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Princess Elizabeth portrait taken at Clarence House in July 1951

The Lynn News is looking back 70 years to a sad day when King George VI died at the Sandringham royal estate on Wednesday, February 6, 1952. This is part two ...

This official portrait of the then Princess Elizabeth was taken at Clarence House in July 1951, just a little more than six months before her father’s death.

It was used prominently on the front page of the Lynn News and Advertiser on Friday, February 8. The accompanying caption read: “Yesterday the new Queen, who was frequently seen at Sandringham during her Christmas stay there, was due to arrive back in London at 4.30pm from South Africa [sic] where the tragic news of the King’s death was conveyed to her on Wednesday by the Duke of Edinburgh.

New Queen: Princess Elizabeth official portrait.
New Queen: Princess Elizabeth official portrait.

“After addressing the Privy Council [a formal body of advisers to the sovereign] it was expected that she would visit Sandringham to discuss the plans for her father’s funeral with her mother.

“Queen Elizabeth II was the elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York and was only ten years old when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated and her parents became King and Queen.

“When she was 12, she accepted her first public office, the presidency of the Children’s League of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital at Shadwell in the East End of London.

“In 1940 she broadcast for the first time to the children of the Empire and within a week of her 17th birthday she performed her first independent public engagement, a full inspection of the Grenadier Guards, of which she was Colonel.

“She came of age when she was 18 and in July 1944 acted as a Counsellor of State. During the war she received an honorary rank in the A.T.S.

“On November 20, 1947, she married Lieut. Phillip Mountbatten R.N. and before the wedding the King conferred on Lieut. Mountbatten the title of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.

“Queen Elizabeth II is 25, the same age as Queen Elizabeth I when she ascended the Throne in 1558.

“Her two children, Prince Charles, the new heir to the throne, and Princess Anne are at present at Sandringham.

“The Duke of Edinburgh who, if precedent is followed, will be Prince Consort, is son of the late Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice.”

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