The Queen’s best appearances on the Country Life frontispiece page

We look back in the Country Life archive to see some of the best frontispiece pictures featuring Queen Elizabeth II.

Over the last century, one of the most frequent subjects on our frontispiece page has been Queen Elizabeth II. Throughout her life we have offered snapshots into the life of a young princess, a keen horsewoman and a reigning Queen who in 2015, overtook her great-grandmother to become Britain’s longest serving monarch.

Here we celebrate some of our favourite frontispieces of the Queen.

HRH The Duchess of York with her little daughter (published May 29, 1926)
Princess Elizabeth’s name wasn’t even mentioned in an image which brings home just what a different era Her Majesty was born in.


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HRH Princess Elizabeth of York (published July 20, 1929)

Queen frontis Jul 20, 1929


Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose (published July 13, 1935)
A photograph taken when the Princesses were watching the Punch & Judy show at Mr Lambert Hugh Smith’s at Mount Clare.
Queen frontis Jul 13, 1935


The Princesses in Pantomine (published January 30, 1942)
The Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret as Florizel and Cinderella in the Christmas pantomime that they produced to raise funds for the Royal Household Concerts Wool Fund. The cast included officers’ daughters, evacuees from London and village children.
Queen frontis Jan 30, 1942

At Buckingham Palace (published May 6, 1939)
It’s hard to believe now, looking at this idyllic scene, that Britain would be plunged into war just a few months later. The corgi pictured isn’t The Queen’s first corgi, Susan, incidentally; it’s believed to be Dookie, the corgi who became the family pet in 1933.

Harvest-time at Sandringham (published September 3, 1943)
H.R.H Princess Elizabeth leads one of the horses in the Norfolk harvest-fields.
Queen frontis Sep 3, 1943


HRH Princess Elizabeth, A.T.S. (Published July 27, 1945)
The Queen joined the war effort in 1945 once she was old enough, and trained as a driver in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.


Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth (published September 6, 1946)
This charming portrait of the Princess was taken in the gardens of the Royal Lodge, Windsor.
Queen frontis Sep 6, 1946


Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh (published November 28, 1947)
The commemorative Royal Wedding issue featured this formal portrait.
Queen frontis Nov 28, 1947

Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and Prince Charles (Published December 24, 1948)
Prince Charles made his first appearance at around six weeks old in the Christmas edition of Country Life during the brutally cold winter of 1948.


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Published July 18, 1952)
Five months after acceding to the throne, Her Majesty appeared on the frontispiece in what was her very first formal portrait as Queen.


The Royal Family and Their Horses (published May 23, 1957)
Her Majesty the Queen , their Royal Highnesses Princess Margaret, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne starting for a ride in the Park at Windsor. By gracious permission of Her Majesty the photography was specially taken for the twenty-first birthday number Riding. Queen frontis May 23, 1957 412

Her Majesty The Queen on Sultan (published May 18, 1961)
Sultan, a bay thoroughbred, was presented to the Queen by the President of Pakistan in 1959. By gracious permission of Her Majesty this photograph was specially taken at Windsor for the 25th birthday number of Riding.
Queen frontis May 18, 1961




An earlier version of this article was originally published in 2016.

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