On September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle at the age of 96. She had celebrated her Platinum Jubilee (or 70 years on the throne) earlier that year, making her the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom. Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth II traveled the globe, mingled with world leaders and celebrities, and navigated family life in the public eye. Even as our evolving society leads many to question the role of the British monarchy, countless others still regard Queen Elizabeth II as a beloved symbol of strength and stability.
She certainly seemed to fill this role within the context of her own family too. Despite the public drama in recent years between her grandsons Princes William and Harry, their father, King Charles III, and their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, all who were close to the queen have spoken fondly about her character. “My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her. She’s my colonel-in-chief, right? She always will be,” Harry once said of the queen, whom he called “Granny.”
On the one year anniversary of her death, members of the royal family paid their respects to their beloved matriarch, though not together—showing their fractured dynamic. Harry, who now lives in California with Meghan, their son Archie, 4, and their daughter Lilibet (named after the late queen), 2, traveled to the UK and was seen visiting her place of burial, St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on September 8, 2023.
Meanwhile, Prince William and Duchess Kate (who share son Prince George, 10, daughter Princess Charlotte, 8, and son Prince Louis, 5) attended a service in her honor at St. David’s Cathedral in Wales, a fitting location given that the pair became the Prince and Princess of Wales upon Queen Elizabeth II’s death. “Today we remember the extraordinary life and legacy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth. We all miss you. W & C,” read a joint statement shared by them on social media.
King Charles, for his part, also released a statement in honor of his late mother: “In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us,” it reads. “I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.” Fittingly, the King and his wife, Queen Camilla, are currently staying at Balmoral Castle, just as his late mother used to do at the end of the summer every year.
Below, we look back at moments from each year of Her Majesty’s reign, starting with her coronation in 1953, when she was just 27 years old. These archival photos show every side of her life on the throne, from her royal tours and official engagements to private time spent at her castles and palaces.