The Royal Family Celebrated Queen Elizabeth's 96th Birthday With a Rare Childhood Photo

A birthday post fit for a queen.

Queen Elizabeth II 2016 Queen Elizabeth II Delivery Office
Photo: Getty Images

A happy birthday is in order for the British monarch. Queen Elizabeth II is 96 today, and to celebrate, the royal family just shared the most adorable throwback photo of Her Royal Majesty.

On Thursday, the family Instagram account posted a rare childhood photo of the queen from the Royal Trust Collection. In the image, the young royal is resting her curly-haired head against her fists with a big smile across her face.

"🎂 Happy Birthday Your Majesty!" the caption read. "Today as The Queen turns 96, we're sharing this photograph taken when she was 2-years-old. Then Princess Elizabeth, she was the eldest daughter of The Duke and Duchess of York and was never expected to become Queen."

The tribute continued, taking a look back on her career and how she ended up as the longest reigning royal in British history. "Her life changed in 1936 when her uncle, King Edward VIII abdicated, her father became King George VI and the young Princess became the heir presumptive. Following the sad death of her father in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II aged just 25, and this year is celebrating 70 years on the throne — a first in British history."

The queen will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee this June with festivities involving the whole family. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, who recently paid the queen a visit, received an invitation to the event. According to People, the couple was asked to attend the traditional balcony appearance and a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral, though they won't have a "formal role" in the activities.

Related Articles