In pictures: Queen Elizabeth II through the decades

On Wednesday 9 September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history. To mark this momentous anniversary, we look back at the Queen's life and reign through the decades...

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip take part in a dance held in their honour in Ottawa, during their Canadian tour, on 17 October 1951. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the January 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

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Elizabeth’s father, King George VI (right), and her mother, Queen Elizabeth, with Queen Mary (centre), Princesses Elizabeth (left) and Margaret Rose on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the king and queen’s coronation ceremony on 12 May 1937. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
 
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Princess Elizabeth changing the tyre of a vehicle as she trains to become an Auxiliary Territorial Service officer during the Second World War, 1945. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
 
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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip after the announcement of their engagement in 1947. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
 
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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day on 20 November 1947. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip take part in a dance held in their honour in Ottawa, during their Canadian tour, on 17 October 1951. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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Queen Elizabeth II seated upon the throne at her coronation in Westminster Abbey, London, on 2 June 1953. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
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The Queen shaking hands with Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe at a Royal Film Performance of ‘The Battle of the River Plate’ at the Empire Theatre, Leicester Square, London, in 1956. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
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The Queen and Prince Philip with three of their children – Prince Andrew (centre), Princess Anne (left) and Charles, Prince of Wales – sitting on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1960. The couple’s fourth child, Prince Edward, was born in 1964. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
 
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The Queen presenting the World Cup trophy to captain Bobby Moore after England beat West Germany 4-2 in extra time in the World Cup final at Wembley stadium in London , 1966. (Photo by STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)
 
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The Queen dancing with President Gerald Ford at a ball at the White House, Washington, during the 1976 bicentennial celebrations of the Declaration of Independence. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)