Princess Margaret was different from her sister the Queen in every way. She hadn’t been groomed for official duty and spent her early years learning subjects such as music and dance. She was her father’s “joy” while Elizabeth was his “pride.” Soon, the media started paying attention to Princess Margaret’s unconventional social life. She was quite the head-turner as a young woman with her 18-inch waist and striking blue eyes.
She mingled with young aristocrats, high-society folks, artists, and celebrities. The princess frequently made appearances in newspapers and magazines for her glamor and fashion-forward style. This picture captures the essence of Princess Margaret’s social world. She’s pictured warmly greeting Italian actor, Sophia Loren, at the premiere of “The Key” in May 1958.
Tessa Sanderson Receives an MBE
Here we see Tessa Sanderson outside Buckingham Palace, moments after she received an MBE in 1985. She’s understandably ecstatic. Sanderson had won gold in javelin at the Olympics a year before – the only British athlete ever to achieve the feat. Her happiness and success belie the tough road to getting where she did.
She fought systemic racism and discrimination within the sporting community. The public seemed to feel the same way about her too. The lack of support could’ve crippled and demotivated most athletes. But not Sanderson. She blazed her own trail – with or without support – and remains a sporting legend to this day.
The Queen’s Birds
Queen Elizabeth had a soft spot for not only dogs but all types of birds and animals. She especially loved birds (pigeons included too), and here's where a little context is necessary. Those familiar with London likely know about St. James Park or have visited it. No ordinary park, this place.
The Queen turned the park into a haven for birds, some graciously presented to her by various world leaders over the years. Pictured here is a kind-hearted officer waiting patiently as a mother duck and her ducklings pass by. The ducks seem to have wandered in from nearby St. James's Park.
The Royal Family in 1846
In 1846, Queen Victoria wrote a letter to the French king, Louis-Philippe with a heartfelt request. She wondered if he could release Franz Xaver Winterhalter from his duties as the court painter that autumn. She wanted him to paint a large and special portrait of her family for their home at Osborne. The portrait sessions kicked off at Windsor in October 1846 until January the following year.
Queen Victoria considered it one of her top three favorite portraits. Winterhalter skillfully captured the queen in her dual roles of a sovereign and a loving mother. It beautifully depicts royal grandeur with domestic harmony, peace, and happiness. In the portrait are the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, Princess Victoria, Princess Alice, and Princess Helena as an infant.
King George VI Dies
The day is February 6, 1952. Pictured here is a group of people huddled together, poring over a newspaper headline. King George VI had passed away at Sandringham. A period of national mourning began. King George VI’s funeral procession became the first ever to be broadcast on television. Some say the event might have sparked the rush to purchase television sets.
The way people watched and commemorated historic events would never be the same again. History was being made in any case. Hope arrived in a young Queen Elizabeth II, who was officially proclaimed the new monarch. The rest is history. She more than proved her mettle despite naysayers. She would become one of the most respected monarchs in the country’s history and very long did she reign!