Previously unseen photographs of the young Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) are included in a new book published by Royal Collection Trust on Wednesday, 21 August. The Royal Baby Book: A Souvenir Album is the official publication marking the arrival of HRH Prince George of Cambridge. The photographs, taken by the Princess’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of York (the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth), show the future Monarch between the ages of two and four.
The Royal Baby Book: A Souvenir Album tells the story of seven heirs to the throne from Queen Victoria to Prince William of Wales through items from the Royal Collection, the Royal Archives and the private collections of members of the Royal Family. Intimate photographs and letters, favourite toys, prams and cots shed light on the lives of these royal babies from birth and infancy to arrival at school. Many of the items and documents are published here for the first time. The book concludes with photographs of the highly anticipated first public appearance of Prince George of Cambridge on the steps of St Mary’s Hospital.
Princess Elizabeth was photographed by her parents throughout her childhood, and many images reveal her early fondness for all things equestrian. In one photograph taken by her father in 1928 at Naseby Hall in Northamptonshire, she is sitting on a toy horse with her mother at her side. The same year the Duke captured his daughter in a wicker pram as she clasped the reins of a miniature horse and cart. In another photograph taken by the Duchess of York, the Princess sits on the Shetland pony ‘Peggy’, given to her for her fourth birthday by her grandfather King George V – her father holds the lead rope. Princess Elizabeth began to learn to ride in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace at the age of just three and a half, and was able to ride on her own by the time she was six. Her first ponies became close childhood companions.