25 glorious pictures of the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee as she celebrates 70 years on the throne

SHE once said: ‘I have to be seen to be believed.’ And no one in history has been seen more than Queen Elizabeth. 

Countless photographs have helped make her the most recognised person on the planet. 

So today, a week before Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, The Sun celebrates her extraordinary 70 years as monarch – in photographs. 

From Windsor to Washington DC, Sandringham to Sydney, she’s pictured at work, at play, and with her family, through good times and bad. 

From classic portraits to news shots by Arthur Edwards, The Sun’s royal photographer, who has been taking her picture for 45 years. 

Snappy Jubilee, Your Majesty! 


Beaming Queen stands unaided as she welcomes Emir of Qatar before Jubilee

Queen pays flower tribute to The Sun’s late gardening editor Peter Seabrook


Newly crowned, the Queen looks to her future, clear-eyed and confident.

She had been less calm in the run-up to the Coronation on June 2, and was particularly concerned at the weight of the 4.9lb, 2.2kilo crown.

So she had been in training, walking around with a bag of flour strapped to the top of her head.

In the end, the Coronation was a triumph.

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One guest at Westminster Abbey said: "Spiritual exaltation radiated from her."

Photographer Cecil Beaton, who took the official portrait at Buckingham Palace using a backdrop of Westminster Abbey, noted Prince Philip’s "rather ragging attitude".

The Duke’s first comment to his wife after the ceremony was: "Where did you get that hat?"


Cool and chic at a party in Sydney on a day of such heat that guests covered up with newspaper.

The Queen was on her biggest tour, nearly six months visiting ten Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, Australasia, South Asia and Africa.


A smile in her first televised Christmas speech hides the Queen’s nerves.

She said the live broadcast from Sandringham ruined her family festivities.

But, from the start, she recognised the power of the new medium of TV.

1961 – 250,000 FOR HER SPEECH TO INDIA 

A quarter of a million people listen to Her Majesty speak in New Delhi.

The visit, the first royal trip to India since its independence in 1947, was a success, apart from some unsavoury headlines when Philip announced he wanted to shoot a tiger.

Later that year the Queen pulled off another diplomatic coup, insisting on visiting the newly independent Ghana despite security fears.

Her trip was credited with keeping the country in the Commonwealth.

A picture of her dancing with President Kwame Nkrumah made headlines around the world.

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr said: "That photograph did more for civil rights than a thousand speeches."


A ground-breaking visit to West Germany at the height of the Cold War.

The Queen drives past the Berlin Wall, the front line between the West and the Soviet Union.

No British monarch had set foot in Germany since 1913 and the trip helped forge a new post-war relationship.

Later, a million people listened to her speak.


Placing a coronet on Charles during his investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle.

It went better than the rehearsal, when the Queen and her son dissolved into giggles as the crown proved too big.

"It extinguished him like a candle-snuffer," she said. 


Riding past a guardsman who had fainted from the heat at Trooping the Colour.

The Queen is on her beloved mare Burmese.

In 1981, at the same event, the horse stayed calm as a fame-seeking student with a starting pistol fired six shots at the Queen.


Leaping off a barge as she comes ashore from Royal Yacht Britannia in Istanbul.

It was her first state visit to Turkey and she fell in love with baklava pastries.

Her courtiers’ briefing notes for the trip included the fact: "There are no harems in active use."


Making new friends on a state visit to Mexico.

Back home, inflation had reached 25 per cent and even the Queen was making cuts, insisting that "last year’s dresses’ be used on tour to save money."


Dancing with US President Gerald Ford at the White House.

He had rather unfortunately led her on to the dancefloor just as the band struck up The Lady Is A Tramp.


Beaming in the rain at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

In November The Queen threw a 30th birthday party for Prince Charles.

A 17-year-old Lady Diana Spencer was among the guests but Her Majesty declined to invite Charles’s lover, Camilla Parker Bowles.


Chatting with Diana at a polo match, three months before the Princess gave birth to Prince Harry.

This was also the year of the miners’ strike, when the Queen told friends she feared that Britain’s social fabric was being ripped apart. 


A welcoming hug – and a breach of protocol – from Alice Frazier as Her Majesty tours a housing scheme in Washington DC.

Alice greeted the Queen with: "How ya doing?" and later said "I told her this was my palace".


A shocked Queen surveys the devastation caused by a fire at Windsor Castle at the end of what she called her "annus horribilis".

The year had also seen Princess Diana reveal her misery inside the family in a headline-grabbing biography.

By the end of the year, she and Charles announced their separation. Prince Andrew and Sarah did the same in March after embarrassing photos of Fergie and her lover emerged.

At London’s Guildhall, the Queen said: "1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure." 


The Queen inspects tributes to Princess Diana at Buckingham Palace – and feels the anger of a nation.

As she stepped out on Friday, September 5, someone in the crowds shouted: "About bloody time, too."

It was her first public gesture to honour the princess, killed in a car crash five days earlier.

It came after Prime Minister Tony Blair warned her silence was threatening the monarchy.

Later that day, she began to repair the damage with the most dramatic TV address of her reign, starting: "What I say to you now, as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart."


Taking a train to the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sun photographer Arthur Edwards, who took the picture, said: "The Queen is sitting there looking like she is commuting to her office in the morning."

It was part of a strategy to ‘normalise’ the monarchy. 


Leaving hospital after surgery to remove a lesion from her eyebrow and fix her knee.

This same year she told George Carey, the newly retired Archbishop of Canterbury: "I’m going to carry on to the end."


Inspecting a graduation parade of officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, the Queen pauses in front of a grinning Prince Harry.

She announced: "Now this is a face I recognise".


Her Majesty struck up a friendship with US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on a state visit.

When the First Lady put an arm around her, the Queen returned the embrace.

Mrs Obama said they bonded with a chat about "being oppressed by our shoes".


The wedding of the future King William to Catherine.

There was so much joy after the ceremony, a Westminster Abbey official was caught on camera doing cartwheels down the aisle.

The following month, in May, the Queen became the first British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland.

She laid a wreath at a memorial to those who died fighting for independence.

The visit is seen as one of the most significant of her reign.


The Diamond Jubilee was marked with a formal portrait – and an informal cameo at the Olympics.

There was also a barge procession along the Thames on the coldest, wettest June day for years.

More successful was the Queen’s stunning 'arrival' at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics.

In a James Bond sequence at Buckingham Palace, Daniel Craig approached a familiar figure the world assumed was a lookalike – until she turned around.

Her Majesty later appeared to leap from a helicopter and parachute into the stadium, as William and Harry yelled: "Go Granny!"


Amid a sea of 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London to mark 100 years since the start of World War One.

In her Christmas Speech this year the Queen said: "The only possible reaction to seeing them and walking among them was silence. For every poppy, a life."


Marking the 70th anniversary of her wedding to the man she called "my strength and stay".


Masked and alone, due to Covid rules, at the funeral of Prince Philip, who had been by her side for 73 years.

In October at Westminster Abbey, she used a stick for the first time since an operation 17 years earlier.


As a child, she told a governess: "If I am ever Queen, I shall make a law that there must be no riding on Sundays. Horses should have a rest, too."

This photo, released for her 96th birthday on April 21, shows Her Majesty in front of magnolias at Windsor in March with two of her fell ponies.

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It spoke to her lifelong passion for horses.

On her 4th birthday in 1930, her grandfather George V gave the Queen her first pony, a Shetland called Peggy.

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