A look at Queen Elizabeth II with her grandkids and great-grandchildren

Queen Elizabeth II was a grandmother of 8 and great-grandmother of 12.

September 8, 2022, 1:43 PM

To the world Queen Elizabeth II was Her Majesty, but to the youngest members of her family, she was simply "Granny."

At the time of her death at age 96, the queen was a grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of 12.

'Thinking big about Granny’s quite easy because she’s this incredibly passionate lady who has sort of transcended every generation," Princess Beatrice, a granddaughter of the queen, told ABC News in 2012, when the queen marked her 60th year on the throne. "And we’re very lucky that not only do we think about her as an incredible queen, and an incredible leader but also as an incredible grandmother."   

Elizabeth, who had four children with her husband, the late Prince Philip, first became a grandmother in 1977 with the birth of Peter Phillips, the son of her daughter, Princess Anne.

She went onto welcome seven more grandchildren over the next three decades: Zara Phillips Tindall, Princes William and Harry of Wales, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York and Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

Those grandchildren also made her the great-grandmother of 12, including Prince Harry's daughter, Lilibet, who made history as the first great-grandchild of the queen to be born outside of the United Kingdom.

Despite all the pageantry of the royal family, her grandchildren have said that behind palace walls, she was no different than any other grandmother.

"She loves those little moments where we can be just us, a very small family, just doing little things like playing cards or whatever we do," said Princess Beatrice. "And she likes just having her time to do that because it’s the time when we all can just kind of hang around together and it’s quite nice."

"We look up to her like any granddaughter would to their grandmother, with a little bit of added something," Beatrice's sister, Princess Eugenie, also told ABC News in 2012.

In June, Elizabeth was seen in action as great-grandmother while talking with 4-year-old Prince Louis, the youngest child of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, during the annual Trooping the Color.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte watch from the balcony of Buckingham Place after the Trooping the Color ceremony in London, June 2, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte watch from the balcony of Buckingham Place after the Trooping the Color ceremony in London, June 2, 2022.
Aaron Chown/AP

The queen's grandchildren have also spoken of the example she set for them with her sense of duty and service to the country.

"She set an incredible example to me, to others, to follow her leadership, her duty, her sacrifice, her selflessness, her love of country," Prince William said in 2012. "I think they really, really shine through."

PHOTO: In this July 10, 2018, photo, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to view a flypast in London.
In this July 10, 2018, file photo, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to view a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force, in London.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images, FILE

Prince Harry, who, like William, served in the British military, said he has also looked up to his grandmother as his commander-in-chief.

"Because of my time in the service, the utmost of respect that I have not just as a grandmother, she was my boss for 10 years," Harry told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in 2016. "And I viewed her very much like that."

The prince later added of his relationship with the queen, “It’s really nice because I can go to her for advice and bend her ear with all the experiences she’s had.”

Here is a look back at 10 memorable moments the queen has shared with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

1. Young Prince William during a photo session for Prince Harry’s christening

Prince William made everyone crack a smile in this family portrait session for his brother’s christening in 1984. You can see Queen Elizabeth in the background smiling at William’s antics.

PHOTO: Surrounded by Royal relatives and godparents who are amused at the antics of young Prince William, Prince Harry is christened at Windsor Castle on December 21, 1984 in Windsor, England.
Surrounded by Royal relatives and godparents who are amused at the antics of young Prince William, Prince Harry is christened at Windsor Castle on December 21, 1984 in Windsor, England.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

2. Quality time at a polo match

This sweet moment of Elizabeth talking to her grandsons was captured in 1987. In this photo, William and Harry watch a polo match.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth with Prince William and Prince Henry at a polo match.
Queen Elizabeth with Prince William and Prince Henry at a polo match.
Tim Graham/Getty Images

3. Reading with the queen

A young Zara Tindall reads with the queen at an event in 1987. Zara Tindall is the eldest granddaughter of the queen and the daughter of Princess Anne.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II reading with her granddaugter Zara Phillips at Windsor Horse Show.
Queen Elizabeth II reading with her granddaugter Zara Phillips at Windsor Horse Show.
Tim Graham/Getty Images

4. Grandmotherly inspection

Prince Harry holds in his laughter in this photo as Elizabeth inspects soldiers during the Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II as proud grandmother smiles at Prince Harry as she inspects soldiers at their passing-out Sovereign's Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy, April 12, 2006, in Surrey, England.
Queen Elizabeth II as proud grandmother smiles at Prince Harry as she inspects soldiers at their passing-out Sovereign's Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy, April 12, 2006, in Surrey, England.
Tim Graham/Getty Images

5. Taking a walk with the queen

In this rare photo, young Prince George captures the attention of his great-grandmother while leaving the Church of St. Mary Magdalene after Princess Charlotte’s christening in 2015.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince George leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, July 5, 2015, in King's Lynn, England.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince George leave the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate for the Christening of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, July 5, 2015, in King's Lynn, England.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

6. All fun at the Invictus Games

In 2016, Kensington Palace shared a video on Twitter of the queen and Harry responding to an Invictus Games challenge by former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama. After Michelle Obama challenged the prince, the queen quipped, “Really? Please!”

7. Sharing a passion for horses

The queen and Peter Phillips watch the horses at Royal Ascot on June 20, 2014 in Ascot, England.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II and her grandson Peter Phillips watch the horses in the parade ring on Day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2014 in Ascot, England.
Queen Elizabeth II and her grandson Peter Phillips watch the horses in the parade ring on Day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2014 in Ascot, England.
Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images, FILE

8. Enjoying a wave with the queen

The queen's youngest grandchildren, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, join her and other family members after Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding in 2018.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II and several family members including grandchildren Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.
Lady Louise Windsor, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, James, Viscount Severn, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Michael of Kent, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, Princess Royal wave after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.
Andrew Milligan/WPA Pool/Getty Images, FILE

9. Celebrating at a garden party

Prince Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie join their grandmother at the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in 2019.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, attend the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 29, 2019 in London.
Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, attend the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 29, 2019 in London.
Yui Mok/WPA Pool/Getty Images, FILE

10. Celebrating her Platinum Jubilee

The queen proved to be a good sport while standing next to Prince Louis, 4, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Color, which kicked off her Platinum Jubilee celebration on June 2, 2022.

PHOTO: Britain's Prince Louis of Cambridge holds his ears as he stands next to Queen Elizabeth II to watch a flypast from Buckingham Palace balcony, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations, in London, June 2, 2022.
Britain's Prince Louis of Cambridge holds his ears as he stands next to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to watch a special flypast from Buckingham Palace balcony following the Queen's Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Colour, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations, in London on June 2, 2022.
Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images

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