the Women’s Land Army in 1945.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1945.

The Women’s Land Army helped women work in agriculture when men joined the armed forces during both World Wars.

She received an honorary Bachelor’s degree in music from London University in 1946.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1946.

The Earl of Athlone, Chancellor of London University, was her great uncle.

She had a private sitting room in Buckingham Palace.

Pool/APQueen Elizabeth in 1946.

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms.

There, she could sit and admire her stamp collection.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1946.

Her books contained stamps sent from around the world.

She celebrated her 21st birthday in Natal National Park in South Africa.

Eddie Worth/APQueen Elizabeth in 1947.

In the background are the Drakensberg mountains.

She got engaged to Philip Mountbatten in 1947.

APQueen Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten in 1947.

They first met at a wedding when they were children.

They married on November 20, 1947.

APQueen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947.

The ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey.

The two shared a loving look in their first official photo as newlyweds.

APPrince Philip and Queen Elizabeth in 1947.

They honeymooned at the Broadlands House in Hampshire.

She opened a church army hotel for young women in London in 1948.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1948.

She wore a hat trimmed with a veil for the occasion.

She gave birth to Prince Charles that same year.

APQueen Elizabeth and Prince Charles in 1949.

The couple lived in Malta for the first few years of their marriage, where Prince Philip was stationed with the Royal Navy.

She was photographed wearing a silver dress with a diamond tiara and pearl necklace in 1949.

APQueen Elizabeth in 1949.

Only married members of the royal family are allowed to wear crowns or tiaras.

She and her growing family sat for an informal portrait at Clarence House in 1951.

Worth/APQueen Elizabeth in 1951.

She’s pictured with Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne.

The following year, after the death of her father, she became Queen.

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