Cover Princess Elizabeth on a royal visit to South Africa in 1947. Photo: BBC

The three images are being released ahead of a documentary on the Queen's younger days that will feature home video footage of the royals

As the third longest-reigning royal in history and the world’s oldest monarch, the life of Queen Elizabeth II has certainly been well-documented. Now, the Queen has granted the BBC access to some never-before-seen footage from her childhood.

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The three new unseen photographs of Queen Elizabeth as a young woman were released in conjunction with a new BBC documentary entitled Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen.

In the first image, the Queen is seen on a royal tour in South Africa in 1947.

In another image, taken in 1947 as well, Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret are with their father, King George VI, on board HMS Vanguard, a battleship. The ship was built during World War II and on its first voyage, it took the royal family to South Africa for that same trip. 

The final image features the Queen right after she accepted Prince Philip’s proposal during a vacation to Balmoral Castle in 1946. She is seen beaming at the engagement ring. 

Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth’s engagement to Prince Philip was only announced to the public one year after it happened. 

The film itself will feature home video footage of the royals that will include Elizabeth as a young mother, her visit to Balmoral in 1951 and more. 

“We are honoured that the Queen has entrusted the BBC with such unprecedented access to her personal film collection. This documentary is an extraordinary glimpse into a deeply personal side of the royal family that is rarely seen, and it’s wonderful to be able to share it with the nation as we mark her Platinum Jubilee,” Simon Young, the BBC’s Commissioning Editor for History, said in a statement.

The documentary will rely “largely on the Queen’s own voice and words, alongside newsreel audio. The filmmakers listened to over three hundred of The Queen’s speeches, spanning over eight decades. The result is a visually rich and immersive film of unparalleled historical record,” BBC said.

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen will debut this weekend on May 29.


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