Queen Elizabeth’s Iconic Transformation — See the Beloved Royal Monarch Through the Years

It’s no surprise Queen Elizabeth has one of the most iconic transformations ever. Aside from being the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she has accomplished a lot throughout her life at Buckingham Palace.

Even before she ascended to the throne many decades ago, Elizabeth — who was born on April 21, 1926 — worked her way toward becoming the Queen of England. From her royal wedding to late husband Prince Philip in 1947, her coronation in 1953 and the births of her four children, she has proven to be one of the most regal royals out there.

Now that she’s older, however, the queen is beginning to focus on the later stages of her life, which include transitioning out of her role. A source close to the royal family exclusively told Closer Weekly that Elizabeth has been preparing Duchess Kate (née Middleton) for the throne ever since her 2011 marriage to Prince William.

As royal admirers know, the queen’s grandson the Duke of Cambridge is second in line to the throne behind his dad, Prince Charles. Because the Duchess of Cambridge will stand as queen alongside her husband one day, “Kate’s learning all the ins and outs,” the source shared in February 2020.

“The queen admires her professionalism, commitment and ability to take royal life in stride without getting flustered,” the insider continued. In order to groom Kate for the role, the royal icon has been giving her granddaughter-in-law some insider advice while spending extra time together.

“Elizabeth has told Kate never to speak in public about any drama surrounding the family,” the source explained. “Instead, the palace always communicates through statements that should be short and factual … Kate has learned a great deal.”

Considering the gorgeous duchess is learning all about being a leader from the queen herself, it’s no surprise the source dished Elizabeth couldn’t be prouder of her future successor. “She is impressed by the way Kate has grown into her role,” the insider told Closer.

Kate, as well as the rest of the royal family, has stepped up in general in recent years, especially as Prince Philip struggled with health issues since late 2019. Sadly, Philip died at age 99 in April 2021, which was announced by the royal family in an emotional statement on Twitter.

It’s likely fans will see less of the queen in the next following months, as royal “engagements have been canceled whilst she mourns,” another source told Closer shortly after Philip’s death, noting the queen is “heartbroken.” Per Harper’s Bazaar, Elizabeth isn’t celebrating her April 21 birthday as she normally would, which means a birthday portrait of Her Majesty will not be released to the public.

Despite switching up the tradition, Elizabeth released a statement on her birthday, thanking fans all around the world for sharing “many messages of good wishes” amid the “period of great sadness.”

“It has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world,” her statement read. “My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”

To see the queen’s gorgeous transformation through the years, keep scrolling below.

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