This month marks Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest-ruling monarch in Great Britain's history. As of September 9, Her Majesty will have surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria's record rule of 63 years, 216 days. To celebrate, the royal family will present an exhibit of photos of the 89-year-old Queen to commemorate her reign.
Since we've all known her as the impeccably proper royal matriarch for so many decades, it's fun to get a peek at what she was like in her younger years. Take a walk down memory lane and see how a young Elizabeth began making her mark right from the start, plus a few fun facts about your favorite queen.
Even at a young age — this was snapped when she was just about one year old — she already knew how to pose perfectly and wave to the crowds.
Who would've guessed little Elizabeth could have given Shirley Temple a run for her money?
Queen Elizabeth was such a cute kid, it's almost hard to believe she now has five great-grandchildren herself. No wonder Prince George is so adorable — he has great genes!
Of course, being a royal isn't all about wearing pretty dresses and posing for photos — it's also about cuddling with the royal corgis. A lifelong dog lover, Queen Elizabeth still keeps around two of these adorable dogs. Her names are Holly and Willow. She also has two dorgis (a cross between a dachshund and a corgi) named Candy and Vulcan, so score one for creative name lovers.
Though much of the work involved with being part of the royal family is serious, Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret nevertheless managed to make time for fun. Here, they dress up as Cinderella and Prince Charming during a royal pantomime at Windsor Castle. Let's be honest, they probably had cooler make-believe costumes and props than the rest of us.
And by the way, can Buckingham Palace send its hairstylists our way?
They announced their engagement in July 1947 and were married on November 20, 1947. And just look how sweetly he looked at her!
And here's an adorable tidbit about the Queen: She . In fact, she's sent a whopping 280,000 telegrams to couples in the UK and the Commonwealth celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. How sweet is that?
After King George VI died, Elizabeth acceded the throne and became the wise, stoic, graceful Queen we know her as today.
On June 2, 1953, the Her Majesty donned the three-pound Imperial State Crown for the Queen's Coronation Day at Buckingham Palace. The stunning headpiece is heavily guarded at the Tower of London, and for good reason: Not only is it historically significant, it's also priceless.
It features dozens of rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, hundreds of pearls, thousands of diamonds, and — last but absolutely not least — the fourth largest diamond in the world. The Cullinan Diamond weighs in at a whopping 3,601 carats, so it's no wonder the crown needs its own security team. But hey — it's certainly fit for a queen!