A family portrait from 1936

Historical Collection 148 Duke of York (later King George Vi) and Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth Consort) with Their Two Daughters Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth Ii) and Princess Margaret 1936Historia/Shutterstock

As it turned out, 1936 would be an especially important year for this family, though they couldn’t have known it at the moment this photo was snapped. Earlier that year, King George V had died, and his firstborn son, King Edward VIII, had ascended to the throne. But before the year ended, Edward VIII abdicated and left the throne to his brother, Prince Albert; he would ascend the throne as King George VI.

New King, Queen, and heir presumptive

VARIOUS King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, of United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, Portrait, circa late 1930'sGlasshouse Images/Shutterstock

When this photo was taken in 1937, King George VI had just recently ascended the throne. Princess Elizabeth was now the heir presumptive. That isn’t the same thing as an heir apparent; there was still the theoretical possibility that the King would father a male child and, in those days, a younger brother would have taken Elizabeth’s place in the line of succession. This rule, known as “male primogeniture,” ended during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Here are more rules Queen Elizabeth has broken.

A newly crowned King and his family

Historical Collection 86 Scene On the Balcony of Buckingham Palace London After the Coronation of King George Vi 12 May 1937 Showing From Left to Right Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth Ii) Queen Mary Princess Margaret and King George 1937Historia/Shutterstock

This photo was taken on the balcony of Buckingham Palace just after the coronation of King George VI on May 12, 1937. From left to right, we see the new Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, the Dowager Queen Mary, Princess Margaret, and the newly crowned King.