Queen Elizabeth II: A Life in Pictures

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Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years as the reigning monarch of Britain this year. While the anniversary of her becoming queen was on February 6, the formal celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee run from June 2 through June 5.

Here is a look back at her life and reign – the second-longest in British history.

Watch "The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric" now

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth was born in 1926.
Popperfoto/Getty Images
April 21, 1926

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is born to the Duke and Duchess of York, who would later become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Popperfoto/Getty Images

Elizabeth's grandfather, King George V, dies. George's eldest son ascends the throne as King Edward VIII, but abdicates within the year. Elizabeth's father becomes King George VI, and Elizabeth becomes first in line to the throne.

PHOTO: Then-Princess Elizabeth, right, is shown broadcasting with her sister Princess Margaret, in this 1940 file photo.
Popperfoto/Getty Images
October, 1940

Princess Elizabeth delivers her first public speech on the BBC's Children's Hour radio program, addressing children who had to be evacuated because of the war. She is 14.

PHOTO: Princess Elizabeth poses in her girl guide uniform in Frogmore, Windsor, England, April 11, 1942.
Studio Lisa/Getty Images

Princess Elizabeth is made a Subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service -- the women's branch of the British army -- and by the end of the war, she reaches the rank of Junior Commander. She becomes a qualified driver and mechanic and drives a military truck. According to The New York Times, the queen is currently the last surviving head of state who served in uniform during the Second World War.

PHOTO: Princess Elizabeth and Lt Philip Mountbatten are shown after their wedding
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November 20, 1947

Princess Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece, and a great-great grandson of Queen Victoria.

PHOTO: Princess Elizabeth admires her infant son, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh, at Buckingham Palace, Dec. 23, 1948, London, England.
AP Photo
November 14, 1948

Princess Elizabeth has her first child, Prince Charles.

PHOTO: Princess Elizabeth holds her two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, as they sit for an official photograph released, Jan. 9, 1951 from their Clarence House residence in London.
AP Photo
August 15, 1950

Princess Elizabeth has a daughter, Princess Anne.

PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II steps down from her plane, for the first time as sovereign, at London Airport, on Feb. 7, 1952, after cutting short her official trip to Kenya on the death of her father King George VI.
February 6, 1952

Elizabeth's father, King George VI, dies. Elizabeth accedes to the throne. She hears the news while on a visit to Kenya, and has to cut the tour short to return home as queen. She is 25.

PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is shown on her Coronation Day, in 1953.
June 2, 1953

Queen Elizabeth's coronation. According to the Royal Family's website, it is the first time television cameras are allowed inside Westminster Abbey for a state function. Sales of television sets go up in the weeks leading up to the event. The footage is shipped to Canada and around the world for people to watch.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II addresses the General Assembly, as her husband Prince Philip, sits at left, in this Oct. 21, 1957 file photo.
John Rooney/AP Photo

The queen visits New York and addresses the United Nations General Assembly. On the same tour, she visits Ottawa and opens Parliament.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth is shown with her new son, Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, March 25, 1960, in London.
February 19, 1960

The queen gives birth to Prince Andrew, her third child.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II is shown with her youngest son, Prince Edward, 15 months, in a picture taken recently by Lisa Sheridan in a sitting room at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, June 11, 1965 in England.
AP Photo
March 10, 1964

The queen gives birth to Prince Edward, her fourth and last child.

PHOTO: Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, is shown in his investiture robes at Caernarvon Castle, July 1, 1969.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
July 1, 1969

Charles is named the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne.

PHOTO: From left: Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Silver Jubilee procession, in 1977.

The queen celebrates her Silver Jubilee, for 25 years on the throne.

PHOTO: An army corporal (in bearskin) lends a hand to policemen arresting a man in the Mall, London, June 13, 1981, in connection with shots fired as the Queen Elizabeth rode passed on horseback to the Trooping the Color Ceremony. The man was later named
AP Photo
June 13, 1981

Shots are fired as the queen participates in the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony. It turns out that they were blanks, fired by a teenager. The youth pleads guilty to charges under the Treason Act.

PHOTO: Prince Charles Diana, Princess of Wales, are shown on their wedding day on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, July 29, 1981.
AP Photo
July 29, 1981

Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer in a widely-televised event. The queen attends as mother of the groom.

The Pope visits Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, in this file photo.
Tim Graham/Getty Images

The Pope visits England, the first pope to do so in 450 years. The queen receives him in her capacity as the head of the Church of England.

PHOTO: NOVEMBER 20, 1992_Windsor Castle on fire_Getty_56799877.jpg
Tim Graham/Getty Images

The queen's "annus horribilis." Her son Prince Andrew and his wife separate, her daughter Princess Anne divorces her husband, her heir Prince Charles formally separates from his wife Diana, and a significant portion of Windsor Castle is destroyed by fire.

PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, seen in this TV image, pays tribute to Diana, princess of Wales, extolling the late princess as an "exceptional and gifted human being," Sept. 5, 1997, at Buckingham Palace.
AP Photo
August 31, 1997

Princess Diana, Prince Charles' former wife, is killed in a car crash in Paris. The royal family goes into seclusion, prompting a public outcry, until the queen finally delivers a speech the day before Diana's funeral.

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II rides with Prince Philip in the Gold State Coach during the procession from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul's.
Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

The queen marks her Golden Jubilee, 50 years on the throne. Her sister and mother die the same year, less than two months apart.

PHOTO: Family and members of the Royal Wedding party are shown in this April 29, 2011 file photo, with Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
Hugo Burnand/AFP/Getty Images
April 29, 2011

The queen attends the marriage of her grandson, Prince William, to Catherine Middleton. The event is broadcast to millions around the world. Prince William is second in line to the throne, behind his father and the current heir, Prince Charles.

PHOTO: HM Queen Elizabeth II is photographed in the Centre Room of Buckingham Palace, for her official Diamond Jubilee portrait.
John Swannell/Camera Press/Redux

The queen is to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years on the throne, with events in England. Prince Charles is to visit Canada.

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