The Queen of England is 93 today. We'll see her at Windsor as she marks Easter with her family. Celebrated today as the longest reigning, the longest lived and perhaps the most beloved of all monarchs, she began life over nine decades ago as a princess with no prospect of a throne.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21st 1926 at Bruton Street, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Third in line to the throne at birth, between her and a crown stood her glittering and glamourous uncle, David, who was expected to succeed his father, George V, and create a new, golden dynasty of his own. Instead, as Princess Elizabeth of York grew up, it became increasingly clear that Uncle David was unhappy in his position. Just months after his accession as Edward VIII, he famously gave up his crown and an empire to marry the woman he loved.
Elizabeth became heir to the throne at the age of ten and from that moment onwards began to prepare for a life she had never expected. Her own succession came far earlier than she had ever believed when her beloved father, King George VI, died at the age of just 56. Her reign has been a huge success and now, as she turns 93, she is celebrated across the world as a model of modern monarchy.
As she marks this latest milestone, she has the good wishes of millions. Happy Birthday, and many more to come.
All photos: Wiki Commons