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10 joyful photos of Queen Elizabeth II smiling

The late monarch died peacefully at Balmoral on 8 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II wearing a blue coat dress
Phoebe Tatham
Phoebe TathamContent Writer
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It's almost been a year since Queen Elizabeth II's heartbreaking death. The late monarch died peacefully on 8 September 2022 after 70 extraordinary years on the throne.

She passed away aged 96 at Balmoral, her beloved Scottish summer residence, while her immediate family were thought to be en route.

WATCH: Queen Elizabeth II's life in pictures

A State Funeral was held at Westminster Abbey on 19 September, followed by a committal service at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Her death triggered an outpouring of tributes around the world, with royal well-wishers and global leaders alike sharing touching messages of condolences.

As the British royals prepare to pay their respects to their longest-serving monarch and cherished family member, the team at HELLO! is taking a trip down memory lane to relive some of her happiest moments in the spotlight...


A passion for horses

Crown Princess Elizabeth with her pony aged 10 © Getty
Crown Princess Elizabeth with her pony aged 10

Throughout her life, Her Majesty had a passion for horses and horse racing. She was given her first pony at the age of four and continued riding well into her 90s.

Speaking on the BBC during the Queen's final journey from Northolt to Buckingham Palace, BBC star Clare Balding said: "The Queen's passions were horses and dogs. Racing was the passion she shared with the public. The Queen loved to go to the stables to see horses on gallops in the morning and talk to all the grooms."


Royal engagement

Elizabeth and Prince Philip shortly after they announced their engagement © Getty
Elizabeth and Prince Philip shortly after they announced their engagement

Queen Elizabeth II looked picture-perfect alongside her partner Prince Philip shortly after they announced their engagement.The couple went on to tie the knot on 20 November 1947. 

For their fairytale nuptials, the late Queen stole the limelight in a beautiful, embroidered wedding gown crafted by Norman Hartnell. "Princess Elizabeth with her marvellous complexion and Prince Philip such a devastatingly handsome naval officer. He looked tender, she was adoring. They really were a dream couple," bridesmaid Lady Pamela Hicks told the Telegraph.


Her Majesty's love of corgis

queen with pet corgi © Getty
The late monarch adored her corgis

 Queen Elizabeth II became synonymous with corgis early on in her reign. She famously adored her furry friends and was rarely spotted without her corgi clan.

Her love of corgis is perfectly summed in the above snapshot which shows her posing for a wholesome picture in the salon at Sandringham House.

It's thought that at the time of her death, the Queen owned two Corgis - Muick and Sandy - and one Dorgi (a dachshund/corgi crossbreed), named Candy. Other much-loved royal Corgis include Susan, Willow, Holly, Vulcan, Dookie, Monty, Honey, Berry, Emma, and Linnet. 


Walks in Windsor

The late monarch smiling in Windsor © Getty
The late monarch smiling in Windsor

The late monarch relished spending time on her idyllic Windsor estate. Here, she's pictured in a gorgeous silk headscarf and a tartan scarf seemingly enjoying a blissful moment in the glorious sunshine.

The monarch was very fond of Windsor Castle, which boasts 484,000 square feet of space and 1000 rooms. Indeed, she chose to spend the majority of the coronavirus pandemic at the 900-year-old property along with the 'HMS bubble' of 22 staff members.


Marital bliss

elizabeth and prince philip visiting broadlands © Getty
The couple wed on November 20 1947

Elizabeth and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed an enduring love story spanning over 70 years. The happy couple took part in a special photoshoot back in 2007 to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.For the touching snapshots, the duo re-visited Broadlands where they spent their wedding night all those years ago in 1947.


A doting mother

charles and late queen sharing a giggle © Getty
Queen Elizabeth shared a close bond with her son Charles

Back in 2021, Queen Elizabeth II and her eldest child, the then-Prince Charles, enjoyed a rare giggle as they watched a children's sack race at the Braemar Highland Gathering at The Princess Royal & Duke of Fife Memorial Park.


A vision in green

queen smiling in green coat and hat © Getty
The monarch looked glorious in her green ensemble

In 2021, the late monarch looked glorious in green as she attended the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Windsor Cup polo match at Guards Polo Club in Egham.

Renowned for her dazzling rainbow wardrobe, Queen Elizabeth looked spectacular in a chartreuse green coat dress which she teamed with a matching hat. For a dose of glamour, she added a sparkling silver brooch and her trademark pearl necklaces.


Horse show joy

queen driving to royal windsor horse show © Getty
The Queen had a soft spot for the Royal Windsor Horse Show

In 2021, the Queen looked delighted to be back at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and was seen driving herself to the event after flying back to Windsor from her Scottish trip for the event's opening day.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show is one of the highlights of the British royal family's calendar and takes place within the grounds of their royal Windsor residence.


Race day victory

queen patting horse at Ascot © Getty
The monarch celebrated a huge win at Royal Ascot

Elizabeth II joyfully patted her horse called Estimate after it won the Ascot Gold Cup on day 3 'Ladies Day' of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2013. She became the first reigning monarch to win the prestigious Gold Cup, making her victory all the more memorable.


Trooping the Colour

queen smiling on balcony © Getty
Her Majesty soaked up the atmosphere on the Buckingham Palace royal balcony

Despite her decreased mobility, the late Queen was all smiles during the 2022 Trooping the Colour parade.

Trooping The Colour, also known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, is a military ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army that has taken place since the mid-17th century. It marks the official birthday of the British Sovereign. 

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