Elizabeth, the curly years: Previously unseen photos of our future Queen as a toddler show she was already obsessed with horses

  •     Photographs of Queen Elizabeth as a child are released to celebrate the arrival of Prince George
  •    The previously unseen images show the Queen riding a pony, sleeping in her cot and smiling for the camera

The year is 1928 and a young girl poses for her father’s camera from the comfort of her wicker pram…with a smile that is strangely familiar.
And if you can’t quite put a name to the face, the horse and carriage toy by the side of her pushchair offers a further clue.
The two-year-old with the curly locks is our future Queen in an intimate portrait never before released for public viewing.

Royal carriage: Queen Elizabeth II, when she was aged two, holds on tight to the rope of her toy horse in a photograph taken by her father, then Duke of York

The young Princess Elizabeth   was introduced to horseriding in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace at the age of three, and was able to ride on her own by the time she was six.
The photographs, from a delightful collection of previously unseen or rarely seen pictures, are testament to her early start as a horsewoman.

The images will be published in a new Royal Collection book celebrating the arrival of the latest addition to her family, her great-grandson Prince George.
Starting with Queen Victoria and ending with the new baby, the book features seven generations of kings and queens in the making.
The photos are from the Royal archive and private collections of members of the Royal Family.

Horsewoman from the start: Elizabeth in 1930, posing with her father on her Shetland pony, Peggy, a fourth birthday present from her grandfather George V

In the saddle: Elizabeth playing with a toy horse with her mother, then Duchess of York, in front of Naseby Hall in 1928

Among them are several of the young Princess Elizabeth, now a great-grandmother for the third time. Taken by her parents the Duke and Duchess of York – the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth – the shots show Elizabeth up until the age of four.
In her pram, on a rocking horse and learning how to ride, they reveal a touching portrait of her early childhood.
In one photograph taken by her father in 1928 she sits on a rocking horse with her mother at her side.
The same year the Duke captured his daughter in a wicker pram as she clasped the reins of a miniature horse and carriage.

Family album: A picture of the little princess in her cot aged five weeks in 1926 will feature in the new book released to celebrate the arrival of Prince George

Three generations: The future Queen Elizabeth II with Queen Mary and her mother the Duchess of York at Balmoral in 1927

Big interest: Queen Elizabeth, pictured on her home bred horse Tinkerbell alongside her daughter Princess Anne and her Olympic champion grandaughter Zara in 2004,

In full regalia on Horse Guards Parade, remains a keen horsewoman

We all know that the Queen is a keen horsewoman and has a great love of horses. This photograph shows the Princess Elizabeth rewarding her pony after a victory at the Windsor Horse Show in 1944.

This is a lovely mother and daughter photograph. The Queen and Princess Elizabeth in a carriage procession at Royal Ascot in June 1951.

A third was taken by the Duchess of York. It shows the Princess astride the Shetland pony Peggy, given to her for her fourth birthday by her grandfather King George V, with her father holding the lead rope.

The Royal Baby Book: A Souvenir Album, which will be available from Wednesday, is being published to mark the arrival of HRH Prince George of Cambridge.
To accompany the book, official photographs of Prince George with the Duke of Duchess of Cambridge are due to be released to the public in the next few days.


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