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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.

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (future Queen Elizabeth II)

1942-1943
Charles Wheeler

coloured chalk on artist board (sheet: 37.5 cm x 30.5 cm, image: 33.5 cm x 26.3 cm)

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (b. 1926), reigning monarch, was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, who subsequently became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Educated at home, the Princess was a Girl Guide and a Sea Ranger before taking on public engagements at age sixteen. She 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 25 on her coronation on 2 June 1953. The delayed visit, the first of many tours of the Commonwealth, was accomplished the same year. Her Majesty is currently the Head of State of the United Kingdom and fifteen other Commonwealth countries. By convention, she is not involved the day-to-day business of the Australian Government, but plays a ceremonial and symbolic role. She made her sixteenth visit to Australia in October 2011, and in September 2015 became the longest reigning British monarch, surpassing the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. When Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died in 2021, they had been married for more than seven decades.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2019
© Estate of Charles Wheeler

Artist and subject

Charles Wheeler (age 61 in 1942)

Queen Elizabeth II (age 16 in 1942)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency