A Life on film: Watch all the Queen's key moments

A life on film: Watch all the Queen’s key moments – from her coronation to her 2012 Olympics skit with Daniel Craig and saying goodbye to Philip

  • Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday 8 September at Balmoral Castle
  • The 96-year-old reigned as monarch of the United Kingdom for 70 years
  • Many of her major life events were captured on film and watched by millions 
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace announced this week. 

During her 70-year-long reign Her Majesty, who passed away at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands on Thursday 8 September, has presided over many historical moments.

From her marriage to the love of her life, Prince Philip, to a cameo appearance during the London 2012 Olympics, many of the key moments of the Monarch’s life have been caught on film.

Indeed, millions of people around the world have watched the Queen throughout her life, particularly on big events such as her coronation in 1953.

Here, FEMAIL lists some of the Queen’s most memorable moments that were captured on film…

Princess Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten (1947) 

Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten waved to crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day on 20 November 1947

Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten married at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947.

The couple exchanged their vows in front of 150 guests, which was considered a small ceremony for royal weddings at the time after Philip, who didn’t want to be insensitive to the country’s people just two years after the end of the Second World War. 

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the Queen in her wedding gown as she travelled to Westminster Abbey.

Meanwhile 200 million people listened to the broadcast of the wedding ceremony on BBC radio, and it was the first royal wedding ever to be filmed.

The Queen and Prince Philip were married for a total of 73 years before he passed away in April 2021. 

Queen Elizabeth II is coronated (1953)

Queen Elizabeth was coronated on 2 June 1953 after ascending the throne a year earlier following the death of her father King George VI (pictured: The coronation ceremony)

After the death of her father King George VI on 6 February 1952, Princess Elizabeth acceded the throne.

She was formally coronated Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.

While more than 8,000 people attended the ceremony, more than 20 million people watched the service on television.

Queen Elizabeth II, who was just 25 when she became the monarch, wore a dress designed by British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell during the ceremony.

The coronation marked the beginning of a 70-year reign.  

The Queen meets with Sir Winston Churchill as he resigns (1955)

After two stints as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill tendered his resignation on 5 April, 1955. The night before he resigned, the Queen and Prince Philip went to Buckingham Palace to have dinner with the outgoing prime minister, whom she had knighted two years earlier

After two stints as the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill tendered his resignation on 5 April, 1955.

The night before he resigned, the Queen and Prince Philip went to Buckingham Palace to have dinner with the outgoing prime minister, whom she had knighted two years earlier.

The Queen, who saw 15 prime ministers come and go during her reign, once said Churchill was the leader she most enjoyed meeting.

When asked the question, she replied: ‘Winston of course, because it was always such fun.’ 

The Queen’s first televised Christmas broadcast (1957)

The Queen’s first televised Christmas Day address was broadcast to the nation in 1957 following radio broadcasts up until then

On Christmas Day in 1957 the Queen gave her first festive broadcast to the nation from the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

She said: ‘It’s inevitable that I should seem a rather remote figure to many of you,a successor to the kings and queens of history. Someone whose face may be familiar in newspapers and films but who never really touches your personal lives.

‘But now at least for a few minutes, I welcome you to the peace of my own home.’

The speech acknowledged advancements in technology that allowed her to address the nation on film for the first time.

Her Majesty concluded saying: ‘I wish you all, young and old, wherever you may be, all the fun and enjoyment and the peace of a very happy Christmas.’ 

The Queen’s first ‘walkabout’ (1970)

The Queen visiting the Town Hall in Sydney during one of her first ‘walkabouts’ in 1970 with Emmett McDermott, Lord Mayor of Sydney

During a royal tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970 with Princess Anne by her side, the Queen was filmed walking among crowds of people.

It was a break from the royal tradition of greeting the crowds from afar, at a protected distance.

It is thought that the walkabout was an idea first floated by Australian Sir William Hestletine, who served as the Queen’s private secretary.

The first ‘walkabout’ in Sydney marked a new age of royal convention, with royals now walking among crowds and shaking hands frequently. 

The Queen jokes with South African president Nelson Mandela (1991)

Queen Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela (pictured on his state visit to the UK in 1996) struck up a friendship after first meeting in 1991

The Queen first met with Nelson Mandela in Zimbabwe 1991 – immediately sharing a joke that ensured they would remain friends.

The President of South Africa said: ‘Your Majesty, you look well taking into account your tight schedule.’

The Monarch replied: ‘I still have to see 16 people, I might not look so well tomorrow.’

Her Majesty and Nelson Mandela remained friends even after he stepped down as president.

In 1998, two years after resigning, he visited the UK where he took a coach ride around London with the Monarch. 

The Queen addresses the nation after the death of Princess Diana (1997)

The Queen made an unprecedented televised address to the nation after the death of Princess Diana in 1997 in which she said the late Princess was ‘an exceptional and gifted human being’

Following the tragic death of Princess Diana at the age of 36 on 31 August, 1997, the Queen addressed the nation in a televised speech on 4 September.

She said: ‘Since last Sunday’s dreadful news, we have seen throughout Britain and around the world an overwhelming expression of sadness at dianas death.

‘We have all been trying in our different ways to cope; it is not easy to express the sense of loss.’

Her Majesty added: ‘I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being.’

The Monarch concluded: ‘May each and every one of us thank God for someone who made many, many people happy.’ 

The Queen makes a speech on the Millennium (2000) 

The Queen made a speech to the nation ahead of the new Millennium (pictured raising a glass of Champagne with then prime minister, Tony Blair, at the Millennium Dome at midnight in the new year)

Addressing the nation ahead of the new Millennium, the Queen marked the profound occasion as a new 1000 years.

She said: ‘More than ever we are aware of being a tiny part of the infinite sweep of time when we move from one century and one millennium to another.’

To mark the year 2000 the Queen attended the new Millenium Dome in Greenwich, London, with Prince Philip, where the pair raised a toast as the clock struck midnight.

The Queen visits the Republic of Ireland (2011)

The Queen was welcomed to Ireland following an invitation from then President Mary McAleese, with whom she and Philip had afternoon tea

From 17-20 May 2011, the Queen and Prince Philip made a state visit to the Republic of Ireland upon invitation by president Mary McAleese. 

It was the first visit of a reigning monarch to the area since 1911, when the entire country of Ireland was still part of the UK – although she had made several visits to Northern Ireland during her reign.

During the visit, the Queen and Prince Philip were invited to lunch with Mrs McAleese and her husband Martin. 

The Monarch also visited Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance, where she laid a wreath. 

The Queen with her Corgis (various years)

The Queen owned more than 30 Corgis throughout her reign after first being gifted the breed by her father King George VI when she was seven years old (pictured in 2005)

Throughout her reign, the Queen owned more than 30 of her most beloved dog breed, Corgis.

In later years she also owned several Dorgis – which are a cross between a Corgi and a Daschund.

Her Majesty, who was often pictured out and about with her beloved pets, was given her first Corgi when she was just seven years old, whom she shared with her sister, Princess Margaret.

When she was 18 years old, the Queen was gifted her first Corgi that she owned by herself, named Susan.

Her bond with Susan was so close that she took the dog with her on her honeymoon after marrying Prince Philip. 

The Queen with her horses (various years)

The Queen always had a fondness for horses and owned several throughout her life (pictured riding near Windsor Castle with Princess Anne in 2002)

As well as having a deep love of dogs, the Queen also had a fondness for horses and owned several throughout the years.

During her reign, one of the Queen’s biggest diary events every single year was Royal Ascot in June, where she delighted in watching the races.

It has been said that Her Majesty was able to tell the going purely by listening to the sound of the horses’ hooves on the tracks.

She owned many thoroughbreds throughout her life, after being given her first Shetland Pony, Peggy, at just four years old. 

The Queen appears in a James Bond sketch during the London Olympics (2012)

The Queen delighted 900 million viewers around the world when she appeared alongside Daniel Craig in a James Bond sketch to mark the opening of the London 2012 Olympics

During the opening ceremony to the London 2012 Olympics, icons of British film, music and literature were celebrated in a spectacle watched by 900 million people around the world.

However, few people expected a cameo from the Queen herself – and she delighted viewers as she made an appearance in a sketch with the quintessentially British character James Bond.

Her Majesty appeared with Daniel Craig in a scene in which Bond visits Buckingham Palace.

She greeted the spy with a ‘good evening, Mr Bond’ before walking with him through the halls of the Palace, before appearing to board a helicopter with the spy and heading to the Olympic Stadium.

Prince George starts to make public appearances (2013) 

Prince George appears on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, held by his father Prince William, at Trooping the Colour in 2015

Prince George, the eldest child of Prince William and Kate Middleton and heir to the throne, was born on 22 July 2013. 

After he was welcomed into the world at St Mary’s Hospital in London, the young Prince soon became the apple of his ‘Gan Gan’s’ eye.

In 2013 the Queen was pictured on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with her family, including Prince William and Kate – and their first son George.

Prince William carried little George and pointed to the sky where the Red Arrows were flying overhead, before the infant prince gave a sweet wave. 

The Queen addresses the nation during the coronavirus lockdown (2020)

The Queen addressed the nation during the first coronavirus lockdown to thank key workers for their service and assuring people: ‘We will meet again’

During a time of enormous uncertainty as the country was plunged into a lockdown to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Queen made a special address to the nation.

She acknowledged it was an ‘increasingly challenging time’ which had brought ‘grief’ and ‘financial difficulty’.

Her Majesty also thanked the NHS, care workers and other key workers for continuing to go out to work as everyone else was asked to stay at home.

The Monarch said: ‘If we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.’

She concluded her speech by invoking the famed Vera Lynn wartime lyrics: ‘We will meet again.’

The Queen sits alone at the funeral of Prince Philip (2021)

In line with coronavirus restrictions, the Queen was required to sit alone at the funeral of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, after his death in April 2021

After Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband of 73 years, passed away on 9 April 2021, his funeral was held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on 17 April.

At the time, coronavirus guidelines were still in place which put limits on social gatherings including funerals.

In line with the rules, only 30 guests attended the funeral with each guest required to remain socially distanced.

Heartbreaking pictures emerged of the Queen sitting alone as she said goodbye to her husband.

The Queen is seen with a walking stick (2021) 

In her later appearances before her death, the Queen was pictured using a walking aid as she was suffering from mobility issues (pictured in Edinburgh in June 2022)

On 12 October 2021 the Queen was pictured walking with a cane for the first time after undergoing an operation on her knee.

She appeared at Westminster Abbey with her daughter, Princess Anne, to attend a service of thanksgiving to mark 100 years of the Royal British Legion. 

It was the first time Her Majesty had been seen walking with an aid since 2003 when she used a walking stick while recovering from knee surgery.

In recent months, it was known the Monarch had been suffering from mobility issues, which led her to limit her royal engagements. 

The Queen stars in a surprise sketch with Paddington bear (2022)

The Queen appeared in a heartwarming sketch with Paddington Bear as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in which they had afternoon tea

To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and 70 years on the throne, huge celebrations were held including concerts, street parties and a special fly-past.

And to celebrate the occasion, Her Majesty couldn’t help but make another cameo – this time with a key character in children’s literature, Paddington Bear.

In a television sketch, she sat down for afternoon tea with the marmalade-loving teddy bear and offered him a cup of tea.

She proceeded to look impressed as he guzzled an entire pot straight from the spout, before saying ‘never mind’ when it appeared there was none left.

Then, she revealed she too, keeps marmalade sandwiches in her handbag, for emergencies. 

The Royal Family appears on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to mark the Platinum Jubilee (2022) 

The Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave to crowds who had come to see her to mark her Platinum Jubilee after 70 years on the throne

As the nation marked the Queen’s 70 years on the throne at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, she appeared with the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

There, they listened to a rendition of God Save the Queen while the Monarch stood front and centre dressed in her favourite colour, green.

Thousands of people crowded to catch a glimpse of the Queen with Prince Charles and Camilla, Kate Middleton and Prince William and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

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