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Never-before-seen pic shows bonnie little baby who would one day be Queen

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It was no doubt a treasured family snap. A mother looks adoringly at her cherub-faced baby, who giggles at the camera. The proud mum in the picture, taken in 1927, was the then Duchess of York. And the impossibly cute little youngster was Princess Elizabeth – the future Queen of England. It was snapped shortly before her parents left on tour of Australia and New Zealand.

During the painful six month separation – the little Princess was left at home with her nanny - the picture was no doubt of great comfort to the Duke and Duchess. It is just one of many that have been released to mark the monarch's 84th birthday on April 21. They form part of a new exhibition showcasing the work of royal photographer Marcus Adams which opens at Windsor Castle on Saturday and runs until February 6 next year. Also part of the collection are several photos taken of the ten month old Princess while her parents were away. These were sent to them as reassurance their daughter was healthy and happy back in England. Accompanying the snaps was a note written by Elizabeth's nanny, Clara Knight. "If Mummy looks into my wide open mouth with a little magnifying glass she will see my two teeth. Elizabeth is quite well and happy," she wrote in the letter, dated March 8, 1927.

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