Remembering a legend. Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated by her loved ones on what would have been her 97th birthday following her death.
A lengthy tribute was shared via the royal family’s official Instagram account on Friday, April 21. “Today we remember the incredible life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on what would have been her 97th birthday,” the caption began.
The post included a photo of Elizabeth holding a bouquet of flowers, which was seemingly snapped during her June 2022 visit to Scotland for the Ceremony of the Keys. Details about Elizabeth’s historic 70-year reign were also included in the tribute.
“When King George VI died in February 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II when she was just 25. Her Majesty went on to be Britain’s longest reigning Monarch – the only one in history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee,” the caption noted.
The late monarch’s grandson Prince William and his wife, Princess Kate, shared their own sweet message in Elizabeth’s honor on Friday. The couple uploaded a previously unseen photo of Her Majesty with her great-grandchildren, including Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
“This photograph – showing her with some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren – was taken at Balmoral last summer,” read the accompanying Instagram caption. Kate, 41, was credited as the photographer.
Noticeably absent from the image were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s children: Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 22 months. The Sussexes have been raising their little ones in California, where they moved in the wake of their 2020 step back from their roles as senior working royals. (Their exit was made permanent in 2021.)
The royal family experienced a major loss when Elizabeth died in September 2022 at age 96. She was predeceased by her husband, Prince Philip, who was 99 when he passed away in April 2021.
Elizabeth was laid to rest during a state funeral attended by fellow royals and other world leaders — and viewed by thousands across the globe — last fall. She and Philip are survived by their four children — King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — along with eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Charles, 74, immediately assumed the throne in the wake of Elizabeth’s passing. He was the longest-waiting heir apparent in the monarchy’s history and will be officially crowned with a coronation ceremony in May.
The former Prince of Wales previously paid tribute to his late mother during his first official Christmas address as king in December 2022. “I am standing here in this exquisite Chapel of St George at Windsor Castle, so close to where my beloved mother, the late Queen, is laid to rest with my dear father,” he said in the televised speech. “I am reminded of the deeply touching letters, cards and messages which so many of you have sent my wife and myself and I cannot thank you enough for the love and sympathy you have shown our whole family.”