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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022)

9 September 2022

HM Queen Elizabeth II
HM Queen Elizabeth II, 2001 Polly Borland. © Polly Borland. Reproduced courtesy of Polly Borland and Anna Schwartz Gallery.

The National Portrait Gallery is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Throughout her 70-year reign, Her Majesty represented graciousness, humanity and stability during times of enormous social change.

Born on 21 April 1926, Princess Elizabeth was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, who subsequently became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She began taking on public engagements at age sixteen and married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten – the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and a great-great grandson of Queen Victoria – in 1947. In 1952, she and her husband set out for Australia and New Zealand; on the way, in Kenya, Elizabeth received news of her father’s death. She returned to England and was 27 on her coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, which was broadcast on the BBC to more than 20 million people around the world.

During her reign Her Majesty was the Head of State of the United Kingdom and fifteen other Commonwealth countries. She held weekly audiences with fourteen different British Prime Ministers, was patron of more than 600 charities and organisations across the UK, attended hundreds of public engagements a year and undertook many historic overseas visits. The first reigning British monarch to visit Australia, she made sixteen visits here between 1954 and 2011. She was not involved in the day-to-day business of the Australian Government, but rather played a ceremonial and symbolic role.

When Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died in 2021, the couple had been married for more than seven decades. Her Majesty had four children, Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward, and Princess Anne, eight grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.

Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for her devotion to a life of service, and her position as an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth. She is succeeded by her eldest son King Charles III.

The National Portrait Gallery Director, Board, Foundation and staff extend our sincere condolences to Her Majesty’s family.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency