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Classic Photos of the Royal Family on Buckingham Palace's Balcony

royal family on v j day
Photos of Royals on the Buckingham Palace BalconyHulton Deutsch - Getty Images

The balcony at Buckingham Palace has been where the royal family makes public appearances for big marquee events for years upon years now. Whether it's a wedding, an annual ceremony like Trooping the Color, or something even bigger like King Charles III's upcoming coronation, there is pretty much always time given for the attending royals to show up on the balcony, leading to some incredible photographs over the years. From bored royal kids to great fashion choices, these photos of the Buckingham Palace balcony offer a fascinating perspective of British history.

1874

This tradition predates the wide adoption of cameras! Here's an artistic rendition of Queen Victoria making an appearance alongside the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

the queen and duke and duchess of edinburgh at the balcony at buckingham palace london 1874
Sepia Times - Getty Images

1918

A crowd gathers around the balcony on the first Armistice Day, marking the end of deadly combat on the Western Front of World War I. The royal family is barely visible in the background through the jovial crowd.

world war one uk commonwealth the home front armistice day 1918
PA Images - Getty Images

1927

That is a young (then) Princess Elizabeth, who was born just a year before this was taken on April 21st, 1926. Elizabeth was born when her parents were the Duke and Duchess of York, but they would be crowned King and Queen a decade later.

royalty king and family at buckingham palace
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1935

Here we see King George V and Queen Mary for George's Silver Jubilee, marking his 25 years as the British Monarch. He would pass away a year later due to health complications stemming from chronic bronchitis.

king george v's silver jubilee, london, 6th may, 1935
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1935

Princess Margaret, the younger sister and only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II, being held up from behind on the edge of the balcony, with her grandmother Queen Mary resting a hand on her. It's probably a nice view from up there!

princess margaret is held by her grandmother queen mary
Universal History Archive - Getty Images

1936

Speaking of what that view would have looked like, here's what a royal family member would have seen as they were stepping onto the balcony in 1936.

doors leading to the royal balcony at buckingham palace
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1937

Here we see King George VI, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at George's coronation. George VI ascended to the throne after his brother Edward VIII abdicated the role of monarch.

the royal family, 1937
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1945

This photo was taken for Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945, celebrating the acceptance of Germany's surrender and the end of World War II in Europe. Prime Minister Winston Churchill stands with the Windsor family during the festivities.

While the Princesses are seen here above the crowd, they also famously joined the celebration outside the Palace undercover.

churchill with the windsor family
Historical - Getty Images

1947

Here's a classic royal wedding for you. Still a princess, Elizabeth wed Phillip Mountbatten in a union that was controversial at the time. Prince Phillip came from limited financial standing and was born in Greece, though still a British national. They were married for 73 years, until his death in 2021.

happy couple
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1951

Then Princess Elizabeth had began filling in for her father King George VI's responsibilities as his health declined. She presided over 1951's Trooping The Colour ceremony, for example. Here's a funny shot of Elizabeth trying to get a young King Charles III to look up as jets fly over them.

uk queen elizabeth ii prince charles
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1953

Long before his own coronation, Prince Charles salutes onlookers from the balcony. Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II's only daughter, also makes an appearance here, along with their grandmother Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Mary, Princess Royal.

a young salute
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1953

Queen Elizabeth II officially took on the role and responsibilities of Queen after George VI passed away in February of 1952, and her coronation occurred a year later.

buckingham palace balcony, coronation day
Universal History Archive - Getty Images

1954

Queen Elizabeth II and her family greeting onlookers upon returning from a tour of the Commonwealth. The Queen became the first monarch to visit Australia and New Zealand during this trip.

royal wave
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1960

Princess Margaret marrying Anthony Armstrong-Jones, accompanied by several young bridesmaids on the balcony including Princess Anne on the far left. The royal and the renowned photographer were married for 18 years before divorcing in 1978.

princess margaret and tony armstrong jones' wedding in 1960
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1963

Prince Phillip and Princess Anne watching Trooping the Colour in 1963. Prince Phillip served in the British Navy during World War II, so not all of those medals on his jacket are just his honorary military titles he was awarded upon Queen Elizabeth II's ascension.

trooping the colour, 1963
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1964

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip attend Trooping the Colour with their two youngest children: Prince Andrew, Duke of York (left) and Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh (right).

royal wave
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1966

Can you spot the future King on the balcony? It's of course King Charles III looking dapper in a suit while briefly babysitting a few royal children at Trooping the Colour including his younger brother Edward, Lady Helen Windsor, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and George Windsor, Earl of St. Andrews.

royal children
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1972

We've got three generations of royals represented on the balcony here, and pretty much every family member chose impeccable color combinations if we do say so ourselves.

british royals hit the balcony
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1973

The royal family making an appearance for the wedding of Anne, Princess Royal and Mark Phillips. They had two children and were married for nearly two decades, but by the end of the '80s they confirmed speculation that they intended to separate and divorced in 1992.

anwar hussein collection
Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

1977

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip attending her Silver Jubilee. Her Majesty was the longest-reigning British monarch by the time she passed away, and the UK celebrated the first Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years as Queen, in February of 2022.

lovely jubilee
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1980

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is being honored here for her 80th birthday. The Queen Mother maintained a great reputation among the British public even at times when other royal family members were less well-liked.

the queen mother's 80th birthday celebrations
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1981

Prince (now King) Charles and Princess Diana after their wedding ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral. Their marriage, family and subsequent divorce was subject to intense media scrutiny, and Diana left behind a profound legacy after her abrupt death in 1997.

prince charles lady diana on wedding day
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1984

Princess Diana with a young Prince William, and expecting her and Charles' second child: Prince Harry. Everyone was gathered for, once again, the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

trooping the colour
Princess Diana Archive - Getty Images

1986

The Duke of York, Prince Andrew kisses Sarah Ferguson on the Buckingham balcony after their wedding. Ferguson and Prince Andrew divorced in 1996, and while she did attend Queen Elizabeth II's recent funeral, she won't be attending King Charles' coronation.

wedding ceremony of prince andrew and sarah ferguson
Peter Turnley - Getty Images

1988

At Trooping the Colour, a slightly bemused Princess Diana holds a young, goofing off Prince Harry, with Prince William close by in front of her.

harry sticks out tongue
Tim Graham - Getty Images

1990

The royal family gathers to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, when the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy repelled Nazi Germany's Air Force, the Luftwaffe, from forcing the UK to surrender through relentless raids, including nighttime bombings known as The Blitz.

anniversary of battle
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1991

Prince Harry, who would have been about six years old here, got a little time to himself arriving early on the balcony during Trooping the Colour. We all feel that way at family gatherings sometimes!

harry balcony trooping
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1992

Queen Elizabeth II and company watching the RAF jet demonstration at Trooping the Colour. Always loud, but always thrilling.

royal family trooping the colour ceremony buckingham palace
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1995

At the 50th anniversary celebration of Victory in Europe Day, the Queen Mother briefly becomes emotional while flanked by her two beloved daughters who she celebrated with in this very spot.

50th anniversary of ve day buckingham palace
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1997

Trooping the Colour was first performed during the reign of King Charles II in the 17th century as a celebration of the British Sovereign's Official Birthday. The name stands for the military regiments, one of five in the UK, which take turns marching in the ceremony while presenting their distinguishing color.

buckingham palace flypast
Tim Graham - Getty Images

2002

Queen Elizabeth II at her Golden Jubilee ceremony, with her grandsons Prince William and Harry on either side. The only other British monarchs to reach a Golden Jubilee, or 50 years in power, were Queen Victoria and King George III.

royals palace balcony
Tim Graham - Getty Images

2002

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Golden Jubilee. As part of her Golden Jubilee Message, the late Queen poignantly said, "I hope also that this time of celebration in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth will not simply be an occasion to be nostalgic about the past. I believe that, young or old, we have as much to look forward to with confidence and hope as we have to look back on with pride."

royalty queen elizabeth ii golden jubilee
John Stillwell - PA Images - Getty Images

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