Happy Birthday Ma'am: Royal Family shares private footage of the Queen's childhood as she turns 94

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent

Private footage of the Queen’s childhood has been shared to mark her 94th birthday.

The footage shows a young Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, playing with her younger sister Margaret Rose, as well as their mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

In one clip, she and her sister proudly show off their dogs, while in another, they appear to be putting on a performance.

An early love of animals is clear as she rides a horse in one shot, and in another lets a bird walk around her shoulders.

Queen Elizabeth II turns 94 on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

In incredible colour clips, she is seen dancing at the foot of a grand staircase next to her sister, before teaching two others to dance.

Read more: How the Queen became a symbol of stability in the chaos of coronavirus

Her son and daughter-in-law also shared a set of pictures from throughout the monarch’s life to celebrate her birthday.

In a post on the Clarence House Instagram page, her son Prince Charles shared pictures of her looking over him as a baby in his cot, and then talking to him after a polo match as a young man.

They also shared a picture of Camilla and the Queen in a carriage at Ascot, and Charles and his sister Anne with the 94-year-old at the Braemar Games in Scotland.

Charles, 71, and Camilla, 72, are currently in Birkhall, Scotland, so won’t be able to see the Queen on her special day.

Read more: Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

Her grandson, Prince William, chose an image of the Queen looking around the garden Kate, his wife, designed for the Chelsea Flower Show.

Princess Eugenie chose a selection of pictures, including one of her with the Queen, her grandmother, at the Maundy service in Windsor in 2019.

The Queen’s real birthday is her first of the year. She will mark her official birthday in June, though this year both occasions have been affected by coronavirus.

Not only has she cancelled the traditional gun salutes which take place to mark her real birthday, but Trooping the Colour will not go ahead as usual, the palace previously confirmed.

The Queen usually spends her birthday privately, but this year will be quieter than usual. She is in isolation in Windsor Castle with her husband, Prince Philip.

Read more: Coronavirus: Queen cancels birthday gun salutes for first time amid COVID-19 pandemic

As her traditional gun salutes were cancelled, the first time in her 68-year reign, palace sources also said any video or phone calls made on Tuesday would be kept private.

Last week, her grandson William, 37, revealed that the Royal Family is making the most of technology to stay in touch, so it’s possible she will be having a royal zoom call.

Kate, 38, told the BBC her parents and William’s father had appreciated being able to stay in touch with their grandchildren via video calls.

But they also admitted it had been a bit chaotic, with a two-year-old, Prince Louis, and the older generation, around technology.

Queen Elizabeth II attending the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials and Beer Festival at Newbury Racecourse in Newbury, on her 91st birthday. (Press Association)

William told the BBC: “As you can imagine, the younger generation are a little bit more tech-savvy. But only just.

“I think we’re getting there now, the family are getting a little bit more used to being able to contact each other and pressing the right buttons and not dropping the computer halfway through.”

He also joked that Louis, the Cambridges’ youngest son, sees the red button, and always wants to press the red button”.

The Queen was born in 1926, and as Princess Elizabeth never expected to be queen. It wasn’t until her uncle abdicated the throne when she was 10 that her father became king and so put her in line.

Queen Elizabeth II during the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle, Berkshire in 2018. (Press Association)

She grew up in Windsor during the Second World War, as her parents stayed in London, and had instilled a sense of duty to the nation and the Commonwealth.

For her sixth birthday, the people of Wales gave her a house, which was installed in the grounds of Windsor. The small thatched cottage, called Y Bwthyn Bach, is still there now.

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