Classic Photos of the Royal Family on Buckingham Palace's Balcony
The balcony at Buckingham Palace has been where the royal family makes public appearances for big marquee events for years upon years now. Whether it's a wedding, an annual ceremony like Trooping the Color, or something even bigger like King Charles III's upcoming coronation, there is pretty much always time given for the attending royals to show up on the balcony, leading to some incredible photographs over the years. From bored royal kids to great fashion choices, these photos of the Buckingham Palace balcony offer a fascinating perspective of British history.
This tradition predates the wide adoption of cameras! Here's an artistic rendition of Queen Victoria making an appearance alongside the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
A crowd gathers around the balcony on the first Armistice Day, marking the end of deadly combat on the Western Front of World War I. The royal family is barely visible in the background through the jovial crowd.
That is a young (then) Princess Elizabeth, who was born just a year before this was taken on April 21st, 1926. Elizabeth was born when her parents were the Duke and Duchess of York, but they would be crowned King and Queen a decade later.
Here we see King George V and Queen Mary for George's Silver Jubilee, marking his 25 years as the British Monarch. He would pass away a year later due to health complications stemming from chronic bronchitis.
Princess Margaret, the younger sister and only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II, being held up from behind on the edge of the balcony, with her grandmother Queen Mary resting a hand on her. It's probably a nice view from up there!
Speaking of what that view would have looked like, here's what a royal family member would have seen as they were stepping onto the balcony in 1936.
Here we see King George VI, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at George's coronation. George VI ascended to the throne after his brother Edward VIII abdicated the role of monarch.
This photo was taken for Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945, celebrating the acceptance of Germany's surrender and the end of World War II in Europe. Prime Minister Winston Churchill stands with the Windsor family during the festivities.
While the Princesses are seen here above the crowd, they also famously joined the celebration outside the Palace undercover.
Here's a classic royal wedding for you. Still a princess, Elizabeth wed Phillip Mountbatten in a union that was controversial at the time. Prince Phillip came from limited financial standing and was born in Greece, though still a British national. They were married for 73 years, until his death in 2021.
Then Princess Elizabeth had began filling in for her father King George VI's responsibilities as his health declined. She presided over 1951's Trooping The Colour ceremony, for example. Here's a funny shot of Elizabeth trying to get a young King Charles III to look up as jets fly over them.
Long before his own coronation, Prince Charles salutes onlookers from the balcony. Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II's only daughter, also makes an appearance here, along with their grandmother Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Mary, Princess Royal.
Queen Elizabeth II officially took on the role and responsibilities of Queen after George VI passed away in February of 1952, and her coronation occurred a year later.
Queen Elizabeth II and her family greeting onlookers upon returning from a tour of the Commonwealth. The Queen became the first monarch to visit Australia and New Zealand during this trip.
Princess Margaret marrying Anthony Armstrong-Jones, accompanied by several young bridesmaids on the balcony including Princess Anne on the far left. The royal and the renowned photographer were married for 18 years before divorcing in 1978.
Prince Phillip and Princess Anne watching Trooping the Colour in 1963. Prince Phillip served in the British Navy during World War II, so not all of those medals on his jacket are just his honorary military titles he was awarded upon Queen Elizabeth II's ascension.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip attend Trooping the Colour with their two youngest children: Prince Andrew, Duke of York (left) and Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh (right).
Can you spot the future King on the balcony? It's of course King Charles III looking dapper in a suit while briefly babysitting a few royal children at Trooping the Colour including his younger brother Edward, Lady Helen Windsor, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and George Windsor, Earl of St. Andrews.
We've got three generations of royals represented on the balcony here, and pretty much every family member chose impeccable color combinations if we do say so ourselves.
The royal family making an appearance for the wedding of Anne, Princess Royal and Mark Phillips. They had two children and were married for nearly two decades, but by the end of the '80s they confirmed speculation that they intended to separate and divorced in 1992.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip attending her Silver Jubilee. Her Majesty was the longest-reigning British monarch by the time she passed away, and the UK celebrated the first Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years as Queen, in February of 2022.
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is being honored here for her 80th birthday. The Queen Mother maintained a great reputation among the British public even at times when other royal family members were less well-liked.
Prince (now King) Charles and Princess Diana after their wedding ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral. Their marriage, family and subsequent divorce was subject to intense media scrutiny, and Diana left behind a profound legacy after her abrupt death in 1997.
Princess Diana with a young Prince William, and expecting her and Charles' second child: Prince Harry. Everyone was gathered for, once again, the Trooping the Colour ceremony.
The Duke of York, Prince Andrew kisses Sarah Ferguson on the Buckingham balcony after their wedding. Ferguson and Prince Andrew divorced in 1996, and while she did attend Queen Elizabeth II's recent funeral, she won't be attending King Charles' coronation.
At Trooping the Colour, a slightly bemused Princess Diana holds a young, goofing off Prince Harry, with Prince William close by in front of her.
The royal family gathers to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, when the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy repelled Nazi Germany's Air Force, the Luftwaffe, from forcing the UK to surrender through relentless raids, including nighttime bombings known as The Blitz.
Prince Harry, who would have been about six years old here, got a little time to himself arriving early on the balcony during Trooping the Colour. We all feel that way at family gatherings sometimes!
Queen Elizabeth II and company watching the RAF jet demonstration at Trooping the Colour. Always loud, but always thrilling.
At the 50th anniversary celebration of Victory in Europe Day, the Queen Mother briefly becomes emotional while flanked by her two beloved daughters who she celebrated with in this very spot.
Trooping the Colour was first performed during the reign of King Charles II in the 17th century as a celebration of the British Sovereign's Official Birthday. The name stands for the military regiments, one of five in the UK, which take turns marching in the ceremony while presenting their distinguishing color.
Queen Elizabeth II at her Golden Jubilee ceremony, with her grandsons Prince William and Harry on either side. The only other British monarchs to reach a Golden Jubilee, or 50 years in power, were Queen Victoria and King George III.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Golden Jubilee. As part of her Golden Jubilee Message, the late Queen poignantly said, "I hope also that this time of celebration in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth will not simply be an occasion to be nostalgic about the past. I believe that, young or old, we have as much to look forward to with confidence and hope as we have to look back on with pride."
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