A family portrait from 1936
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
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
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.